Creativity and Risk-Finding the Nexus

This weekend, I was working on some things for my business (more to come on that soon) and I realized that concern about risk and failure is often what stops me from even recognizing my biggest, best ideas, much less considering how to implement them. I am always inspired by James Altucher, especially his transparency, simplicity and openness when talking about failure. If you haven’t read his work, I recommend you check out his blog.

I have found that personally, I need that magic combination of energy and passion, willingness to fail, and the ability to exercise full creativity without judgment. Great brainstorming on our teams arises out of these things too, and with close observation and hard work, we can grow these fragile conditions to create the potential for unstoppable success and job satisfaction. Imagine what we could do if we all found the nexus of these conditions at the same time, and stayed there while we generated and implemented truly great ideas!

How do we start? A few years back, I realized that I wanted to work and travel more in my career. The first thing I did was to buy a wonderful, inexpensive and colorful rolling suitcase. I’m not suggesting a metaphysical explanation for what happened next, that the suitcase brought the potential for travel to me. But I will say that bringing that suitcase home symbolized the beginning of something. It reminded me of what I wanted, and helped keep me focused on finding creative ways to make it happen.

The suitcase could have become a symbol of my shame, and a reminder of lost opportunity, if I had failed. This happens a lot when people buy exercise equipment, thinking it’s a catalyst to losing weight. The machine becomes a coat hanger, or a carpet smasher, and the purchaser sees a constant reminder of wasted money and failure to change. It’s important to keep the symbol of our beginning as a reminder of what can be, not what we failed to achieve. It’s all in our perspective, and a great leader can keep us focused in the right direction.

Sometimes my ideas are audacious. They are bigger than life. My ideas may even provoke a response in others that’s like, “Who does she think she is?”

When my ideas are like that, I know I’m approaching the nexus. I’m willing to take a leap, and enjoy the experience of it, and sometimes the success as well. But I’m all in, whether I ultimately get to use the suitcase or not.

Photo credit: CJS*64 A man with a camera via / CC BY-ND