The ultimate joint venture for creativity: collaborate with your former selves


(Learn here the secret method of Experiential Creativity)

There are two types of creativity. One, we all have (but most lose) and that is the one we are all born with and use as children: the ability to experiment.

The second is not talked about, and again few use and yet we all have access to it. It is making new patterns from our experiences to create new ideas and new solutions.

We know we need to use our Experimental Creativity, to try new things without judgement, every creativity guru will tell you that (including me).

But what about this other type: Experiential Creativity. How can we harness that?

If you’ve ever watched the television programme Doctor Who, you’ll know that in its 48 year history a number of different actors have played the role. Each of the 11 official incarnations of the character are of course the same man. When his body wears out or gets injured he ‘regenerates’ into an new, entirely different looking man. It was a brilliant conceit by the writers that they could replace the lead actor with another one whenever they needed to and he didn’t have to look, dress or act the same. (Remember those annoying programmes that swapped the main actor to a look-a-like and expected us not to notice? Remember Joey from Bread?)

Ayd Instone as Doctor Who title sequenceFor the 10th and 20th anniversaries* of the programme the producers thought it would be a good idea for a storyline to have a threat so great that the Doctor couldn’t solve it on his own so he would have to have help – from himself, in the form of his ‘former selves’.

Now of course they could have pulled out of time a version of the Doctor from a couple of weeks earlier or months earlier. But that earlier version would have looked more or less the same, bar a different velvet jacket. It was much more fun to have coincidentally the Timelords pulling a versions of the Doctor from his previous incarnations. It made for a great story, they could argue and call each other names, but being different versions of the same man, eventually work together to solve the problem in the story.

My proposition to you is that we should all do the same.

Ayd Instone 1973

Now, unless you’re a Timelord with a number of regenerations, the chances are you look pretty much the same when you look back at your life. Perhaps you looked a little younger. Perhaps you wore different clothes.

Look back at your life and decide (arbitrarily of course) which eras of your life you can catergorise as separate incarnations.

It could be that the child version of us is one, the teenage version of us is another. When we were a New Romantic or Punk could be one, when we were a student could be another. If there was an era where you thought in a particular way or dressed in a particular way, define that as an incarnation. Perhaps we can divide out lives into 5 or 11 incarnations (depending on how long you’re own adventure series has run so far).

Ayd Instone 1989

You can see 6 of my incarnations on this very page. Don’t worry if you don’t look as odd as I do. You don’t have to be weird for this to work (but it helps).

Then define that key characteristics of each incarnation. What did they like, believe, love, hate? How did they dress and what did they do.

If you think deeply about it you’ll find there are differences. Just like how Doctor Who is the same man, the same essential character throughout, each version has idiosyncrasies that make him look at life in slightly different ways in each incarnation.

The same is true for us.

Ayd Instone 1992

This exercise is important because the greatest Mastermind Group, the greatest Think Tank, the greatest Team we can have working with us and for us is one that comprises of us in each of our incarnations. If we can get our experiences (comprising as they are of memory and emotions) ‘online’, i.e. accessible to us, we will have at our disposal the greatest creativity and problem solving methods there are.

It took three Doctors to defeat the renegade Omega, creator of the black hole, the Eye of Harmony, that made him the architect of time travel. It took five Doctors to defeat his former tutor, Borusa, who sought the immortality of the very first Time Lord, Rassilon.

Ayd Instone 1995

How many ‘yous’ will it take to solve your current or greatest challenge? The good news is that they’ll all available to be pulled out of time and be consulted to gain their unique take, wisdom and experiences to augment our current selves.

Who knows, perhaps our current incarnations will be called upon by a future version of ourselves to solve an even greater challenge. Just like in Doctor Who, we often find that we’ll have the answers within us all along.

(* They very nearly pulled it off again for the 30th anniversary, but for various reasons, didn’t. They did do something, but we don’t talk about that…)

Ayd Instone works with people to explore and unlock their creative ideas in ways they may never have thought possible, to inspire innovation in their lives, and their business.

Book Ayd to speak about the Power of ‘What If?’ and Inspiration for Innovation at your conference, or in your business. A great way to open your event or as an after lunch energiser.

For more interesting info see: www.aydinstone.com


 
About these ads

6 comments on “The ultimate joint venture for creativity: collaborate with your former selves

  1. Very interesting stuff Ayd… To date (after 55 years on this planet) 5 major incarnations, with significant differences in location, role, attitude and more. Though of course with a common thread… several in fact (family, friends, memories). I have on many occasions wondered why I could read a particular book and be absolutely captivated and absorbed by it and feel that it was written just for me to read at that particular time in my life and then, many years later I could read it again and not have the same experience. I had not considered actually using previous incarnations to collaborate on a particular problem, but it’s a nice idea. It may involve talking to myself of course, but hey… :-)

    Like

  2. Was this an excuse to pull out shots of all your fantastic hairdos? Or to talk about Dr. Who? (You wish they’d hired you to play the next incarnation don’t you?)

    This didn’t go where I thought it would from the title. I was expecting something about finding your old unfinished projects from the past when you saw the world differently, and then taking them up again with your new perspectives…thus collaborating with another “mind”….

    Like

  3. I ‘ve always been somewhat conscious of leaving little ‘gifts’ for my future self, although I’ve sometimes used them at unexpected times and in unexpected ways. The love of cooking that I’ve had since childhood. Overcoming my fear of heights. Spending lots of time alone. Having small bank accounts and an IRA that came in handy when I most needed it. Buying things that become useful later. Also, collecting ideas, thoughts, dreams, and finishing projects years after I started them (or relearning why I loved them so much in the first place). However until I saw this today, it never occurred to me that not everyone does this. So thanks for the reminder of how important it is to scatter those breadcrumbs for our future selves so they can find us when they need us.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s