The phrase follow your passion has become synonymous with pursuing a dream that results in something more meaningful. Over the years, I have learnt the importance of following curiosity rather than only chasing one’s passion, as it has been the key to unlocking the creativity and innovation needed to succeed.
Please don’t take this post as a way to crush your dreams or stop you pursuing an idea that you have had since a child. I am a strong proponent of going out there and doing whatever it takes to be successful. However, passion, drive and unwavering focus can blind creativity and innovation.
Passion is founded on what you already know, which often can be limiting and a safe space for many people. Especially when trying to search for the next opportunity to create or the one thing that will make a big difference in the world. The challenges with following passion blindly is that your experiences and capabilities change overtime. This can lead to a heavy cost around going into one’s own comfort zone that focuses on one skills set or craft where you miss out on new experiences in life.
A flow state of uncomfortableness
Curiosity on the other hand creates a gateway to the unknown or what you don’t know. This creates new experiences that help to connect new ideas and opportunities for a more fulfilled life or career.
Becoming more curious can lead to serendipity that involves rich and new experiences that can trigger novel ideas. More often to reach these new ideas and ways of thinking, people need to become a bit uncomfortable with their environments.
By tapping into experiences that were triggered by your curiosity, the process of divergent thinking can generate more creativity with the result of exploring more possible solutions to a challenge that originally might have had a single answer in the past.
Uncomfortableness and exploring new things can often lead to the intersection of innovation. Through the combination of new sparks and collaborating within environments that are unfamiliar, you can uncover hidden gems of insights. This can build into solving some of the social challenges we face in todays’ world.
Combining the old with the new
“All creativity is tethered by its history. The question is how far do we move away from it” – Anthony Brandt, Composer & Co-author of The Runaway Species
A principal of innovation and creativity focuses on the development of new ideas, on building something that already exists and taking it apart. This is true in science, art, music, design, marketing and technology.
Innovations that have defined this generation have come out of the necessity of being curious and thinking beyond the obvious.
Humans are amazing creatures especially as we have the ability to take in ideas, store them and manipulate them as a part of the creativity process. Unlocking possible futures, designing new solutions and thinking about what, if or why are key to how we have evolved over time.
You only need to look at Apple, Dyson, Facebook and Amazon. Every creative idea has a history or previous idea. All of these solutions that we take for granted had a process of progression were creativity was based on a mix between prior experiences and new external influences.
Elegantly explained by Dan Eagleman, too much predictability and we end up repeating ourselves or others. Too much surprise and we become disoriented with the amount of possibility that leads to a lack of focus.
This thirst of novelty is what drives us to be so creative. However, the challenge begins as humans, we do not want our experiences to be too novel. There is often a trade-off between exploring the unknown and exploiting what you may already know. This is where the intersection of passion and curiosity lies to breed new waves of creativity for solutions for the social good.
The ability to be creative and pass through the normal thresholds of your individual passion to explore the unknown is within all of us.
Experiencing something new:
On Saturday 18th November join Creative Conscience at Cause2Create’s Festival of Creativity for Good. This day will surely help you stretch your creative muscle and see new opportunities through their activities, speakers and exhibitions.
Challenge yourself and be a part of something meaningful:
Briefs are now online and entries are now open for the Creative Conscience Awards 2018.
Guest contributor Daniel Tuitt writes, talks, lives and inspires all things creative, business design and co-innovation.
A freelance innovation consultant across technology and strategy with a background in management consultancy, he has a great passion for disruption and moonshot ideas with a BSc in Entrepreneurship & business management and MSc in managing innovation. Daniel has over five years experience working with brands to shift the thinking around creating the once thought impossible.
Daniel’s professional and personal mission is to support the creation of new value for both businesses across different industries and ensuring that there is a human-centered approach. He is currently mentoring and working with various social enterprises including Zinc VC, OpenIdeo, DesignJam London and Creative Conscience.