Go to Starbucks and Learn the Creative Power of Observation

Quick, the last time that you walked out of a Starbucks, what did the sign above the door say?  You have walked out that door a hundred times.

The sign says, “This door to remain unlocked during business hours.”

The point of this exercise is that we can all be more observant, and seeing things is the key to creativity.

Seeing things differently could have meant the captain of the Titanic seeing a foe as a friend, and viewing the killer icebergs as floating islands, next to which he could park his ship and unloaded his passengers.

Flat Iceberg

As an example, in WWII, the captain of a rapidly sinking ship (that had been torpedoed), viewed his ship like the landing craft driving up on the beach to unload soldiers on the shores of France. He drove his sinking ship onto the shore and saved the lives of hundreds of men trapped below deck, and those who would have perished in the fridge waters.

Landing craft WWII

Picasso said, “Good artists copy, great artists steal.”

Like all good artists, we need to be more observant, and also expose ourselves to new things.

Creative Art Expose Yourself

Bud Clark, Mayor of Portland, 1978

The key to creativity is that by being observant and collecting information of all kinds (art, history, literature, music, etc.), then our brain will be like a sponge as we squeeze out what we know to be creative when we solve our next big problem.

“Your observations are meant to collect the raw material, or sand for your creativity. You can’t create a magnificent sandcastle without sand, and you can’t create the Taj Mahal without marble.” — Curtis Panasuk, Creativity Instructor

Taj MahalThe next time that you read that sign above the Starbucks door, ask yourself what other things are you missing? What is the shape of the grill on the front of your car, the pattern on your front door or the eye color of a colleague?

“Set a goal of observing three new things every day, and asking three new questions, and make sure that you are learning and exposing yourself to new things.  When my children were young, I had a ‘one bite rule’ at dinner to help them sample new things, please extend this to your life, sample new things every day.” — Curtis Panasuk, Creativity Instructor

You can even observe things by doing “time travel.”  Can you Name the US President with the British Accent?

Strengthen your creative muscle today. Expose yourself to something new every day to cross-train your brain. Your brain needs to be in the best shape possible so that you can perform at your most creative level.

Cross TrainingGrow your brain by giving it new challenges every day.  Live a life in which every year is unique for 30 years, not a life of one year repeated 30 times.

You cannot generate new brain cells, but when you expose yourself to new things, you make your brain stronger by increasing the number of cross links between brain cells.

“Finally, be different with all your heart, because being normal is nothing to brag about.” — Curtis Panasuk, Creativity Instructor

P.S. I wrote this while having a cup of coffee at Starbucks.


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