Nine Modern Day Muses

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Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching™ Stories

Making Stuff Up

Creativity, Imagine What If, Neil deGrasse Tyson

By Jill Badonsky, MEd | Updated February 17, 2019

"It took me fifteen years to discover that I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous." —Robert Benchley

As a creative seeker, you no doubt have heard Albert Einstein's quote about imagination being more important than knowledge. I have always enjoyed repeating this quote because the notion of the imagination taking us further than knowledge excites me but also because I feel stronger in the world of imagination than I do if say, if I were a contestant on Jeopardy. But here's the question, "How do we apply this knowledge about imagination being more important than knowledge to our everyday life?"

Neil deGrasse TysonA short anecdote that brings home how this quote is applied is from Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist, Host of Nova scienceNOW, Director of the Hayden Planetarium, and author of Death by Black Hole.

Neil was recently on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Jon Stewart humorously observed that Neil seemed to be just making things up and Neil replied, "Allow me to say, that when you are in the frontier of knowledge between what is known and unknown, reaching out into that abyss sometimes you do actually have to make stuff up that might be true so that you can organize a research plan to find out whether or not it is."

Jon responded seriously to this one saying, "That's fascinating, a false bridge that will allow you just a couple of footholds to possibly find the truth."

Neil: "This is the creativity of discovery that not everyone has. Those who do, all of society follows them into those directions."

Make Stuff Up

New MoonIn Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching™ we have a Modern Day Muse devoted to breaking rules. His name, coincidentally or not, is Albert. His principle is about inventing and innovating using "What if…" and a purposeful approach of breaking or tweaking existing rules to make them more in line with our unique ideas and directions. We engage clients in looking through different personas, attitudes, and perspectives to see their world differently. We teach the value of reframing our thoughts so they exalt our ideas rather than diminish them.

Neil deGrasse Tyson is most definitely a mortal inspired by the Modern Day Muse, Albert. Do you have the creativity of discovery in your own life? Perhaps from Neil's example you could invent a little permission for yourself to make stuff up.

What if you just made things up about how to run your business? What if you redefined what it means to be a successful artist or writer? What if according to your imaginative powers you brainstormed new ways to blog and organized your efforts around them to see how they played out? What if you had a theory that you applied about how life can become filled with joy no matter what your circumstances are, no matter how much money or possessions you have? What if you simply stopped comparing yourself to others and allowed your own universe of possibilities to make itself known?

Imagine... Pushing Boundaries

How can you push the boundaries of your world today in your creative approach to life? Perhaps looking through the personas of these individuals might inspire you:

  • Imagine if you refused to follow the rules of painting: Picasso.

  • Imagine you don't watch TV but you decide to put together a unique award-winning news show based on none that have gone before it: Rachel Maddow.

  • Imagine you don't follow or refer to any previous business plan related to running a grocery store, you just invent your own: Whole Foods.

  • Same for an airlines: Southwest.

  • Imagine if you have never take an acting lesson in your life, you invent how to learn to act and you become an Academy Award Honored Actor: Sir Michael Caine.

  • Imagine if you failed at something 10,000 times and kept going anyway: Thomas Edison.

  • Imagine if you care more about being the cool new act in town than whether it makes money: Facebook.

  • Imagine if you are self-taught just by practicing passionately according to your intuition and research: countless musicians, singers, actors artists, writers, directors.

Artist, Lori McNee said, "To me, art is the way we can freely stretch and push the boundaries with visions of our own world."

To me, anything we think is our art.

©2011 Jill Badonsky. All rights reserved.

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