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Creativity and curiosity

Following on from the previous blog post about having a creative mindset, another aspect of creativity is a sense of curiosity. By wondering how things might be different or by asking questions to understand, we may be able to see things in a different light.

When we start being open to the possibilities of ‘what if?’, we open ourselves up to creating new and wonderful things. Questions you might ask include:

  • How could we do this differently?
  • What if we did the steps in a different order?
  • How could we make this work?
  • What would happen if … ?
  • How might we approach this from a different angle? What might be different?
  • What might happen if we failed?
  • What might happen if we succeeded?

When you meet someone new for the first time, what are your go-to questions? Lots of people start off with ‘what do you do?’ or ‘where do you live?’ yet what does that really tell you about a person. What would it be like of asking questions such as ‘what brings you the greatest joy in your life at the moment?’, ‘what are you doing these days that feels like fun?’ or even ‘what do you do outside of work to keep yourself amused and occupied?’

By asking curious questions such as those ones, we would find about much more about the person rather than simply their job title. How much more would your conversations be if you went to a networking event and started asking more curious questions?

Let’s take a moment to reflect on Elizabeth Gilbert’s quote from Big Magic regarding fear. Fear will always hold us back from being curious and being creative. That fear of our idea is not being good enough or fear that we might disrupt the status quo or the fear of us personally not being considered ‘good enough’. That fear actually keeps us ‘small and safe’ in our comfort zone, it maintains the equilibrium of how things are where there is no growth, development or innovation.

However, the world is constantly changing and people are needing to open up, to connect and to all contribute towards making things ‘better’. Even though the word ‘better’ may be defined differently by different people. Small things can make a difference. Simply asking someone ‘how are you?’ and really listening to their answer can make a difference. Smiling to the person at your local coffee shop or store to show that you have seen them and appreciate their service can make a difference. What small thing can you do today that may make a difference?

 

Point to Ponder: What has to happen for you to overcome any fears and get more curious? What is the worst case scenario of becoming more curious and asking more questions? What is the best case scenario for you to ask more curious questions?

 

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