Creativity is the result of mental connections, and so it’s hard to have too many ideas, concepts, and bits of inspiration one can connect.
I usually have more than ten books going at any one time, and I’m also likely watching more than one TV show. My “to read” and “to watch” lists are only growing. Some people might find this overwhelming. I find it leaves me with just the right amount of constantly swirling inputs.
Swirling inputs are like protective little gemstones orbiting around my brain. Whenever I’m facing a challenge, I can say, “Go!” and a handful of them will combine into a shiny solution. When you have a large pool of swirling inputs, you are always ready. Always creative. Never ill-equipped to handle what life throws at you.
This is especially helpful when it comes to making art, of course. If you can show me how A and B and C and D all add up to the same message despite being seemingly unrelated, that’s one hell of a cocktail of inspiration. But to do that, you need inputs. You need A and B and C and D swirling in your beaker by the time you sit down to rhyme, shoot, or compose.
Most everyday challenges, however, will gladly open their locks for you with the right A, B, or C alone. Here, too, however, the right concoction might lead to a more powerful effect. Why settle for unlocking a door when you can blast it open? Why take the stairs when you can take the elevator? A new PowerPoint template might wow the committee, but a YouTube video conceived specifically for your pitch might seal the deal in the room.
Only you can know the right dosage for your swirling inputs and where to get them from. Whenever you feel short on imagination, however, chances are, you have too few ideas floating around your lab rather than too many. Keep feeding your soul. Both your heart and brain will thank you for it.