If you consider yourself to be creative, chances are you are already pretty good at these five mindsets. Taken all together they represent “growth orientation.” For most creatives, this is what is necessary for real happiness. In my opinion it’s worth checking in periodically with each mindset, especially if you start to feel stuck. Below are some thoughts around each.

  1. Be Curious. Cultivating a sense of wonder and an anthropologist’s habit of seeing the world with a fresh set of eyes will help you avoid boredom. It can also help you train your mind to be more optimistic which has been proven to open folks up to more opportunities. Cultivating curiosity can help to train your mind to avoid premature judgment and convergent thinking.  *Julia Cameron suggest going on artist’s dates, in her seminal book the Artist Way, as a way to cultivate curiosity
  2. Bias to Act. Get it done! Successful start-ups have shown that “done” is often better than “perfect.” This mindset is especially important for introverts and folks who are super strong in strategy and learning. I like Todd Henry’s developer paradigm which includes Map, Mesh and Make. I often challenge myself to GET OUT OF MY MIND – which is a call to not all being daring and a bit crazy, but also to stop thinking and start doing.

    With the shift happening between digital economy and classic economy. It used to be that quality was superior to quantity. That may be true at the end of the process, but in early stages quantity trumps quality. What does that mean for you? *Start to practice letting go of perfection and making lots of small bets. Test, improve, repeat quickly and often.

    When you get traction, go big!

  3. Reframe. You can get almost any answer if you can form the right question. One of my favorite quotes from Voltaire is to judge a person by their questions not their answers. Some problems, i.e. gravity problems, don’t have the solutions want to solve.

    There is wisdom in picking your battles

    It also makes me think about the ubiquitous monkey trap story and how emotions get us stuck. (If you don’t know the story, the hungry monkey reaches into a bottle with a narrow neck and tries to pull out a banana and gets stuck. Instead of letting go and trying something different – like breaking the bottle or trying to shake it out – it holds on until it passes out.) Reframing is possibly the most powerful mindset available to us. *Check in with your assumptions, focus and apply your creativity strategically at the beginning of the process when it can have the most impact.

  4. Process Orientation. Over time, and with experience, we all gain perspective. Understanding that innovation is a process, that there are both highs and lows, can help with decision making and balancing risks over time. It also reminds me that creativity is a skill. My experience playing competitive sports taught me that in order to improve complex skills one must both strengthen the necessary muscles and practice until that skill is second nature. * Learn to love the journey as well as the destination.
  5. Radical Collaboration. Among many things, I’m a yogi, artist, historian, strategist, former competitive Frisbee player, science fiction writer, behavioral econ geek, dog momma, coach, data analyst, teacher, and marketer. Those things may all seem disjointed – but I can tell you how training my dog has given me insight into collaboration, or how writing science fiction helps me teach yoga.

    Ideas collide and the real magic happens.

    We are all centers of radical collaboration, if you’ve ever used a technique for coaching your child on a co-worker, or used a teamwork skill to hack your day to day life – SURPRISE!  you’re a radical collaborator. Now think what happens when you pull together folks with completely different skillsets.   *Push yourself to meet new people, get good at engaging them, listen and create a space for them to open up!

    New Meetups are being scheduled for September. Stay Tuned.


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