How Secrets Catalyze Creativity Part II


Jesh De Rox of Adventure Always says a creative is “that bold spirit in humankind who explores, develops and reshapes the world around them.”

The job of a creative is big and bold and meaningful. And to stay engaged, several of our creative Griffins have been out and about lately seeking renewed inspiration and perspective. For example, earlier this fall, Paige and Andy went to visit agencies in Kansas City. At Portland’s Design Week one of our digital designers, Vince, attended a talk Stefan Sagmeister gave about happiness. And our PR/social media manager Andrew engaged in a public online chat with Ad Week about the importance of attending creative conferences. This idea of getting outside the agency, connecting with other people, jumping into what inspires, was in the air.

Andy and Paige came back from KC with a clear message: Attend creative conferences, seek out what inspires you. When you love what you do, and when you do things that help you fall in love with what you do, everyone benefits.

Andrew’s conversation with Ad Week brought up the power of failure, how it can lay the foundation for a compelling success story, how much we benefit from challenging our pride and recognizing that getting it right is mostly about getting it wrong first. Being creative is partly about reacting to other people, ideas and situations. And creative conferences are a great way to immerse yourself in those catalytic ideas and experiences.

At Design Week, Sagmeister talked about how generating personal happiness in what we do leads to greater engagement. Intentional curiosity leads to challenge which also leads to invention. Understanding what it is that makes us happy as individuals—uncovering and exploring our own secrets, so to speak—directly benefits our work lives, our lives as creatives.

stefan sagmeisterSagmeister’s question on whether or not you can train yourself to be happy—an investigation he’s taken on for the last five years—gave Vince a list of very employable methods on how to increase happiness as a creative, as a person. Here, from Vince, are four of Sagmeister’s methods used in his research, which actually did make Sagmeister happier:

  • At the end of each day, write down three things that worked. This takes minimal reflection and minimal effort, yet it can help accentuate your positive thinking.
  • Practice (genuine) thankfulness, sympathetic empathy and humility. Go out of your way to act on them, and you’ll feel better in general.
  • Make lists of things to do, in work and in life, and then actually do them. Yeah, easier said than done, but the impact of not acting on your goals eventually takes a serious toll on your sense of well-being. Quit trying to multitask and put the phone away—we are less happy when the things we do are different from the things we are thinking about.
  • Put ten really good songs on your iPod, get on a bike/scooter/motorcycle, and ride around without a helmet (which I can’t totally endorse) without any purpose or plans. You’ll probably get some kind of elated thrill, which is a great starting point.

Seeking out situations that challenge, start new conversations and unfold new ways of thinking is all about dislodging the secrets that make you happier, lead to better work, and by proxy, allow you to better understand your client and their world.

Post Date
December 12, 2014
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