Reverse creativity

You are eliminating the extraneous in order to shed light on the fundamental.
Less is more only when more has become a commodity.*
(Youngme Moon)

Just as having too much stuff shrinks our brains through the activation of stress hormones […] so does having too little time.  The stress of having lots to do is compounded by the stress of never having enough time to do it.**
(Michael Bhaskar)

You’d think that with all we have we’d be way happier but what one piece of research after another shows is that our levels of happiness have not gone up in accord with our income, possessions

and life opportunities.  Michael Bhaskar tackles what he names the “creativity myth,” differentiating between creative solutions and creating more things – everything being lumped under the one banner of creativity.  So much of what we think of as creativity today is about making more faster:

‘Most #creativity is much more about doing the actual work than it is about being a frickin’ genius.’^ 

Hugh Macleod points out that coming up with something creative is really 95% schlepping and only 5% being in the zone.  Perhaps we ought to be making less more slowly if it means coming up with better solutions to problems affecting people, and our planet and everything in it.  Perhaps if we are less in a rush to be seen as the next genius and put in the hard work which begins with humility, gratitude and faithfulness then we’ll value the failure that leads the better gift.  As Moon describes the “reverse brand” she could be describing the reverse creative or reverse genius:

‘They draw us down a divergent path by applying pressure in exactly the place where we least anticipate it.’*

There will be a lopsidedness to this, Moon says, and such brands find themselves under pressure to be more well-rounded, which often means more features and more choice, which then means producing more faster.  It is a journey to the over-competitive middle.

How does reverse creativity work?

My experience tells me it happens by slowing down in order to see more, feel more and do more.  To see what is needed up close, to feel not only what this means for us but to those we seek to help, and to be more imaginative with what we have rather than producing more.  Not only for what we can make but also for who we are.

(*From Youngme Moon’s Different.)
(**From Michael Bhaskar’s Curation.)
(^From gapingvoid’s blog: How to scale your genius.)

Other blue reading:
Messy by Tim Harford
Create Dangerously by Albert Camus.Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Taleb
Letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King Jr.
Flaneuse by Lauren Elkin.
What do advertisers want? (blog) by Seth Godin.
Nietzsche on Truth, Lies, the Power and Peril of Metaphor (blog) by Brain Pickings.)

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