July 14

“Making a break from thinking about ourselves and our problems for a while often frees up insight that is lurking just beneath the surface.”  – The Accidental Creative

To spark new insights, put yourself in unusual or even uncomfortable situations.

When was the last time you did something that forced you to experience the world in a new way? For many of us, it’s a difficult question to answer. We fall into habits, routines, certain ways of doing things that feel comfortable and familiar, but that do little to help us spark new ideas and do our best work. 

If we want to get outside of our head and connect new and interesting dots, we must seek out those dots. I call this a “stimulus dive”. It involves engaging in activities that cause your mind to fire in different ways than it typically would during your normal routine. I’ve led teams on dumpster dives in New York City to see what new stimulus we could discover (I wouldn’t recommend it), and I’ve sent teams on photography expeditions into a neighborhood to snap just five pictures that tell the story of their brand. The core principle is that new ideas are unlikely to result from sitting and staring at the problem. You need to get out into the world and allow patterns to emerge and dots to connect.

Brilliant ideas emerge in a place of bounded unfamiliarity. Today, put yourself in a situation where “creative accidents” are more likely to occur.

Question: When will you do a “stimulus dive” in the next week? Put a time on the calendar. 

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