I found this picture on my phone the other day when looking for a different photo. It’s not a great photo but you get an idea of how cool the door is. I enjoy photos of doors. I even have a coffee table book of photos of doors from around the world. I am sure that you are thinking, what is it about doors? A brief answer is that it is a curiosity thing. What is on the other side?
I’m not the only person who is attracted to images of doors. A friend of mine I went to college with told me that once he took an entire roll of film of doors and door knobs. One of the photo blogs that I follow the photographer confessed that he loves taking photos of windows and doors. Notice how the curiosity around capturing photographic images of doors causes creativity to happen.
But the key component in these creative actions is curiosity. Curiosity keeps your mind active. In moments when your brain is engaged in a topic or activity, you begin to notice things, actively learn and see things differently.
At about the same time I was thinking about curiosity, I came across an article called “The Power of Curiosity” from Issue 17 of “Flow” magazine. It had a section called “Eight Ways to Stay Curious.” I thought they were great so I have listed them below and embellished them with some of my own thoughts:
- “Deepen your knowledge, fifteen minutes a day – Take a topic that intrigues you, but you know little or nothing about. ” I have a friend who does this all the time. We will get together for dinner or drinks and I am fascinated to hear what she is learning about now. The brain. Mathematics. Always something new.
- “Keep wondering about yourself” Some of my friends who are therapists would call this a self check. It’s a way to do an emotional inventory that keeps working or developing yourself.
- “Ask Questions” This may seem a little obvious but the best way to learn about something is to ask. An interesting point brought up by the article was that we should ask questions even if we think we know the answer. “As it’s often the case that the answer is just that little different.”
- “Get over your fear of failure – Challenging yourself leads to great rewards when you succeed. But not succeeding is different from failing.” Just trying something new makes you grow. So stop being afraid of outcomes that haven’t happened.
- “Try new things” Again this might seem a little obvious but believe me, you will never know how much fun you can have doing something until you try it.
- “Keep Observing” Noticing the world around you is key to finding new material for your creative endeavors. The overheard conversation may be the inspiration for writing a song. The colors of the sunset against the silhouette of trees may be captured in a photo or painting. Watching people interact on a subway car in Tokyo may be the inspiration for a short story. When you start to look there is so much for you to notice.
- “Get inspired – Read about thinkers, artists and people whose work you admire.” I got a book of quotes from Nikola Tesla. I was so surprised and inspired by the things he would say that it led to more books and documentaries. For my friend Jenny, it is anything to do with work and life of William Shakespeare. She can quote whole scenes from almost every single play. I suggest finding someone who inspires you and finding out as much as you can about them.
- “Fill your Head with Ideas and Facts The knowledge you have in your head – not the knowledge you can find via Google – is often a source of creativity.” A fictional character in a murder mystery novel was advising another character that in order to be interesting you don’t learn the stuff that everyone already knows, that instead you find out some bit of obscure information about the one of the lessor known individuals involved. When you announce your lessor known fact, everyone is in awe and you always sound terribly well read.
The point of all my ramblings, stay curious. Take that picture of the door. Or better yet go through the door. Curiosity leads to creativity.