Happiness is a warm puppy.
-Charles M. Shultz
How do you stoke the flames of your creative fire? My son plays the “would you rather” game. Would you rather live in the North Pole or the South Pole? All the money in the world or all the time in the world? Stuff like that. His way of starting thought provoking conversations is not all that different than a commonly used creativity prompt called the “What if” exercise. If you want to kick off a brainstorming session, start by making a list of far fetched scenarios and than free write for ten minutes about one of them.
The ocean is orange
Trees grow upside down
humans are born without ears
fish can fly
cats can talk (but only with a british accent)
The “what if” question is the central question at the Science Fiction Hall of Fame located at the EMP Museum in Seattle. Founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, EMP’s mission is to celebrate the creative process, engage the imagination, and inspire personal expression in current and future generations. If you ever get to Seattle, go! It also houses the Experience Music Project and is next to the Space Needle, bonus and double bonus.
So on this Big Idea Monday, Here is mine: Someone should start a blog where they are consciously childlike everyday for a year than publish a book about the experience. No wait, I am already doing that. Okay, replace the word “childlike” with “doglike”. Now your talking. The idea first struck the other day when a car zoomed past us and the dog had his whole head outside lapping up the smells and the wind and the sunshine. It probably became reinforced at one of our many trips this week to the happiest place on Earth, the dog park. Than the idea cemented at a Rays game yesterday where they had a special promotion called “Bark at the Park”. Scrounging for peanuts, sniffing new potential friends, catching a game from their owner’s lap, it seemed clear that these dogs were living right.
If your familiar with this blog concept, I focus each month on a different childlike virtue. This month is Enthusiasm. I am reading some books about the topic and meditating, but have wondered if something as intangible as enthusiasm can really be learned or practiced. Than it hit me. Who is more enthusiastic than my dog? There is only one speed for LuLu Belle. Full speed. Whether it is a car ride, a bone, a walk, or counter surfing, there is only one attitude. Enthusiasm.
What if we were all more doglike? What if someone wrote a book/blog about it?