Never fall in love with your own inventory. That’s great advice for wholesalers and artists alike. Because as creators and crafters and communicators, our primary occupation isn’t to discern the value of our ideas, but to keep our inventory of ideas flowing at all times. And so, we discard our evaluative tendencies. We treat every idea, every experience and every thought with deep democracy. We have to say yes to what is.
PERCEPTUAL DEMOCRACY -- Treating everything we encounter with fundamental affirmation and radical acceptance.
There are no successes or failures, only the consequences of our experiments. We can never lose that spirit. We owe it to our creative selves to set up a consequence free space for experimentation. A safe place where we can boldly fiddle our way to the truth. One where we never fall in love with our own inventory, but we never discard any of the boxes either.
A few years ago, my wife and I spent a summer taking improv classes at a local theater company. Our instructors told us, it’s not about being the funniest person on stage, constantly inventing punchlines to get a cheap laugh from the audience. It’s about saying yes and serving the scene. It’s about looking into someone’s eyes and feeling their reactions. It’s about responding honestly to people’s realities. And it’s about keeping the ball in play no matter what, fully committing to whatever rabbit hole you go down. The creative process has a similar model. In the decade I’ve worked as a freelancer, I’ve had thousands of bad ideas. Horrible ones. Bordering on embarrassing. Several of which were executed, poorly. But as my mentor used to say, the best way to have a good idea is to have a hundred bad ones. Fortunately, out of that slush pile, I’ve also had thirty or forty really, really good ideas. Ideas that spread, ideas that made money, ideas that made a difference.
So for now, just get the idea into the warehouse. You never know where you might use it.
Keep our creative inventory well stocked
Deepen our intellectual flexibility
Expanding the imaginative reservoir
Improving quality through quantity