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Add What You Want to See in the World

By Kyle Bernier


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We all have great ideas, but we sometimes just don’t pay attention to them. As an example, think of a time when you experienced something such as watching a movie, listening to a new album, or trying a new menu item and thought to yourself or said out loud, “I could have made something better.” Well, now is your chance! The best thing about your creativity is that you get to do whatever you like and make whatever you want.


A good place to start is to make something you’d actually like to use, see, or have. Many people get caught up in making things for others, which can be a good starting place, but if you’re thinking about what your creativity can look like, then it makes sense to make it about you. Start small – think about small things you consume where you can see room for improvement. Next, think about what small aspects about them you could change to make them more interesting to you. Or look at an object that you don't use currently and think about what you could change about it so that you’d actually use it and enjoy it.


Start with objects or content you experience every day. Many great inventions happened because someone saw something that could be improved upon (e.g. Edison’s lightbulb). If you set out to improve something and create something else instead, that’s perfectly fine – some of history’s greatest inventions were made by accident.


This strategy works great in all settings. As you go through your day, think about something you use or do but aren’t particularly keen on. Think about ways you could improve it to the point that you’d actually enjoy using it, looking at it, hearing it, etc. The world (or workplace, office, living room, etc.) is your playpen. If the product around you is more oyster than pearl, make a change or set out to improve it. You don’t need to meet anyone else’s expectations other than your own. Modify, tweak, or improve it until you’re excited to use it.


The world is full of stuff and experiences. I hear from people that everything worth making has already been made. That's unequivocally false. New things are being made every day. Good things, bad things, useful things, weird things. Experiences are made too. We have the option to settle for these things as they are or push them until they are better. If you don't know where to start, start with your own world. What would make your world a little better?


It’s like oatmeal. Oatmeal is fine just plain, but it’s what you put into it that makes it great. Most people don’t just make plain oatmeal and say, “Eh, it’s great exactly how it is now.” Most people mix in their favorite additions, such as brown sugar, butter, fresh fruit, honey, or milk. When I make oatmeal, it’s a process of slowly adding things in until it’s just right. Little by little, I add in ingredients until I’m satisfied with it, because life is too short to not enjoy every bite of your oatmeal. I’m Goldilocks when it comes to oatmeal. That same mentality can be applied to creativity to create better experiences with objects and content. Treat things like your bowl of oatmeal and go ahead and add in those blueberries and honey.

 

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