Where Science Meets Muse

Keeping the Creative Fires Burning

Posted by Plish on February 20, 2009


Jump in with Both Feet and Follow Your Dreams

Bill Buxton, author of  Sketching User Experiences: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design   has a great article over at BusinessWeek on keeping the creative edge.

When I read it I immediately thought, “YES!” and realized that not only did I agree with him, I already practice and recommend much of what he subscribes to.

The main take-aways:

  • Always be a passionate beginner – Start new things and jump in with both feet. 
  • Be an “80% Person” – Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia clothing, describes himself in this way.  When you reach 80% of your expertise in something, move on to something new.  You’ll constantly get new insights from these new endeavors that will help you in life.
  • Make room for new endeavors by phasing out other endeavors – This prevents you from being overextended.  However, new endeavors may actually lead you in totally new directions.  You also may find synergies between past and present passions that open onto new opportunities.
  • Find good teachers – Seek those out the masters and learn.
  • Be a sponge – This means being able to learn from anyone, putting pride aside and realizing that others have something to contribute.

When we live following the above guidelines, we are constantly getting new inputs, new data from experiences that fuels and builds our creative capabilities; not to mention we will feel, and be, more authentically human!

So how do you get started?

Write up a passion bio (you can use mine as an example).  Look at it hard and see what you’ve gotten good at, what you’re still working on and then pause —

…and dream…

What does your spirit thirst for?

… begin anew…


2 Responses to “Keeping the Creative Fires Burning”

  1. Roger said

    Great ideas to live by!

    I love the idea of being a passionate beginner. Fear of failure prevents too many from experiencing the joy of new endeavors. I’ll have to give the 80% thing a try. I tend to stop at 70% 🙂


  2. Plish said

    It’s always the last 10% that’s the hardest! 😉 Fear of failure is indeed powerful, and oftentime there is joy to be found even within the “failure”.

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