Creativity is the driving force of innovation and human transformation. But how do we get more and better ideas?
By expanding our COP – our Container of Possibilities.
Creativity is critically important right now, and not just because making or immersing oneself in the arts relieves stress, elevates mood and brings feelings of satisfaction. While that may be true, being artistic or crafty is not the totality of creativity.
Moreover, it’s not even the deepest resource that creativity can provide.
Creativity is the driving force of innovation, it is the fire in which big ideas are forged and then brought forth into the human collective.
Creativity helps us figure out a myriad of workable solutions – and perhaps genius solutions – to the problems we face as individuals and as a human collective. We need creativity now more than ever!
Right now, you may need creativity to help you find solutions to challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented.
Perhaps you have lost part or even all of your income, and you need a new way to make money in this changing world of quarantines and digital offerings.
Perhaps you have new challenges in your life related to social distancing, stress about your health, or family issues.
I personally lost over half my income to this pandemic, and I have relied heavily on my creativity to help me pivot and maneuver quickly on my feet to discover and embody new ways of being and doing business so I can survive.
Yes, creativity is necessary for our survival, and most certainly for our prosperity.
So, whatever your personal challenge is, your creativity can help you break out of habitual thought patterns to find innovative solutions for your own life, and the lives of others.
So, how do you come up with these life-changing creative ideas?
One way is a technique I like to call Getting a Bigger COP.
COP is an acronym for Container of Possibilities, or your capacity to imagine.
Much like an officer of the law, the COP polices the size and nature of concepts and ideas your brain is willing to entertain.
Essentially, the COP polices the size of your creativity.
The Getting a Bigger COP exercise is an effective and fun way to get more creative ideas about how to make more money or find solutions to your challenges. With this technique, you increase the size of your Container of Possibilities through entertaining the ABSURD and the IMPOSSIBLE!
Here’s how you do it:
First, watch this video where I explore the concept of the COP – and how you can expand it – in a little more detail.
Then, each day this week, get a notebook and writing utensil, or create a digital document in the app of your choice, and begin to brainstorm ideas on ways to express your creativity by offering a product, service, or your time and energy.
You may simply begin writing freely, or you may choose to make headings with products, services or skills you already have, and brainstorm more specific ideas under each heading.
Make sure many of these ideas are completely absurd!
If you are almost positive they would never work, then you are on the right track!
For example, you could manufacture moon biscuits filled with helium that float in their display at the grocery store and make people talk funny after consumption… create wrench sets made of green jello…
The more absurd the better, because this proves you are operating outside the normal range of your day to day thinking and you are expanding your COP.
When you allow ALL ideas to come through your channel unimpeded by your judgement, opposition or objections, creative juices flow more freely, and expand the size of the Container of Possibilities within you.
If you have a relatively small COP, you may think you’ve “really narrowed it down” to only the ideas that will work in your world, but what you’ve actually done is put a serious damper on your creativity.
Creativity needs freedom to run wild, much like a feral animal that has befriended a human, but can never really be domesticated.
In this beginning brainstorming stage of the creative process, run wild and naked through the land of the absurd, enjoy yourself, and judge nothing.
Write everything down that comes to you, and then cherry pick and edit later.
This process is particularly effective in small groups of people who are very different from each other, and therefore share different perspectives and ideas. If you can, drum up a zoom or conference call with a few willing folks who would like to benefit from collaborating creatively with non-like minds.
And, please leave your comments about the wonderfully absurd and impossible ideas you come up with on my Facebook page, I’d love to hear from you!