Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Getting Creative, Getting Healthy

Often I think that being healthy is the really same thing as being creative. It is putting all the pieces together.
And studying the rules will not get you there.
Recently the University of California asked me to ponder creativity for a UCLA project and what I found went far beyond the classroom. It seems to apply to artful eating, drinking and exercise as much as to anything else. See if you agree with me.

"Creativity is a restless spirit. It is always on the prowl for change, disruption. It is happiest when it is the most needed -- when new ways and new thoughts are a necessity and old habits and assumptions are easily dismissed. When we feel anxious and uncertain about the future, creative souls, including the creativity in your own soul, are smiling. The imagination loves to solve an interesting problem.

Which means creativity has a pretty important job in the 21st century. In this digital age, when technology is taking center stage, and newspapers, banks and other institutions are struggling for survival, the very essence of creativity is being tested.
Some see the digital screens –of computers, videogames, phones, iPods – as the death knell of imagination or originality. It feels like the pure volume of raw, random data and messages is drowning us. But look again. Thanks to those screens, the 21st century creative process has gone public, with access to practically anyone. It has also become fast, fragmented, collaborative, cross-disciplinary and impatient.

Which leads to the irony of our age. As we shift into a fully Web-connected world, our biggest creative challenge is how to harness the power that fuels our creativity—the tidal wave of data the Internet is sending our way. Rather than a life raft to protect us from this monster wave, what we really need is a surfboard to catch the ride."

The Shapely Grape and other offbeat online communities -- I'm gathering a handful to share with you soon -- are glad to be your surfboard.
Happy surfing,

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