“When in doubt, make a fool of yourself. There is a microscopically thin line between being brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on earth. So what the hell, leap!” ~ Cynthia Heimel, “Lower Manhattan Survival Tactics,” The Village Voice, Nov. 13, 1993 …
At first glance, some of us might write off Cynthia’s proposition as nonsensical or preposterous. And yet, excluding those few situations in which this really would be bad advice, such as at work, during a class, or at a funeral, her advice is remarkably insightful, for it dares us to take risks and to truly be ourselves and live our lives to the fullest. Far too many individuals worry about what other’s think or say about them, or fear to step out of the comfort of what they have always known, and avoid taking risks, but risks are the only way for us to grow and to change into something new and better.
Living our lives small to save face squanders our opportunities, diminishes our potential, and prevents us from becoming the amazing person we were created to become–it really is no way to live our lives. Instead, we should aspire to confront our fears and conquer them, for creativity is not developed and nurtured in a safe environment, but out at sea, in the crucible of daring adventure. It demands that we leave the safety and comfort of the harbor, that we try something new and different, that we are authentic and not simply a copy of someone else.
Imagine what life would be like if no human ever had the silly notion that they could fly like the birds, or that they could treat infections and cure diseases. There would be no planes and travel could take weeks. There would be no modern medicines, no transplants, and no vaccines. There would be no drought-resistant or high-yield crops; no computers to surf on or mobile phones to carry with us in our pockets or purse. Most of the positive and beneficial things exist for us today because others were willing to think outside the box.
An individual from the hockey league I play decided to begin selling novelty hockey stick putters and made decent money doing so. I have also heard about a woman who markets and sells holiday hand sanitizer called “Santa-tizer,” that comes in a little Santa Claus bottle. I am quite sure that both of these individuals had to face and overcome great financial risks, as well as the ridicule and criticism of those around them, to pursuing their ideas.
Be open to all the possibilities in life. For often times, we must go against the grain and brave outside of our comfort zone, so that we may open up and allow ourselves to feel something that cannot be felt in our normal ways of life.
Allow yourself to be a little silly today, let loose a bit and enjoy life.
Questions to consider:
Why is the safe and comfortable so darned attractive to us?
When do you normally have your most creative thoughts and ideas? Is there a pattern to when they show up?
How might we allow ourselves to do some silly things for a while, without fearing what others may say or think about us?
For further thought:
“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.” ~ Mary Lou Cook