People often ask me:
How can we be more creative?
They want a tip or a technique that they can apply to trigger new ideas. The ways and means of avoiding that blank canvas, or 'all mushy in the head' feeling.
Here is what I tell them:
It's not a technique. It is a subtle mind-shift. That's all. Doesn't sound glamorous, but that's what it take to get into the creative zone.
You must have heard of cricketing greats going through a dry run phase. Even Sachin Tendulkar had it. And then a well wishing peer or a coach suggests them to change the stance or the batting grip and runs begin to flow again.
I am talking about such a shift.
I realised this about 18 year back. I was a copywriter, 5 years in the business of advertising. Job promotions were regular and increments were enough to live a decent life. The career graph was surely going up.
But something was amiss. While people used to call me creative, and I was being paid for it, I didn't feel like one. I was good with language (Hindi, my native language). Churning out headlines and slogans was a play. But Creative? NO!
I had serious doubts about that.
The mental shift:
That moment is still alive in my memory. Late night, I got on a Mumbai local train at Churchgate. Returning home, after another long day in my advertising agency.
I was deep into my thoughts about the next ad campaign. But it was too noisy. All around me were share market brokers returning home by the same train. They were discussing share prices. Shouting in excitement, even when the other person was seated next to them.
I realized my life was so very different from theirs. We were traveling by the same train, but our journey was different.
I realized, creativity is not about cracking some lines, or painting a canvas. It's about our unique perspective on life. What we love, what drives us, what we cherish even in our failures!
It's about the choices we make every single day. And those choices are influenced by one thing : Our self identity!
If we say 'I choose to be a profit maker!' that choice will reflect in everything that we do. From relationships, to making money, to where we buy our stuff from.
If we instead 'choose to be creaitve,' that will lead us to very different kinds of projects, different kinds of people.
We will allocate our time and resources differently. Our parameters of evaluation won't be the same. We will experiment a lot more, and explore the world around us. We will tread new paths, without any maps. We will break the barriers, to realise new possibilities.
And we will realise our ideas are transformed in the process. Our slogans will have a zing and business plans will have a soul.
Make a choice today. The moment you say, "I am Creative" - you are creative!