Hi, this is Mike Lipkin and welcome to this breakthrough moment.
A flock of birds walk into a bar. They look around, then they head for the door. The bartender says, “Hey, what’s the matter?” One of the birds says, “This place looked seedier from the outside.”
An empty bottle walks into a bar. The bartender says, “I can’t serve you. You’re already drunk.”
A five dollar bill walks into a bar. The bartender says, “Sorry, this is a singles bar.”
I hope you’re chuckling. I also hope that you find “walk into a bar” jokes as satisfying as I do. In the cold light of reason, they’re ludicrous. In the foolish light of humour, they’re bizarrely funny. Why? Because, when it comes to jokes, we suspend our disbelief. The phrase, “Let me tell you a joke…”uncouples what we’re about to hear from our day-to-day realities. In the world of “walk into a bar” jokes, of course a flock of birds, empty bottles and dollar bills can walk into a bar.
That’s creativity. It’s the ability to see the world in new ways. It’s finding hidden patterns that enable others to make sense of things that don’t make sense. It’s seeing the relationships between disassociated phenomena and communicating them to others. It’s the ability to think of new ideas and make new things from them.
Most of all, creativity is freedom. Freedom from the pull of one’s past, from the fear of one’s future, from the concerns about looking stupid to others, from the need to fit in, from the established rules of the game. Environics research shows that fewer than one quarter of Canadians reported that they think of themselves as being creative but it’s the #1 skill that companies want from their people.
What would you do if you weren’t afraid to fail? What risks would you take? Who would you reach out to? What territories would you explore? What moonshot would you take? How would you express your inner genius?
Now ask yourself what you’re forfeiting by not following all those avenues. Without being reckless or irresponsible, what could you pursue that would express your inner genius and potentiate the people around you? To quote the band Nickelback, “what are you, what are you waiting for?” It’s unlikely that you’ll find the perfect moment. But you can find one that’s perfect enough because that’s entirely up to you. In fact, this may be it. Believe you can fly. Take the leap. You’ll grow wings along the way. This is Mike Lipkin. I am the Potentiator. And I approve this message.