Friday, October 26, 2012

The Anti-Creative Process (or What Happens During Election Season)

Eistein once said, "A well defined problem is halfway to being solved." In the time leading up to an election the air is filled with problems and all the components that make up a problem. Who did what first, who is at fault, your solution is wrong, you did this, etc. I agree with Einstein but how do you know when you have defined the problem enough, when do you finally realize that it's not the problem we are trying so hard to define but actually the blame we are trying so hard to hide from?

There is importance in figuring out what exactly the problem is before a solution can even be talked about. That is the Preparation stage of the Creative Process. But when you hang out for too long in the Preparation stage, surrounded by problems, complaints, yelling, and blame-throwing you find yourself in limbo, fearing to move forward lest that direction elicits abuse from the other side. Stuck in a never-ending circle of blaming and retreating from blame, we regret to move forward.

You also can't be so focused on the solution that you ignore what the problem is altogether. And for some reason I get the sense that both are happening at the same time. All to often, we "know" what the solution should be and feel that hurling blame at the other party will somehow shed a positive light on us and our "righteous" solution. And I guess, we also get impatient? But this is the Anti-Creative Process, Destruction at its finest.

If the Creative Process is
1. The Drawing Board
2. Incubation
3. Eureka
4. Critique
and 5. Implementation

Then the Anti-Creative Process is:
1. The Problems
2. Skip Incubation
3. The Solutions
4. Go back and forth between Problems and Solutions a few more times
5. Skip any kind of Critique Stage
and 6. Arbitrary implementation

Unfortunately, during these election times it seems as though humans forget that we are creative being. We forget that we have tools and skills necessary to solve our own problems. And we put our faith in a handful of people to solve our problems for us. But this back and forth is solving anything except making us all feel more hopeless about our lives.

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