Sometimes we just need a little boost. Here are 21 things you can do today to be give your creativity a jump start.
• Make sure you take time to refuel your creativity. No one is going to manage this for you other than you.
• Create in community. Have a conversation. Share ideas. We are better in community.
• Ask people who are better or more creative for their ideas/input.
• Don’t take critiques personally.
• Write your ideas down.
• Let your ideas breathe.
• Go work someplace different for a day. New canvases are great.
• Play music. Play new music. Play old music.
• Walk around the building.
• Stand up every 10 minutes.
• Change the furniture or placement of your desk.
• Ask the end user what they think.
• Go see whats on twitter.
• Surf the net.
• Visit Pintrest.
• Take a picture and post it on Instagram.
• Stop and revisit the first day you did this job.
• Imagine if you had to solve a problem without doing it the same way you always do.
• Drive a different route to or from work.
• Ask more questions.
• Refuse to respond to your first negative reaction.
What would you add to this list?
“The edge of uncomfortable is where you find greatness.” – Unknown
Uncomfortable can look like a lot of things:
- Being pushed to do something you didn’t think possible.
- A lack of resources.
- A sideways teammate.
- Being out of our comfort zone.
- Breaking “the norm.”
- Taking chances.
- A boss/employee/teammate who pushes your buttons.
- Challenging tasks.
- Information, or the lack thereof.
- Voices in your head.
Truthfully, anything we add to this list that makes us uncomfortable is actually a chance to confront something great. The edge of greatness – the place where we feel we could lose as much as we could win – is where greatness lives. It doesn’t live in safe places, it lurks where risk runs wild. Greatness is rare because it costs more than the average are willing to pay to achieve it.
So the next time we confront uncomfortable, acknowledge it for what it is – not an invitation to quit, but an opportunity to be great.
There are two types of people in the world: those who love Christmas, and those who don’t.
Each year, we’re working to build momentum and worship culture inside our services. We want people to have the chance to experience God and understand the value of worshiping our Heavenly Father. For eleven months, we pine over this process. Then, for five weeks, we have to abort because it’s Christmas time. If you’re like me, you LOVE Christmas – probably not as much as THIS GUY – but still love it and you want to sing Christmas songs.
Well, Jarrod, our worship leader is a little more scrooge than Santa and he wishes we would never sing Christmas songs. With that thought in mind, we went into the lab a few months ago to dream up what it could look like to make both sides happy. We came up with these mash-ups that have worked GREAT in our services. They’ve allowed us to celebrate the season without sacrificing the momentum and culture of worship. Check ‘em out.
*Artistic disclaimer – these are work tapes we’ve created for our bands to practice with. Feel free to use these songs if it might help your service. Also, we’ve added an original worship song to this list that has been working well for us.
PS. If you need charts Email: Ali@Crosspoint.tv
My friend Krystin sent me a link to a letter from Pete Docter, one of the key animators and directors at Pixar, to a middle school teacher in Missouri. The teacher had asked Docter if he had any advice he would pass on to middle school students.
Here’s what he said (in case you could not read the handwriting):
May 5, 2009
Dear Mr. Kelsey,
What would I tell a class of Middle School students?
When I was in Middle School, I liked to make cartoons. I was not the best artist in my class — Chad Prins was way better — but I liked making comic strips and animated films, so after High school it was no surprise that I got into The California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), a school that taught animation.
CalArts only accepts 25 students a year, and it attracts some of the best artists in the country. Suddenly I went from being one of the top artists in my class to being one of the absolute worst. Looking at the talented folks around me, I knew there was no way I would make it as a professional. Everyone else drew way better than I did. And I assumed the people who were the best artists would become the top animators.
But I loved animation, so I kept doing it. I made tons of films. I did animation for my friends’ films. I animated scenes just for the fun of it. Most of my stuff was bad, but I had fun, and I tried everything I knew to get better.
Meanwhile, many of the people who could draw really well kind of rested around and didn’t do a whole lot. It made me angry, because if I had their talent, man, the things I would do with it!
Years later, a lot of those guys who probably still draw really well don’t actually work in animation at all. I don’t know what happened to them. As for me, I got hired at Pixar Animation Studios, where I got to work on Toy Story 1 and 2, direct Monsters, Inc., and Up.
So, Middle School Student, whatever you like doing, do it! And keep doing it. Work hard! In the end, passion and hard work beats out natural talent. (And anyway, if you love what you do, it’s not really “work” anyway.)
There is always someone better. There is always someone with more talent. There is always someone with a better idea. We don’t get to control that variable. But the variable that we can control is how we work. No one chooses how you do your job for you. The level of energy and passion you bring to your job, the decisions you make, when to stop and when to keep pushing – it’s all on you. No. One. Else. There’s a good chance you might get “out talented,” but you should never get out worked. Ever.
Added on top of that is most of us work in some type of ministry. We get the privilege of sharing grace, hope, & love. We get to come to work every day and create to help people bump into God. Every week someone is walking in the door hopeless and, when we refuse to settle, they might have the chance to experience hope, love, acceptance; they might experience God – possibly for the first time ever.
So as you choose how you work, remember what lays in the balance. Remember, even if you work bi-vocationally or as a volunteer, how MUCH someone else would pay to be in your position. How much they WISH they could do ministry and, for whatever reason, they’re not afforded that option right now. It’s a gift, don’t take it for granted.
You get to do this. You get to do it today. Don’t give up. Show up and go hard. Work till the work is done. It’s right and achieves the dreams God has given you!
Have you ever wondered why areas are losing momentum, why expectations aren’t being met, or how we can make things better? Too often, the answer is in the amount of attention we are dedicating to that area.
Where we put our attention creates momentum.
At the end of the day, we only have so much attention to spread around. So it’s important that we’re assigning our attention to the areas of utmost importance. The ability to prioritize resource, assign attention, and create momentum is an art form.
As we create art, experiences, or departments, we need to make sure we’re allocating attention in areas that move us forward. Unfortunately, we sometimes slip into the trap of our attention going only to areas where there are problems or to employees who require a lot of management. At times, this is important. But when more of our time is spent giving attention to problems and not possibilities, we risk stalling momentum.
Dream and put attention to your dreams.
Our greatest ideas – the ones that move our message forward – are not born inside of process, procedure, meetings, systems, or mantras, they’re born inside people and out of inspiration. Without the soul of the creative person, our greatest ideas will never impact our message or our methods. It’s so important that we FIGHT to stay open, keep our antennas up, act curious, ask questions, be imaginative, and stay connected so that moments of inspiration can be birthed.
While ideas live all around us, we often miss them because of the pace and habits we cultivate. Creativity is not magical – it requires labor.
To master our moments, we have to:
- Slow down – Pause creates perspective. Slow down a little. Take a minute to evaluate all the data.
- Change perception – Look at things differently – intentionally – to make sure we’re getting all the angles and perspectives.
- Listen more & talk less – Start trying to hear what others are saying rather than waiting to talk. Sometimes what you hear will not be comfortable, but often it makes us better.
- Question everything – Why? Why are we doing this? Why do we do it this way? Why have we not tried another way? How are we going to do this? What do we want to accomplish? When are we doing it? What are the action steps?
- Revisit the Expectation – What’s the expectation? When it’s defined, revisit it often during the project to avoid drift.
- Seek feedback – It helps. Find it. Accept it. Digest it. Find answers and moments in it.
- Appreciate the opportunity – Never take for granted the fact you GET to do what you’re doing. There’s someone who wishes they had the opportunities that you have. Appreciate the chance to work, create, innovate, and make a difference.
- Study – Do the research. Find out what’s working and working for others. Study your industry. You can’t be better if you don’t know what others are doing.
- Refuel – Be intentional in refueling. No one is going to refuel you, so it’s your job to make sure you do it on your own. When you’re empty, you discredit yourself and your influence.
When we’re prepared to master the moment, it doesn’t get too big for us and allows us to feed momentum. What would you add to this list?