Using Panic To Access Creativity

The idea - and application of panic in the startup world is real. And I mean, REAL. If panic is fuel, then we run on a full tank! There’s much more to panic than the anxiety, adrenaline and fight-or-flight mode than we may think. In fact, it’s in the realms of “not-thinking” that we can access some of our best ideas.

I was enthralled by this talk, completely taken in by the simplicity and the spiritual principles that drive this director's creativity. He compares access to creativity (as a filmmaker) to Einstein, which is an honest comparison since Einstein relied heavily on his intuition, imagination and "the universe" to help him find answers to his questions. 

What I most like about Shekhar Kapur's philosophy and style is that he lets himself be guided by "the universe"; he puts himself in a state of panic. While this may not work for practical things like crossing off to-do lists and highly logical work like accounting, where inspiration and creativity are concerned, "we prepare too much, we think too much. Knowledge becomes a weight upon wisdom."

He describes panic as, "the great access of creativity because that's the only way to get rid of your mind ... go to the universe because there's something out there that is more truthful than your mind, that is more truthful than your universe ... Out of the emptiness comes a moment of creativity."  

How often do we put this huge pressure on ourselves to "know", to be competent, and to have all the answers within our own minds? And how often have our best ideas come at times when we weren't specifically trying to figure something out?

Those "shower ideas" are not allegorical! I believe in tapping creativity by letting it come to me, by doing the things I love and am interested in, I will be successful since much of my 'work' relies on my creativity and my ability to form connections and paint the bigger, futuristic vision of an brand, startup, entrepreneur, CEO or artist. 

The best part about all of this is that it is rooted in story, which is the core of society and culture and how we best and most effectively relate to each other.  

To quote Shakhar's TED Talk again, "We tell our stories, and a person without a story does not exist. Einstein told a story and followed his stories and came up with theories and then came up with his equations. Alexander had a story that his mother used to tell him, and he went out to conquer the world. We tell ourselves stories. We create stories to define our existence."