It is a new month. We are into September, back to school, Labor Day, back to work after the summer — there are so many traditional markers this time of year. In fact, if you look at some of the stores you go to, they have Halloween candy out for sale already.
Traditions are good and they connect us to the past, to memories, experiences, family, and friends. Good times and maybe not so good, too.
Although our connections to the past and to traditions are good, they keep us stuck. COVID-19 keeps us stuck. The conversations and the narratives do not seem to change. Each day the news gets worse, there are more cases, tempers flare, and anxiety issues are up.
Yes, there are many of us going through the wringer right about now. Uncertainty about our businesses, our work, safety, the kids going to school… will the NFL season happen or not? Okay, maybe the NFL is not such a big issue in the big scheme of things.
The more we are stuck in the past, and in the present, we lose our ability to be creative.
Think about it. Each December, we celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, yet along came Seinfeld. Where George’s family celebrates “Festivus” (for the rest of us). A totally new holiday that broke tradition.
Okay, yes, it is not real, but for many of us we actually post or may see a post on our social media feeds about the holiday, which is totally fabricated.
George Costanza’s family broke tradition. Kramer, Eileen, and Jerry all bought into the holiday. It was Festivus for the rest of us.
But, when we combine traditions, being stuck in them and not wanting change, creativity is dead in the water.
It is really important to break free of the past, the way it has always been done, and it is really important for new thinking, new ideas, new possibilities to manifest right now.
We need to break the chains of the pandemic, of our global situation, economy and lives, and create the new.
I am not saying to dismiss the traditions, or the past or to minimize what is happening right now, but we need to collectively develop new ideas, new approaches to business, to health care, to community, to life!
Creativity is essential right now. Thinking and dreaming, visualizing, and playing make believe like you did as a kid is magical.
We as business owners need to think differently — we need expansion, possibility, and hope. If you can bring that to your customers or the market you serve, you can be in huge demand.
Let us not get stuck in the problems of the present or the traditions of the past. Look forward with new ideas, thinking, action and brainstorming.
Creativity led to the development of insulin, possibility thinking tore the Berlin Wall down, and landed a man on the moon. Innovation led to Tesla Motors and an electric car. Design and creativity led to many Apple products being sold out before they went on sale at the Apple Store.
Combining ideas led an American mom out for a walk with her kids and dog in the woods to invent Velcro. Taking two different technologies led to one of the most important inventions in the last millennium. Gutenberg’s printing press took the ink from the wine press, which made wine and the images came from the coin stamping machine. Put 1 and 1 together and “voila” the printing press.
From that came books, books to learn from, to teach kids — to help beat illiteracy. Books that helped us get a degree, or to learn how to set up our computers.
Creativity, thinking big, imagining, playing all led to the “I Have a Dream” speech that to this day inspires so many.
Breaking traditions led to Rosa Parks not riding in the back of the bus.
This month, start to think beyond the now. Break traditions, create something new, something better, bigger, and magical! For humanity’s sake, begin to create and instead of putting your focus on what is not right or what is happening, put your focus on what can become!
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