And then one day, a couple of years later, you realise something fairly
bleak. You are not good enough. And what's worse is that in your heart
you know that you will never be good enough. You have the dedication but
you don't have the ability. You have limitations that you can't
conquer. You have to give up the dream. Think about how you would feel
and what you would do if you were in that situation. What do you think
the solution could be?
Now, what if I told you the solution and
the way forward for you was in the fact that you were limited. That this
limitation would make you incredibly successful and a worldwide
I know it sounds far-fetched. Except it is true.
am with my wife, son Jamie and 2000 screaming kids at the Auckland
Writers Festival. Jeff Kinney is the author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and
he telling his story. He has sold over 150 million copies of his books.
There has been 4 movies. And he has his own bookstore in his hometown
which has the perfect name. Plainville, Massachusetts.
scenario I painted earlier was Jeff Kinney's story. He wanted to be a
cartoonist for a daily paper. He wanted to have a strip like Calvin and
Hobbes. But, after trying for a long time he realised he wasn't good
enough. He was not a fine artist, he didn't have the skills.
I would imagine that was a dark day. For most of us we would have given up, right? Jeff did something different.
said to himself, perhaps I am not good enough to be an adult cartoonist
but what if I re-imagine myself as a 12-year-old boy who likes to draw.
This simple thought changed Jeff Kinney's life and millions of children's lives forever.
People often ask me what creativity can do. If this example is anything to go by, the answer is it can change the world.
was faced by limitations and obstacles. He used them to create a new
reality for himself and the world. There are very few things that can
change the world and create a different reality. In fact, creativity
might be the only thing that can do this. And to be clear, not measure
reality, or confirm reality, but alter reality. It is a form of alchemy
that is as close as we can get to magic. It can create opportunities
beyond all measure. It is also something we should value far more.
are probably wondering about the photograph. Jeff Kinney's story
reminded me of it. I took it on a street corner in Chicago a week before
I saw him speak.
Here is how it happened. There was a slightly
unenthusiastic band going through the motions being watched by an
equally unenthusiastic crowd. The gentleman with his feet in the air
appeared from nowhere. And like Jeff Kinney, he asked himself a simple
His question was what if I wasn't a homeless guy but I
became James Brown and this band was here to support me and make me look
like a star?
Now granted, he may have been high. But, by asking
this one question he changed his reality. He began to dance and perform.
He began to play with and to the crowd. He became Mr Entertainment.
This made his pasty backing band look boring as hell. What's more he
made a lot of cash. The now backing band wasn't happy but he was. He had
in a small way changed the, or at least his, world.
This is what
creativity does. It does not accept what is. It pays no attention to
limitations or rules. Because of this it makes a leap. This is what
makes creativity different from all other things. The leap. Almost
everything else is an orderly process or at least has some steps. There
are rules. There is a beginning, a middle and an end. There is a
Creativity says bullshit. It breaks the pattern. That is
why it is priceless. It just comes along and says reality was like this
and now it is like this. And off we go.
In a single moment, the world can be changed forever. damonsbrain.com