So I looked to my right, where my real life was, MacBook, Apple Sac for it, personal phone, diary of ideas, Escape From Cubicle Nation, and then looked straight forward where my fake life was, a crappy lap top with blackberry in tow.
My brain is buzzing. Almost to the point of being overwhelmed and noisy and anxious. I’ve been at a Train the Trainer course for the last three days and I’m feeling excited and exhausted and full! Like with most training courses or seminars I go to, I found that the most dramatic and deep and powerful learnings weren’t from any explicit piece of new information or knowledge I was given, but rather from the connections and realisations that arose from having time, space and stimulation to engage in good self-reflection.
So, I wanted to share some of the things my brain is currently buzzing about (in the hope that it might quieten the buzzing a little, and that through writing them down I might see some new connections and get some new insight and motivation about what I do about it!)….
One of the points in Ken Robinson’s ‘The Element’ that really stuck with me was about the difference between imagination and creativity.
Imagination can be entirely internal. You could be imaginative all day long without anyone noticing. But you would never say that person was creative if that person never did anything. To be creative you actually have to do something. (emphasis added)
Creativity is a step beyond imagination because it requires you to actually do something rather than lie around thinking about it. It’s a very practical process of trying to make something original.
Because it’s about making things, creative work always involves using media of some sort to develop ideas.
To develop our creative abilities, we also need to develop our practical skills in the media we want to use.
This year, I’ve been very conscious of ensuring that I move from thinking to doing. I’m excited about learning new practical skills. I need to find and develop my media.
I think I’m a visual person, but I also think I suck at drawing. So, I’m going to learn to get better at it. This week I’ve signed up for the visual vocab newsletters from Donna McGeorge and from Graphics Made Easy and have learned how to do quick sketches of a book and a sunrise. Doing this ‘Train the Trainer’ course is also part of developing my practical skills in a new medium. Previously I found myself quite turned off the idea of training and facilitation. I thought it was something I wasn’t good at, something that I wasn’t interested in. I guess I was scared. I knew what good training and facilitation looked like. But didn’t believe I could do it. I’m still not convinced that I’ll ever be a brilliant trainer or facilitator, but I’m definitely not going to get any better by thinking about it. I’m excited about the prospect of doing it. I’m excited about learning and getting better at a skill I value. And I’m excited about the possibilities and opportunities that having this skill creates.
My brain is also buzzing about David Foster Wallace’s 2005 Kenyon College commencement address which I listed to today…
I’m also thinking a lot about stories. And how stories can be used in training and facilitation and professional development. And questions too… I love questions. I’ve been thinking about the seminar by Michael Marquardt that I went to last month, and Thought Questions, and all the resources and articles about questions on Chris Corrigan’s website which I want to read…
I feel like I have all of these little snippets of thought running around in my head. I just jump from one to the other and never really explore any in much depth. I think a coach or someone to debrief with would be good for that. To ask the questions that push me further. Or maybe I should commit to doing a blog post on each topic and use that as a means for delving a bit deeper.
Okay, that’s enough for one post…. Brain chatter is temporarily relieved….
I find it fascinating to look back through old diaries, emails and notebooks. Sometime reading through my old stuff takes me back so clearly to the moment I wrote it, but with the benefit of knowing what happens next, so in a way it almost feels like I’m able to tell the future. Often I think we’re so focused on creating new things and wanting fresh content and thoughts that we forget to look back and enjoy (often with new insights) all the stuff that’s been created before.
This article about Barack Obama from the May 2004 edition of The New Yorker is great. It seems especially great when you know what happens next…
My favourite bit…
Jan Schakowsky told me about a recent visit she had made to the White House with a congressional delegation. On her way out, she said, President Bush noticed her “obama” button. “He jumped back, almost literally,” she said. “And I knew what he was thinking. So I reassured him it was Obama, with a ‘b.’ And I explained who he was. The President said, ‘Well, I don’t know him.’ So I just said, ‘You will.’”
I must admit that when I hear the term ‘social network’ I immediately think of web-based tools and services – Facebook, MySpace, Twitter etc. But this TED talk explores the (surprising and somewhat hidden) power of more traditional social networks – the networks of family, friends and neighbours that we create and form part of. I found this talk interesting, surprising and inspiring…
I also enjoyed James Fowler’s PopTech 2009 talk on the same subject.