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Thinking Outside the Box

Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple; that’s creativity.” – Charles Mingus

I’m so cliche I can’t even think up an original title. Creativity has never been a strength of mine. In grade school and junior high, when given a reading assignment, I always chose non-fiction. I remember book reports that were assigned. Bobby Orr, Muhammad Ali, and Jimi Hendrix were a few I presented. Other kids would report their stories, telling us about a boy who lived in a peach (maybe he ate a Giant Peach?), while I told them about a boy who taught himself to play left-handed guitar on a right-handed instrument.

I suppose you can’t change what interests you, but you should always be willing to work on your weaknesses. Creativity requires bravery. There’s a fine line between greatness and idiocy when it comes to creativity, but you have to be willing to put yourself out there. Try finding ways to think outside the normal ways of operation. Don’t be lazy. You can’t go wrong with what you know to be true, or what you’ve read will work, but don’t believe there’s not an alternative. Who can argue with doing something good that’s already been established? No one. But we’d all rather be copied than to copy, wouldn’t we?

I start teaching soon, and can foresee necessary creativity. It may be tactics, strategy, or just learning ideas. Somewhere along the way, a new idea needs to be presented for better effectiveness. In almost every area of life, there’s a need for creative thinking. I’m not looking to change the world or teaching profession by some break-through strategy or development, just a moment or two, creating something worthwhile and beneficial. And somehow, in some way, I suppose we’re all after that.

This is your one opportunity to do something that no one has ever done before and that no one will copy throughout human existence. And if nothing else, you will be remembered as the one guy who ever did this. This one thing.” – Sam (Natalie Portman) in “Garden State

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  1. Solid post. I especially liked the Garden State quote.

    I don’t have anything intelligent to add, so I’ll keep my mouth shut for now.

  2. Very interesting post! I love it. I am not the most creative in the world either, and then when I come up with something that is– it isn’t well thought out (I am a great “big idea” person; not so great on follow through.), or I just don’t do it. Oddly- that is where I have and probably why I have started this quilting escapade that I am on at random times…

  3. “Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity.” – Edwin Land

    Mr. Land founded Polaroid in the 1930’s. He invented, among other things, instant photography – the precursor analog version of today’s digital photography.

    Based on his quote, hopefully, we’re ALL creative sometimes. Otherwise, we’re just stupid all of the time.

    You’re more creative than you think you are. I’ve seen you make some pretty creative hockey plays. I’ve had some pretty creative conversations with you. I’ve seen you draw or construct some creative things. I’ve even seen a few cars that experienced your creativity. You created this post. It didn’t exist until you wrote it. You didn’t write it until you thought of it. Creation necessitates creativity.

    It’s easier to be creative when we have to do something, or think something. Sadly, most of us are too busy reading, listening and watching (all passive things). Creativity is in the doing I think – more than the spectating. I know you well enough to know you’d rather be playing than watching.