Our Thoughts Can Get In The Way
Naturally, we are creative people. Then our cognitive process filters out everything that doesn't fit. We have to be able to know when our filter is too strong and when our assumptions and guesswork are actually inhibiting creative problem solving. For all people, we need to make the most of our situation. Being able to think creatively then work to adapt and make the best use of where we are is how we achieve the most progress in life. The problem is, many of us have unhelpful mental filters which stunt our ability to think creatively. It can be stifling to our own happiness when we're forced to think and act in ways that don't match what we know to be better. Knowing when we're standing in our own way is an important part of change.
Leave The Comfort Zone
Innovation is always going to contain an element of risk. A general uncertainty will pervade all efforts to do something new. This can't be allowed to stand in the way. Some business models rely on known facts, they follow the tried and tested. They rely totally on data and match what the graphs say will get the best result. They stop being creative. It might have been a sure bet in the 20th century, but in today's fast evolving marketplace then new methods and ways are being produced all the time. Manageable risk is not a problem, in fact it's the opposite. Only by taking a risk can we become a leader in our field, and therefore command respect from our peers.
Treat All Factors With Equal Attention
Getting hung up on one factor while juggling all the others will not end up with a balanced solution. Sometimes one piece of information can stick out in our minds, perhaps an event caused it to be more emotionally relevant. However, all factors must be treated equally in creative projects. I'm sure we've all been in the position where we work really hard on something and neglect many others. This can happen when solving the major problems in our lives if we allow it to.
Make Use Of Your Team And Network
The boss isn't always the best person to ask, they're just employed to manage you. Try to not give extra credit to the opinions of those above you on the pay-roll. People's ideas need to be treated fairly and equally, and valued on their own merits. That includes your own! And don't accept facts without proof, even if they come from the top. Always ask to see evidence and contextual examples so you can understand how to best implement the facts. It's not that people lie, it's just they can be unknowingly misled. Again, you included.
Take Feedback Seriously
Sometimes, the bitter truth is that our idea was wrong. If what we did doesn't work in the way we wanted it to, then it doesn't matter how loudly we talk about it, it didn't work out. Reality doesn't lie, so avoid telling stories about how it would be better if this or that was done. Knowing when to make a direction change is really important. Accept the losses and move on, before you bank everything on a flop.
The Bandwagon Isn't Always Going The Right Way
Just because a lot of other people have taken to doing something, it doesn't mean it's working out for them. We can only guess how someone's bank sheet looks and even if they appear to be highly successful, it could just be an illusion. No-one really talks about how much they earn. So jumping on the bandwagon in order to keep up with the others is not always going to be productive. Creative people use tools and systems in ways that suit them. If you want to start doing something new in order to keep up with others, think about how you can do it differently. Think about how it results in your long term goals.
Keep The Dream Away From The Task At Hand
Keep it real, folks. Sometimes we get told we're brilliant, genius, amazing, and in reality none of those things put food in the cupboards. Only results do that, sales, contracts, what ever it is you need in life. Sitting back and taking all the praise of the people for being in charge of your life is not how we get on with being in charge of our life. In fact, it's those around you who are pulling the strings by validating what they like about you. Use this input for progress not for back patting. Listen and learn!
Don't Lose The Drive To Win
There are clear benefits to results, it feels great to know that our efforts are paying off. But it doesn't end there, as we know, if people are walking up a mountain then there are more paths than one. That initial energy of testing and offering various services and products, that drive that kept you hungry in the early days is what got you here. That creative flare needs to be nurtured even when you seem to be successful. Don't stop at the top until you've tested and tested that it really is the top.
Accept The Data
When we're given cold hard truth, we must learn to accept it. Trying to twist it or spin doctor it into fitting our previous convictions will just fail to get the point in. Only when we understand the point can we be accurate with our projects. This goes both ways, too. Sometimes we have to be able to give out painful truths even when we know it will go against someone's ideas. We do emotionally invest in our beliefs and ideas and it will be difficult to find out that we were mistaken. And finally, avoid being polite to the point where we mislead others. It doesn't help in the end.
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