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Space for creativity

It seems like the older we get, the less space we create for creativity.

That is, unless you work for a company like Pixar or IDEO.

These organizations not only promote creativity, they rely on its application in order make a living. They’ve learned what it takes in order to successfully apply creativity year after year, project after project.

If these select groups can embrace child-like curiosity and create the space needed to foster creativity, why can’t other lesser known companies? After all, the results speak for themselves.

Like most things in business, I think it all comes down to ego.

People are so focused on appearing professional or that they already have all of the answers that they’re afraid to acknowledge more abstract concepts like creativity or vulnerability.

If you ask me, these things make business even more human, They remind us that business isn’t just B2B or B2C - its P2P, or people to people.

Since most companies still don’t recognize this truth, the ones that do have a competitive advantage.

Which type of company sounds more appealing to you?

Change your environment

I hate work-life balance.

In my ideal world, my work informs my life and vice versa.

In fact, I desperately seek work that fulfills me each day and I love the feeling that comes with getting lost in something you care about.

The thing is, I don't get the chance to talk about these things with most of my friends. The conversations are usually limited to food, sports, music, and other group interests.

Don't get me wrong - I love sharing experiences with others and, at my age, many of these experiences happen in bars and other hangouts.

Yesterday, I met up with one of my best friends over lunch and our conversation drifted into this territory.

My friend has known me since seventh grade, which means he has seen all of the ups and downs that I've encountered while stumbling down my unconventional path. He knows how much pressure I put on myself and he is usually able to keep me in check when my ambition gets the best of me.

I mentioned how I wish our friends could share more of their work lives with each other and, as always, he dropped a little nugget of truth:

"If you want those types of conversations, maybe you should consider creating those types of environments."

I'm stubborn, but I couldn't deny how right he was.

The conversation I want doesn't usually happen at bars or while playing beer pong - it happens in a more intimate setting like coffee shops or at home.

Our environments really do impact our lives and the time we spent with others.

If you're looking for a change, try changing your environment first.

When worlds collide

There is no better feeling than when old friends meet new friends.

I love it when these worlds collide, the feeling you experience when the world shrinks just a little bit.

In fact, I wish it happened more often.

Unfortunately, work and other responsibilities get in the way.

Despite this inconvenience, I want to make more of an effort to facilitate these types of experiences, both for myself and others.

I wonder what type of format would work best. Dinner? Drinks? Some sort of shared activity or interest? These all work, but there are already plenty of options like these out there.

Personally, I would like to connect people using shared ideas and/or creative projects. This would give others the chance to flex their creative muscles a little more while meeting others at the same time.

As someone who values shared experiences, I always look for ways to include others as much as possible, even if I don't know a group of people.

After all, strangers are just friends you haven't made yet.

Funny because it's true

Comedy is a funny thing.

Last night, I went to a stand-up comedy show with some friends and, during the night, one of the comedians said something that really stuck with me:

"Comedy is funny because it's relatable."

Take a second and really let that sink in.

If you ask me, I think this is a little counterintuitive.

When I think of entertainment, I think of escapism. I think of lives I will never live and worlds I will never see. After all, no one watches Game of Thrones because it's relatable (at least, I hope not).

Instead, comedy is more accessible. You don't need a multimillion-dollar budget or insane special effects.

All you need is an audience and a good story.

Creative constipation

I'm stuck.

Today is one of those days where my mind is a blank slate and, as hard as I try, I can't seem to get the gears turning.

Instead of sitting here feeling sorry for myself, I'm going to write through the block. After all, it's only writer's block if you let yourself remain blocked.

Come to think of it, a lot of problems are similar in that they are self-perpetuating. When we wallow in self-pity, we are only making the problem worse, adding to the preexisting clog.

Whenever I run into moments of creative constipation, I turn to what I know: writing.

For you, this might be talking with someone else or recording a video.

Regardless of the format, the main goal here is to share and explore your thoughts.

If you ask me, there's no better laxative than sharing your ideas with others.

The first draft of anything is shit

I'm a big fan of this Ernest Hemingway quote.

It's weirdly reassuring to know that no matter how famous or successful someone is, they put out crap in the beginning, just like us.

We all have hard drives filled with early work that will never see the light of day, and you know what? That's completely OK.

In fact, it's a right of passage that all "creatives" go through.

What I wonder is what would happen if you decided to share that crap?

For all of the perfectionists out there, this might seem crazy. After all, why the hell would you want to share something before it's "ready?"

Because the sooner you start sharing your work, the sooner you will meet others who actually give a damn. They will become your biggest advocates while also helping you improve.

Remember, you will always be your own harshest critic.