“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”
– Albert Einstein
A couple of months ago I made a note about proclaiming my love for the word “You”.
Just look at it, “You”, isn’t it beautiful? Both singular and plural at once.
That’s the thing. People say there’s no “I” in team, but we need to understand that a group is made up of individuals with different strengths & weaknesses.
The “individual you” needs the “bigger you” to make things happen. We all fit in somewhere even though it can feel like we’re going alone.
If we can surround ourselves with different people, ideas and situations we’ll get closer to finding our role in the bigger picture.
That’s about as far as I got before feeling that: “What the hell am I missing here?” and putting this post to the side.
I thought about how teams perform at the level of its weakest players. That’s why it’s important to surround yourself with the best posible talent who at the same time needs you as much as you need them.
But that wasn’t what I wanted to say. It’s like the word “You” needed a companion.
My love for the word “You” started several years ago when I read the books “Murphy’s Laws of Songwriting” by Ralph Murphy. In it he dissects the anatomy of songs and why they work.
The thing that hit me hardest was when he was talking about inviting the listener in to the song. He said the one word that did this was “You”. The penny finally dropped and I started noticing it everywhere. It was so beautiful.
Something that bothers me is the amount of posts that aren’t relevant I have to sift through to find the people. It’s a noisy place. So, I thought there had to be a better way.
Sure, it gives you info on all the operators and functions so what do we do? We type in the keywords or if we want to get really selective an exact phrase.
It’s really easy with 20/20 hindsight to see how obvious this should’ve been. But you know the old expression “can’t see the forest for the trees”?
I kept typing in terms like “creative”, “creativity”, “not”, “uncreative”, “ain’t”, “aren’t” and made my way through the quagmire of posts until it finally clicked.
Just thinking about it gives me the chills. I was missing one thing. One single letter. One word.
All I had to do was to hold up a mirror to what Ralph Murphy was saying about “You” and switch the perspective to “I”.
It was a major facepalm moment. I typed it in and voila! When I compared the results I guess about 80% of the irrelevant posts had disappeared.
I was left with a bunch of “I wish I was creative”, “I am not all that creative”, “I ain’t creative” and so on.
While it still stings to see how many people have this view of themselves atleast this insight made it easier to spot them and offer some help.
Since I was now saving about 80% more time I could also start spotting other words that people who lack confidence in their creativity use. Except the usual “who, what, when where & how” type questions, which can be excluded thanks to the “?”, here are a few others!
Ugh (or any variation of a distressed sound)
Do you recognize using any of them? When do you use them? Is there a way to get more constructive and introduce more confident words instead?
I give you this list and those two words in the hopes that you’ll be able to find and help somebody out.
About half the population of the world has at one time or another suffered some kind of trauma related to creativity.
Think about it.
Half the people you come across daily aren’t fully embracing their creative potential simply because somewhere along the way something happened that makes them hold back.
This needs to change. And it’s up to us to help the other half out. We can’t do it alone.
Have a kick-ass ₢eative day!