Seeing the big picture – the creativity hack you often overlook…

Growing up, I lived in the countryside – which meant I was used to country roads and the pace that life moved at.

So, when I started driving, I was a little nervous about motorways and dual carriageways.

“Why?” asked my driving instructor, “if anything it’s easier. The more you can see of the road ahead, the more you can be ready for”.

And he’s right.

It’s like that with creativity.

The more you can see of the big picture, the easier it is to plan.

But I go one step further than this, I take it literally.

So I bought an A3 drawing pad. A nice big space for me to draft out and plan what I do.

It works.

Too often I see people writing on their phones.

Sure that’s okay for a Tinder message or a Whatsapp. But if you’re crafting sentences, writing paragraphs it’s better to see the whole page.

The bigger picture. It’s good.

Finally, here’s proof that less is more…

“I have only made this letter longer because I have not had the time to make it shorter” – Blaise Pascal, 1657.

As the years roll by and the digital world advances that quote becomes more and more relevant to our busy newsfeeds.

Here’s to not silencing our inner-editors so we can deliver chopped, concise messages when we need to 🙂

The coffee cup that stopped everyone

I was on the bus travelling home this afternoon.

I climbed to the top deck and chose an empty seat.

I found one that I thought looked good, but as I got closer I noticed that there was a discarded coffee cup on the seat.

So, I did the easy thing – walked past it and chose another seat.

I began to notice that everyone else did the same as me.

That one empty coffee cup stood in everyone’s way and everyone walked past it.

Eventually the top deck of the bus filled up.

Then more people got on.

But instead of moving the cup they either went back downstairs or stood.

Finally, a tall man in a long grey jacket got on the bus.

He walked through the aisle, saw the seat and, with a deft flick of his right hand, moved the coffee cup away.

He sat down and enjoyed the rest of his journey in comfort.

How often in life do we take the easiest way possible?

Are the obstacles that stop our progress as bad as we think they are?

The quickest way

I’m sure you have this too…but, whenever I ask someone for directions, they’ll usually start their reply with:

“The quickest way is…”

I always wonder why they think I’m in a rush?

Im starting to think that it’s all about the journey.

Too often I’ve missed things en route because I’ve been fixed on the quickest way to the destination.

2018. The year of enjoying the journey.

74% of the population suffer from this…

After a football match at University a friend of mine noticed that someone had left their jacket behind.

We’d been playing on an astro-turf pitch, and there were loads of other matches going on alongside us.

He held the jacket up, and announced loudly to everyone there (probably about 50 people); “has anyone lost their jacket?”

Sure enough, one of the guys came trotting over to collect it – thanking him as he went.

The next day we had to give a presentation as part of our course. It was my friend’s turn soon, I looked over and noticed that he was really nervous.

“Are you okay?” I asked.

He told me that he was terrified of public speaking (a phobia he shares with a reported 74% of the population!)

But, when you think about it, the crowd that he was about to be speaking to was made up of ten people – whereas, less than 24 hours ago, I’d seen him shouting to get the attention of 50+ people.

I told him this.

“Yeah, but I had something to say then…” he began.

“And you don’t have something to say now?”

He went on to deliver a great presentation. I’m not saying that I inspired him (my own presentation was most likely awful) but, sometimes it’s good to have someone on hand who’ll help you think about things in a different way.

Sure, maybe there’s more to say in a presentation than just ‘is this your jacket?’, but the principles are still the same.

You wouldn’t ask about the jacket if you didn’t think anyone wanted to know, so apply that same logic to your pitching or presentation.

Perspective. It’s a funny thing, right?