Today we want to talk about “coloring outside the lines” – an expression that means to think or act in a way that does not conform to set rules. To do that, here are seven “creativity crayons” to help you break free (or break through.)
1. Challenges – Stretch yourself intentionally by doing something new. Learn a new language, try watercolor painting, kite sailing, scuba diving or any activity that poses a challenge for you. Dan Sullivan talks about the Four C’s process. Through the 4 C’s—Commitment, Courage, Capability, and Confidence—you can create 10x breakthroughs and avoid the traps of complacency and courage-avoidance. That’s a creativity crayon to use liberally throughout your life!
2. Connection – instead of just collecting dots, connect them. Look for an intersection between what you learn, who you know, ideas, problems or insights from unrelated fields. Sir Richard Branson’s mantra is: A-B-C-D (Always Be Connecting the Dots). That’s a great insight to adopt and create stepping stones of connection to color outside the lines.
3. Input – gathering new information is essential. Part of the creativity process is using information from different sources, disciplines, areas, and putting it together in new ways. The more you expose yourself to different ideas, experiences, people and places, the more fuel you will have for your creativity fire!
4. Framing – see things in a new way. Everything you experience can be interpreted or framed in multiple ways. Another way to understand this concept is perspective. When you change the frame or your view of reality and examine something in a different way, you color outside the lines of what’s expected.
5. Experimentation – try it and see what happens! Taking calculated risks builds your creativity muscles. There has been a lot of emphasis on celebrating failure, or making failure acceptable. Rather than focus on a negative outcome, work on experimentation. Sometimes you succeed, sometimes you fail. What matters is to experiment and learn.
6. Questioning – questions are the seeds of creativity. The more provocative the question, the more insightful the answer. The question creativity crayon asks “why not,” “what if,” and so on. It’s through questions that we can unsettle the status quo in our brains and color outside the lines to produce new ideas.
When is the last time you colored outside the lines? We hope that you will be inspired to use one of these creativity crayons and think or act in a way that does not conform to set rules.