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Curiosity & Creativity

March 2015 | Related Categories: Blog | Community Life

Welcome to the third in a series of essays that explore topics intended to help us all experience a more mindful, present, and connected life in the year to come. This month, Eastmark Marketing Director Garilyn Bourgeois taps into curiosity and creativity.

“Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.” – Leo Burnett

match is burning on black backgroundI’m holding a fortune cookie in my hand right now. I gently crush it open, carefully slipping the tiny fortune paper out; it reads “Your curiosity will lead you to a fun discovery this month.” I simply can’t wait.

Growing up, I was that kid; reading everything I could get my hands on, frequently asking “why?” and despite the rules of polite society, often nudging my nose where it didn’t belong. I could barely control a strong internal drive to find out how things worked. And I was especially fascinated about what made the people around me tick.

This natural curiosity and fascination for the “whys,” “hows” and “what ifs” have stayed with me all my life, and often pushes me in interesting directions. As a young journalist, I couldn’t wait to interview subjects, discover something new, and then share it with the world. As a marketer, deep curiosity is an asset to understanding what motivates others into making certain choices. As a friend, sometimes I can’t help but dig too far into others’ lives when it’s really none of my business, thank you very much.

While curiosity can be perceived as an asset or a curse, this trait also goes hand-in-hand with creative thinking. Many ordinary people with determined minds have pushed beyond traditional thinking into world-changing discoveries because they simply could not accept answers or situations that felt un-mined.

For example, in the early 1900s, Earle Dickson was a simple cotton buyer for Johnson & Johnson. His wife, an avid cook, was constantly cutting herself in the kitchen while preparing food. Dissatisfied with simple gauze and adhesive tape dressings of the time, Earle combined gauze, tape and sterilizing solution and prepared these in bulk quantities for his wife to use when she needed. This lead to the mass manufacturing of Band-Aid® to the public, and Earle Dickson’s promotion to Vice President of Johnson & Johnson. To these innovative thinkers, surely there must be a different – or better way.

Curiosity may ignite the initial fuse, but creativity kicks in to start a wildfire on a path to discovery. Something incredible happens when we train ourselves to tilt our point of view, and be on the lookout for new, different or unusual answers. It’s practicing to live innovatively each day, with the possibility that at any point, we’ll come across something that isn’t working – and there’s likely something we can do about it.

If you don’t solve the issue on the first pass, that’s fine. Getting stuck is where the real fun starts. Creativity often requires you to try, fail some more, then try another approach. If you’re really stuck, ask more questions, turn even wild options over in your brain a bit, and see what new hidden doors may suddenly pop open.

I wish I could live for 1000 years. There’s just so MUCH out there to understand, do and contribute to the world and my fellow man. What inspires you when you think of all the possibilities still waiting out there?

Read the previous posts in this essay series
January:  Welcome to a Bright New Year
February:  Passion & Possibility
March:  Curiosity & Creativity
April:  Turn Your Passion into Action
May:  Words of Wisdom
June:  Always There
July:  Pass the Ketchup, Please
August:  The Moment of Truth
September:  Being an Adult is Overrated
October:  Why we Fall in Love with Autumn in Arizona
November:  Practicing Gratitude
December: ‘Tis the Season for Magic

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