Connecting the Dots…. Let’s learn it from the masters
Who better to learn creativity from, if not the world-acclaimed creative geniuses of our time? And while we’re at it, even the geniuses of time past, the ‘grand-masters’ themselves.
There’s this awesome quote by Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple that I’d like to explore. Here goes:
“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.”
According to Steve, the thing about creative folks is that they have either had more experiences (to connect), or they have thought more about their experiences than the ‘un-creative’ ones. A lot of people have not had very diverse experiences, and therefore do not have enough dots to connect. When they do try, they can only come up with linear solutions without a broad perspective of the problem. The result: No result!
It kind of reminds me of how we draw graphs. You start out with a blank graph sheet with just the x and y axes lines marking it. You then have to consult from different sets of values or tables (scenarios) in order to determine the exact point on the graph sheet to place your dot (or a tiny x). When all your dots have been fixed onto the sheet, you start the tricky task of negotiating and connecting them all with a smooth ‘non-wobbly’ line (broomstick things :D).
There are countless experiences and scenarios in our lives that we can bring onto our graph sheet as a dot. Some dots would come in the dark colors of a painful past, while some would have the bright colors of a beautiful memory; some dots would come in the shape of teardrops and other dots would bear the crimson shade of an embarrassing goof we made.
Not having enough experiences to extract your dots from can be a problem for some folks. Your graph doesn’t look quite right if you don’t include all the necessary component dots. Creative people are always on the lookout for new experiences and unfamiliar challenges. We are risk-takers.
This brings me to what another ‘master’ is reported to have said:
“Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people” – Leo Burnett
Get curious people! Learn something new every day, even if it’s just a new word.
Go learn some DIYs. Those complex things you have to pay someone to do for you? Dedicate one hour per day to learn the ‘how-to’ for starters. You can never tell how far you can go…. until you start!
Embrace the unfamiliar and familiarize them. I just love to do that and the internet is my BFF right there!
It’s been great learning with you from the masters today. There are a whole lot of them (aren’t we blessed?) and we shall soon be checking them out again.
We’d love to know your thoughts and learn from you. Be kind enough to drop a comment or two 🙂