How to be a more creative person

 

I am so pleased to share this new TEDX talk by my friend and speaking colleague Bill Stainton. Bill is a living example of how practice is the key to greatness. He prepared for his moment on the TEDX stage for months, rehearsing 5 times a day or more. And the results clearly show…Bill shares wise, powerful lessons about creativity that will make you think for days and weeks afterward. That is the mark of a great speech!

For those of us who write, speak or otherwise create for a living, the art of creativity remains elusive. Yet, Bill’s idea about cracking our cocoon offers one clue to get closer to it.

From the speech description:

“What do Johnny Depp, Bill Nye the Science Guy, and a little old lady from Russia have to do with creativity? More important, how can they help you tap into your own creative genius?

Bill Stainton believes that when we isolate ourselves from ideas, experiences, and people who are “different,” we are robbing ourselves, our businesses, our communities, and our world of the creative ideas that are essential to solving our biggest challenges. Only by becoming less isolationist—by “cracking our cocoon” and embracing people and experiences that may at first seem “weird”—will we discover the connections that can lead to breakthrough ideas….”

I have been more aware of how collecting different experiences helps awaken my creative spirit.  They take me out of my cocoon.  For instance, last weekend, while in DC, I visited the new National Museum of African-American History & Culture. My eyes were opened and I  was so moved. The triumph over adversity showed by African-Americans was so impactfully displayed. The museum images continue to play in my head and I am still processing my feelings. They have shifted something inside and that alone jostles my creative muscle.

I have little interest in gardening but found myself at a plant show this morning, I was struck by the vibrant beauty of the blooming pansies. Another shift.

And I  broke through an impasse on a writing project when away from my desk, stretching in a Yoga class. The idea came as the instructor voiced some soothing words in the background.

By bringing in disparate ideas we often catch that golden one.

I am so grateful to Bill for sharing his gifts with the world and helping us all find the creative genius that lies below the surface.

How can you move out of your cocoon? If you like Bill’s talk please share it with your communities. Thanks!

3 thoughts on “How to be a more creative person

  1. Sarah Zhou

    Thanks so much for sharing your great thoughts and the TEDX talk by Bill Stainton. I am a true believer of collective wisdoms and human creativity built on the differences in life experiences and cultures. Most of time we tend to live in our little “cocoon”, and have missed out the precious chances of speaking out with someone sitting next to us until it was too late…

    Reply
    1. Jennifer Kahnweiler Post author

      Sarah – I so appreciate your perspective here. Love the idea of collective wisdom. Let’s put down our phones and make it happen.

      Reply
    2. Bill Stainton

      Sarah – You captured beautifully in one sentence what it took me 18 minutes to convey: “collective wisdoms and human creativity built on the differences in life experiences and cultures.” That’s EXACTLY it! Part of the problem is that, for many of us (possibly even most of us), being inside the cocoon is our default. Therefore, it takes no effort to stay there, and a great deal of effort to break through—to “crack the cocoon.” But in my experience, I’ve found that the benefits generally outweigh the risks. Thank you so much for your comment!

      Reply

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