Chaos is a friend of mine.
Our world is in the midst of chaos and uncertainty, as discontinuous change tosses even the strongest of us on its waves. Destruction hits us from all fronts, from natural disasters to economic ones. Spending time and energy to think creatively right now may seem crazy, even impossible, but these are ideal conditions for creative breakthroughs and world-changing innovations.
The human brain naturally seeks patterns and order, especially in chaos. The bigger the problems we need to solve, the bigger the innovations we create. When the world around us is orderly and certain, we tend to think inside that same box that is serving us so well. But when the world around us is chaotic, and that box has been torn to shreds, we have no choice but to think outside it, creating new connections by drawing together seemingly disparate ideas from the chaotic whirlwind that surrounds us.
There is a reason mythology tends to personify destruction and creation in one being, such as in the Hindu goddess Kali and the Egyptian goddess Isis. The two ideas go hand in hand. Where there is destruction, there is a powerful drive to create something new. Sometimes, creation requires destruction—destroying the habits and limited ways of thinking that stand in the way of creating new paths, for example. More often, creativity relies on selective destruction, getting rid of what no longer serves us without losing what does. Just as our planet depends more and more on recycling, creating something new by reworking the old, creativity that leads to sustainable success and innovation often depends on new combinations, reinventions that serve our changing needs and solve new problems as they arise without tossing everything out the window entirely.
If there were ever a time to consciously and actively nurture your creativity and find ways to express it, that time is now. The time you spend nurturing your creativity and developing it as you would any skill will pay off a hundredfold in every aspect of your life and work. Now more than ever, you have the opportunity to go beyond temporary solutions and quick fixes toward sustainable game-changing ideas that could change your life, your work, and our world in ways only you can imagine.
What if you stopped trying to think your way through a problem in your life and instead tossed it into the chaos? Try approaching it from an unexpected direction, through creative expression of your feelings, fears, and thoughts.
Image credit: The Story of Man, by Brian Dettmer, Altered Book art