“Whatever you believe, the opposite is also true.”
I was there. I heard the story, I was on board. But looking back I didn’t get it at all – not completely.
We gathered in the conference room, had a great exchange about our holiday project, decided on the Instagram campaign #TheInspiredLife and off we went. What’s not to love? I’m all for taking pause in the busy holiday season and finding inspiration in the everyday, but with over 1,000 photos and such avid participation, I did more than pause. I simply wasn’t expecting to learn so much about the way people think, live and lead their lives – the way they take a simple concept and see it in a million ways I didn’t see. The way they remind me that I am habitually stopping short of seeing it all.
We’re a creative firm. We are comfortable exercising our right brain. We help clients get comfortable with it, and we breathe it into our work everyday. And yet, I for one have been schooled by the very project I helped bring to life. When I scroll through the steady stream of photos I am reminded of Derek Sivers’ two-minute TED talk explaining that “whatever you believe, the opposite is also true.” That concept has always been a hard one to wrap my head around and put into context, but this effort brought it to life in Technicolor.
With every step through #TheInspiredLife, it became more clear. What progression, energy, flow, structure and so many other terms mean to me, mean something very different to others, sometimes even countering what I held true. Abstract art sharing the same space with babies’ faces and rainy windowpanes paired with bright sunsets – all true definitions depending on the lens with which you view them. And I am grateful for that lesson. It is this knowledge of the flip side to every coin that actually pushes us to grasp something past our own assumptions, to seek an understanding of ideas that are not innately true in our own world. Inspiration like this is where innovation is born, bred and raised.
Paul Arden author of It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be said it best, “The likelihood is that if you’ve got the experience, you’ll probably use it. This is lazy. Experience is the opposite of creativity.” In that spirit, I thank you all for your contributions and the swift “kick-in-the-pants” reminder that for every idea that makes perfect sense to me, the opposite may also be true, necessary and the springboard to thinking without boundaries.