By: Chuck Frey
Making creative connections with other people is a powerful avenue to personal creativity, according to Jordan Ayan, in his excellent book, A-ha! 10 Ways to Free Your Creative Spirit and Find Your Great Ideas.
Making creative connections with other people is a powerful avenue to personal creativity, according to Jordan Ayan, in his excellent book, A-ha! 10 Ways to Free Your Creative Spirit and Find Your Great Ideas:
“Perhaps the most powerful way to enhance your creativity through people is to heighten your awareness of the amazing opportunities embedded in every meeting and conversation you have. You are like a ball in the pinball machine of life, continuously bounding from one encounter to another. Each person you come across has the potential to send you in a new direction, which can spark your next great idea or lead you to new insights about your work. Some people inspire you directly, while others help you accidentally, through a nonchalant comment that you realize is valuable to your creative challenges.”
Here are some tips from Jordan on how to heighten your awareness of synchronicity and serendipity:
1. ” Begin paying attention to the synchronous or serendipitous events that happen to you for one month as a result of meeting people. Noticing such small events marks the beginning of your greater awareness of synchronicity.” You may want to record these happenings in your personal journal or in a synchronicity scrapbook, he suggests. “The more you become aware of synchronicity around you, the more likely you will be to experience it yourself.”
2. “As you develop your skills of observation and awareness, begin applying the potential for synchronicity to your creative projects. Start by making a list of your projects or problems. Then each day stop and ask yourself the following questions: What have I seen, read or done today that relates to another idea or theme in my life right now? Who have I met today and what have I learned from this person? How can I apply what I’ve learned from the people I’ve encountered today to something I am already working on?” Jordan emphasizes that you should make an effort to talk to people who are out of your comfort zone — “anyone with whom you would not normally strike up a prolonged conversation. You may find that ideas offered by these people, or connections they may have to other people, will be of tremendous value to you.”
I’ve experienced this kind of creative synchronicity many times in my life. But I find that it extends beyond the people I meet and talk to into many other areas: An article in a magazine or online that appears to lead my thinking in a fresh direction arrives just at the right time, for example. Nearly any experience or situation we come across in our daily lives can become a source of creative inspiration. The key is to keep asking yourself, “How can I use this?”