In part 1, we start with some ideas about the differences between competitive thinking and creative thinking and will follow up with three posts (parts 2, 3, and 4), each on a different creative timing rule that I have personally followed over the years and highly recommend to my clients.
I came to write this series because of what I was hearing from clients, many of whom tend toward panic and indecision. It occurred to me that they were responding to life with competitive thinking when creative thinking would work better for them.
Creative versus Creative
Creative thinkers and creative people can be 2 different animals. We have all heard or read about artists and creative people in general who have a lot of talent but no business sense. And business people who are great organizers and directors but couldn’t put a crayon to paper to draw a map or organize their thoughts to create a brochure. Then there are those who can do both and amaze all of us.
Creative thinkers don’t have to be able to draw, paint, write novels or make music. The business world or the arts can have creative thinkers as it has nothing to do with a physical end product so much as it is about thought.
Competing versus Competitive
Competing does not have to be competitive. Competing should be a way of gauging what you are good at and where you might need improvement and should not be imprinted as a win or lose situation. It should be challenging. Thinking competitively sets competitive thinkers up for a win or lose lifestyle and it should set up creative thinkers for gauging where and when changes may need to happen. Thinking comeptitively reinforces the ideas of not being enough, not being good enough, of not having enough, of having nothing to show for your hard work.
Competitive thinking reinforces the need to build a lifestyle at the ignorance or missteps of others and doing so intentionally. Timing in this scenario is about hostile takeovers and not about the flow of living. There are always people on the top and people on the bottom or people on their way in either direction. Here the purpose is always to gain something over others.
Can you be creative and competitive at the same time? I don’t believe that you can because one negates the other. You can have flashes of each but not at the same time, which is where many of us find ourselves existing.
In the creative process you visualize what you want and allow it to manifest under its own movement while taking action toward the goal. Creative thinking requires the inclusion of the flow of life, which means the result and process will be advantageous to all those involved, whether they are clients, vendors or the creators.
Maybe you are creating a line of essential oils that will benefit the health of the consumer, or products that relieve pain in a safe manner, or paintings that enhance the power and energy of the viewer or the home they are placed in. You can take this farther – a builder may decide to purchase older properties that are filled with harmful products like asbestos or formaldehyde and rebuild them to be “green” buildings. This is completely different than a company who decides to sell vitamins and to market them as something that they are not. Or selling a vehicle that is not what it is presented as being or any product that is poorly made just to turn a buck – this is competitive thinking.
Creative thinkers look for benefits for everyone and compete. Competitive thinkers look for the benefits for themselves only. Can you see how the timing might be different for each group? One flows on its own and the other embodies fear – I can't trust life because there is never enough so I better grab what I can, now.
Part 2 - The 3-Day Rule
Part 3 - The 30-Day Rule
Part 4 - The 90-Day Rule