Tag Archives: Lifestyle

Seeking Creativity

cc license, h.koppdelaney

Can you learn to be more creative? Or perhaps creativity is not learned but just buried and we need to practice it. In either case, I’ve recently been attempting to search for these answers and “exercise my creativity.” I want to seek inspiration from others by putting myself in creative environments and learning from passionate people.

I went to my first Pecha Kucha night in Columbus this week. Basically the speaker has 20 slides that rotate every 20 seconds for a 6 minute, 40 second presentation. I’m not sure how the selection process works but anyone is welcome to submit an idea online before the event. This Peacha Kucha was held at the OSU Urban Arts Space featuring 10 presenters.

The talks ranged from topics including drawing comic books and creating a font to questions asked at the Columbus library and Ohio wines. A new friend Rhoda Lazo gave a wonderful presentation on starting her non-profit, Little and LOUD. She focused on her personal journey and what it means to search for your life purpose. Check out the video here.

Another creative hub you may be familiar with is TED. I had watched many of the online videos before but I confess that it wasn’t until this past fall I was introduced to TEDx (independently organized TED talks). Columbus hosted a TEDx in October with some great speakers. I’m also going to TEDx Cleveland in a couple weeks. I love the combination of creativity and big picture thinking so many of the speakers express.

I was really blown away by the creativity and passion from the speakers and organizers at the Alleviating Poverty Through Entrepreneurship (APTE) Summit last Friday, hosted by the OSU Fisher College of Business. If you want to meet a group of driven individuals look no further. I felt like I had stumbled upon some best kept secret in Columbus. It made me question some of my own personal career goals, wondering if I have a calling to social entrepreneurship myself.

I was very interested in particular by an organization called Ashoka (something new to me at this conference). It’s a global organization that assists social entrepreneurs in their endeavors. According to their site, since 1981 Ashoka has elected more than 2,000 fellows. They provide these social entrepreneurs with living stipends, professional support and access to a global network of peers in over 60 countries.

All of these events were amazing but I don’t want to give you the impression that I think you can acquire creativity by standing next to someone. However, there is definitely something important about surrounding yourself with creative thinkers. Sharing ideas out loud and starting conversations can help develop your own thoughts.

How do you seek creativity?

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Distracted by my Own Breath

cc license, Ame Otoko

Last Friday I had the opportunity to hear Artie Isaac give a presentation at The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business. It was a talk on leading with your heart for a group of first year MBA students. Obviously, I’m not part of that group but there were some extra seats so I quickly took the opportunity to jump in and learn. I was left with a lot to think about, but I wanted to share just a few points in this post on how I want to start living.

How do you feel?

I want start taking time to pause and evaluate how I’m feeling. Not on an emotional or mental level, just physically how I’m feeling at a particular moment. Is my body relaxed, tense, hot or cold? What types of situations make me feel uncomfortable and stressed? There are some days I practically run through my routine. I rarely stop and think about how I feel, but perhaps this would help me feel more in control.

We are humans doing, not humans being.

Another thing I plan on trying is more self-reflection. Artie recommended sitting for a half hour every day in self-reflection. This does not mean writing another “to do” list or just relaxing with a good book that makes you think. This is a deeper examination of oneself. It’s a terrifying thought actually, because we are constantly doing. I am very guilty of this. I feel most alive when my schedule is the most crowded. I want to stop doing so I can start being and focus on my life.

Become selfish.

We must sometimes become selfish to be more helpful to others. I must tell people ‘no’ at times so I can become more powerful and make a difference. It’s an interesting approach, since we are told that being selfish is a negative attribute. Remember, taking time for ourselves in not a bad idea. I hope to find a balance between being a gracious volunteer and friend but also learning when I should say ‘no’ and avoid becoming overwhelmed.

If you haven’t met Artie yet and would like to hear him speak, I definitely recommend it. Take him up on his invitation to sit in on an upcoming lecture at CCAD. I also pull inspiration and new ideas from his blog on creativity and ethics. Now go spread the good word.

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Filed under About Me, Lifestyle