Production May Not be the Answer

Metallic gel pen on black paper
Words: Albert Camus

As Americans we have been raised to work and produce. Produce a product, a service or an idea that people will buy. This quote: A society based on production is only productive not creative reminds us that not everything that matters come out of production.

The most difficult time to be freely creative is when there is pressure to produce. Be it a short timeline, a high consequence or even an ‘out of the box’ requirement, nothing squelches creativity like the pressure to produce. The best time to be creative is when ideas and action can flow freely to produce the unexpected. Most people find it difficult to be inventive on demand.

Need a new idea? Go take a walk. Need to think up something fresh and new, take a quiet drive in the country. Want to make something different from what you normally make, go to the zoo and watch the lions. Notice that I didn’t say sit down in a box and stare at a blank piece of paper. Our brains work best when given space to breath and be free not when they are forced to work.

Maybe a way to look at this social distancing situation is that it is a huge gift to us all. We have time and space to think for the first time in a long time about what is truly important in our world. What do we want? What do we not want? Who do we truly want to be? And how can we employ our creativity to make our world better? Let go of the pressure to produce, take a deep breathe and be creative!

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