Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Inspired And The Methodical

A common criticism of many creative types is that they are irresponsible and see themselves as victims of life. There is a reason for that observation. The creative process demands inspiration and intuition, neither of which are things of which one is in control. The person is in touch with things for which he is not responsible. The I-Thou duality is blurred, and feelings and intuitions come from all sorts of places. The result is a mentality of being in touch with – and being moved by - forces greater than the self.

Of course this kind of thinking can be misapplied. In business or in engineering, you better be responsible for your actions. The creative process is very different from the planning or execution process; and in these a completely different approach is necessary.

The “workaday” thinking has shortcomings as well. A person who is planning everything may not be responsive to opportunities that he does not expect or knowledge that he has not anticipated. When the conditions change, he will be caught off-guard. He will focus on what he is doing to the point that he fails to see what is happening all around him. He will stick to his existing understanding and be resistant to understanding that is not part of his worldview.

When you are a part of a mindset – any mindset – it becomes the most important thing out there. Whether it be the mindset of making money, or raising children, or social climbing, or contribution, or religion, it has a way of ensnaring you. I have seen people with wonderful personal qualities get vicious and nasty because of partaking – completely – of wrongful mentalities. It becomes reality. It becomes sanity. It becomes ethics. It takes over and controls you.

When I spent half a year on the street in 2000, I was told by people who were in such a mindset that I had left the real world. That is completely not the case. I left the corporate world, in order to study things that are not a part of it. I have opened myself to knowledge and wisdom from all sorts of places, including many that were in contradiction to my upbringing and education. One thing I have learned from Amway of all places is that you never know who has something valuable to offer. Likewise you never know who has something valuable to tell you. I am an outgoing person, and I learn from all sorts of people, including all sorts of people whom you would not expect to be wise.

Sometimes planning works; sometimes inspiration does. There most certainly is a place for both. The shortage of planning mentality is that of failure to integrate foreign perspectives, pursue unexpected opportunities or adapt to change. The shortage of openness is chaotic existence and unreliability. There should be a way to combine the benefits of both while reducing the flaws associated with both. One should both be able to tap into the intuition and act deliberately. One should be familiar with both the artistic and the business methods and use them to put into place intelligent, creative solutions that have effect on the reality of people's lives.

I have in fact seen this done. I am familiar with people who have both creative and business experience, and they have learned to make the best of both methods. They tap into the inspiration and they methodically put it into place. The computer industry is one situation in which this happens all the time. Probably the best example of this is Apple, where creative thinking has produced excellent technology that has transformed the world for the better.

Sometimes you know where you are going, and it's rightful that you go there. There are other times when you don't know where you are going and should open yourself to things that you don't yet understand. The second process creates wisdom that then makes possible more informed decisions. These can then be put into place through methodical process. At which point the intuitive and the methodical feed into each other to put into place inspired solutions that make the world a better place.


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