Fighting creativity's highest crime


Mathew E May says that number one killer of creative ideas is the critic inside our heads.

"It’s one thing to reject the ideas of others…we do that almost automatically. It’s quite another to reject, deny, stifle, squelch, strike, silence and otherwise put to death ideas of our own, sometimes even before they’re born: it is the highest crime against creativity. This voluntary shutdown of the imagination is an act of pure mindlessness I find so tragic that I often think of it as ideacide, because it eventually kills our natural curiosity and creative instinct."

It's a well argued post, based on his new book, Winning the Brain Game

There's some useful advice on how to counter that critic. In part it's about finding ways to find everything interesting again. Instead of desperately seeking solutions, we learn to slow down and see more of what is already there, and already possible. It reminds us of our own facilitation practice of Notice More. In his book, May offers this mantra which resonates strongly with us:

What appears to be the problem, isn’t.
What appears to be the solution, isn’t.

It's a great reminder to pause and look for more details before rushing to judgement or action.

(Photo by Eduard Militaru on Unsplash)