April 7th, 2011
Why aren’t you overflowing with creativity?
If you want creativity, then you need curiosity.
Be compulsive about it. Discover a new word? Look it up. Hear about an interesting book? Put it on hold at your library. Hear a familiar tune but you can’t quite place it? Shazam it. Like a new idea? Google it. Wikipedia it. Immediately. Since we no longer need to run back and forth between the shelves and the card catalog, curiosity has never been so easily satisfied.
Creative minds are curious minds. One of the most creative souls I have ever known is also a good friend of mine. His name is Bryn Martin (click photo above). He’s an artist, a musician, a creator, and a mad scientist. On a road trip in college, we ended up back country camping out in the White Sands Desert of New Mexico. If you’ve never been, add that to your Beer and Skittles List. It is incredible that such beauty can exist.
But back to Bryn and the back country deserts of New Mexico. So there we are, miles and miles from civilization and we come across a man and woman camping, or perhaps temporarily living in the desert? Either way, as we made small talk, I watched how Bryn’s curiosity about them plunged him deep in a new world of undiscovered knowledge, differences and similarities. The way he passionately interacted with these strangers, now friends, shook the core of my being. Bryn has this earnest desire to gather knowledge, and to also spread knowledge. He can learn something new and interesting about any topic at all, and from any person. For someone as smart and wise as he is, he is never satisfied or full. I’ve noticed how that curiosity has over the years also spread to me. I’m incredibly thankful for it. My friendship with Bryn has given me one of the most important gifts anyone can bestow on another: the passion of curiosity.
It seems to be a rare soul that has such an insatiable fervor for knowledge like Bryn. But maybe that’s why we have such a need for creative energy. And we need more creative minds. So be curious. Curiosity breeds creativity.
“Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.” –Leo Burnett
Seth Godin says that we often struggle to be curious people because of the seven, ten, or fifteen years of school that you are required to not be curious. Albert Einstein said that it is a miracle that curiosity ever survives formal education. That’s two wise men for you to argue with here… I’m going to side with them on this one.
Once you let that seedling of curiosity take root, it will never go away. Feed your curiosity. Pursue it with a passion and your creativity will follow. Spread curiosity. The world needs more beauty and it will come from your creativity.