Constructive Creativity

I love being creative and engaging in spaces where anything and everything is possible. Yet, sometimes this can be overwhelming and lead to a sense of frustration rather than liberation. When the ultimate goal is to make a decision or perform an action, constructive creativity may be useful.

Constructive creativity is a way to be effectively innovative. Using this method, the area of inquiry is clearly defined. This process can require a bit of time for discussion and reflection. A common understanding of what is to be investigated is fully articulated. From that common starting point, the creative journey begins. This way, the exploratory process is focused on the specific goal of the creative endeavor and the time invested is directed toward results.

Headbanger’s Rule #7: Taking a Chance

One of my favorite songs is Judas Priest’s Heading out to the Highway. I also love the video. Yes, I’m a bit of a tomboy. Anyway, the entire song is really inspirational. Early in the song, the lyrics state, “you get nothing for nothing, expect it when you’re backseat driving and your hands ain’t on the wheel,” and later, “I’m gonna do it my way, take a chance before I fall.” You really should just listen to the whole song. The gist of it is that we should fully engage in life without being afraid of failure; if we fall, we can bring ourselves back up again. We should take risks, perhaps safer ones than those portrayed in the video, so that we can realize our full human potential.

My Week: Asking for Help

I have always felt a great deal of resistance around asking for help. This became quite apparent to me this week as it was lovingly brought to my attention by a coworker.

My reasons for resistance are complex, interconnected, and mostly subconscious. I strive for independence, I like to challenge myself, and I prefer to be a helper rather than a beneficiary. But at the same time, I yearn to be vulnerable, to trust, and to learn from others.

In a letter to Anais Nin, Henry Miller wrote, “by receiving from others, by letting them help you, you really aid them to become bigger, more generous, more magnanimous. You do them a service.” By accepting help from others, we can both benefit. When we reject or do not intentionally seek the support and help of others, we are passively, albeit unintentionally, shutting them out of our lives.

This past week I also began my first coaching relationship (I am the coachee). I was approached by the coach; it was not something that I pursued on my own. I naturally feel open to the process of self-discovery and transformation so I was excited about this possibility. Yet, when the coach started to dig a bit deeper, I felt threatened. I felt as though I needed to maintain the illusion of having it all together and being successful. This is one of the greatest ongoing failures in which I continually submerge myself.

I never hesitate to help others; yet, I do not seek help for myself and sometimes resist or reject help when it is offered to me. I am going to continue to be aware of how I feel in response to accepting loving help and support from others, and push myself to open up to the generous gifts of their minds and hearts. My goal will be to appreciate what others have to share and to balance what I give with what I receive.

Headbanger’s Rule #6: Let Go and Keep Trying

Megadeth is infamous for frequently changing the lineup. So much so, that when I was a teenager I wrote a play (which I have unfortunately lost) about all of the fired members of Megadeth getting together to start their own band. I see two lessons in the Megadeth meltdowns: don’t be afraid to let go of something if it isn’t working and keep trying until you get it right.

Headbanger’s Rule #5: Forgive

The first time I ever saw Flavor Flav was on The Geraldo Rivera Show when I was about 12 years old. Although I was a huge fan of funtime party rap, I initially eschewed Public Enemy because of Flav’s anti-Semitic remarks.

About four years later, when watching Headbanger’s Ball (what else), I saw Public Enemy perform a remake of their song, Bring the Noise, with Anthrax. This was really significant to me because two members of the band, Danny Spitz and Scott Ian, are from Jewish families. If they could forgive, why couldn’t I?

Since then, I have been a huge Public Enemy fan. I have been to their concerts. I have forgiven but obviously not forgotten. Bring it.

Headbanger’s Rule #3 – Share the Stage/Solidarity

One of the most exciting nights of my young life was in August, 1989. It was the Moscow Music Peace Festival, held 20 years after Woodstock and more than 20 years ago! We watched the concert live on Pay per View. I can still remember sitting on my front porch in-between sets to catch some pleasant summer nighttime air.

A lot of my favorite American Bands, Motley Crue, Cinderella, Bon Jovi, Skid Row, and Ozzy joined German band Scorpions and Russian bands Gorky Park, Nuance, and Brigada-S for the concert. It was so cool to see bands from the USA, Germany, and Russia share the stage at this exciting time in history. While there was a lot of unpeaceful behavior behind the scenes of the concert, the idea and historical significance is quite amazing.

The lesson for leaders is to demonstrate solidarity across entrenched boundaries and share the stage with others, making difference a strength rather than a diversion.