Stuck in a job?
Stuck on a project?
Stuck on a problem?
Stuck in a rut?
It might be time to reduce your options and eliminate some resources.
Does that sound odd to you?
Creativity is driven by constraints. When we have limited resources -- even when the limits are artificial -- creative thinking is enhanced. That's because the fewer resources you have, the more you are forced to rely on your ingenuity.
For example, think about the history of painting. It's hard to imagine more severe restrictions:
- It has to be a rectangle
- It must be flat
- It must be produced using a limited set of colors, derived primarily from oil, dirt and vegetable matter
- It must surprise and delight the mind and the senses
Or perhaps even "It must be painted on the ceiling."
Severe constraints: yet from Michelangelo to Picasso, artists such as Rembrandt, El Greco, Matisse, Van Gogh and Cezanne managed to comply. Yet their works could not be more different. In the modern age such constraints on "rules of art" have been completely removed, yet it seems that unique and memorable works of art are harder than ever to come by.
Unlimited resources reduce creativity. The dot coms are a perfect example. They had millions of dollars to work with and yet many of them created nothing. At the same time, people with nothing created companies like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft.
So if you need to get creative, think: what can you take away?
For example, what if you took away the power to click?
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