“Colour the duck yellow, and her umbrella green,” instructed the kindergarten teacher to her students.
But when six-year old Kavya handed her drawing sheet, the teacher asked, “Dear, didn’t you understand my instructions? You have coloured the duck purple and her umbrella red! Have you ever seen a purple duck?”
Kavya didn’t miss a beat, and replied, “But ma’am, I’ve also never seen a duck carrying an umbrella!”
Is Kavya a young rebel?
Given the answer she gave her teacher, Kavya might not be a model student. But she definitely is a brilliant thinker.
You see, following some rules is absolutely necessary for us – like while driving, crossing the street, or paying our taxes.
But, as Kavya shows through her answer, always being consistent will not provide a creative solution to all our problems.
We need to train our brains to look around at all possibilities and to unleash the power of creative thinking that lies dormant within most of us.
But for that to happen, we must first slow down instead of living life in the fast lane, and take out time for solitude.
As the noted American psychologist Rollo May said, “In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for constructive use of solitude. One must overcome the fear of being alone.”
Unfortunately, the pressures and stresses of today’s fast-paced world squeeze out our creative thinking time and replace it with lists of things to do and action items that are of much less importance.
We all want to major in minor things, and this is what keeps us busy through the best years of our lives.
But it’s important to realize that your mind is the ultimate creativity machine.
Like a child, if you can fuel it with the right stimuli and leave it alone for some time to function as it has been designed, the output can be stunning.
It may be inconsistent with what is popular, but that is fine.
Be inconsistent, my friend!
Please don’t get me wrong, for I don’t want to demean consistency. I think being consistent is important for a lot of reasons.
But then, as Einstein said, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
That, I believe, is the biggest pitfall of consistency. Being consistent and expecting inconsistent results!
If you want to get better than the average results in life, be inconsistent, for that is the hallmark of the imaginative.
Be willing to stick your neck out.
Take a stand, and take it against yourself if you have to. And why not?
No one that matters will blame you for it.
Colour the duck purple, my friend, even if no one has ever seen it.
As always, you are amazing!