Tuesday, June 25, 2013

On Being Creative - Bring Back Your Imaginary Friends

The topic of creativity keeps coming up.  As I meet with business professionals in all industries there seems to a lot of seeking that piece of ourselves that we know is creative.  We desire to create.

We all start off creative; as kids we make up games, color outside the lines, build forts with blankets, etc....  Then along the way it becomes uncool or weird to be too creative.  If we are not involved in the Arts many of us leave our creativity behind.  In middle school we long to fit in.  In high school we long to be attractive to others.  In college we party or study (or both).  Then we get into the work world and discover life is hard enough to just get by, much less forge our own creative path.

For many of us our creativity is put aside, then ignored.  It is forgotten or misplaced, until the day comes it is desired.  Then we look for it.

In my childhood there were imaginary friends, Chuckie and Margo. According to a study by psychologists at the University of Washington and the University of Oregon, 65% of people report having had imaginary friends as children. Mine were cool:  Chuckie was a boy, and Margo was his dog.  They were long gone, but now they are back.....yes, you can follow them on Twitter: @chuckieandmargo.

While I do not sit around and talk with them as I did at age four (and nobody has to set them a place at the table or make them peanut butter sandwiches... yes, my Aunt Catherine did that for me!), but I do find them interesting to think about in 2013.  I wonder what Chuckie would be today, had he been a real boy.  Ol' Chuck was far more creative than me (and his dog never aged nor had to be put down).  I bet he could be amazing.  Sought after for his advice and ideas by business leaders, he would create new concepts and theories that would impact the lives of millions.

Did you have imaginary friends?  Regardless of the answers, imagine what they would be like if you created these friends today.  What would they do?  How would the impact people?  Would they be generous with their creativity?  Think about how their strengths would compliment your weaknesses.

It is thought that imaginary friends are thought to play a role in learning to manage social situations, and overall development, both cognitively and emotionally.  Can they help us grow as adults, or would others just see us as nuts?  Hmmmm, not sure.

Be a little creative and ask your imaginary friends how to navigate your business problems to find unique solutions.  But do not expect your boss to pay two salaries (one for you, and one for the imaginary friend)... if fact, maybe you need not share who is consulting you on your decisions.

Of course, this blog post could be considered a guest blog by Chuckie Imaginary.  ;-)  I will never tell.

Have A Great Day

thom singer

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