Creativity is scarcely encouraged as much as it should be. Instead, reliance on rigid, formulaic systems is widely encouraged and propagated. When creativity becomes repressed, so, too, does our potential. Performing to the utmost of our capabilities becomes a challenge, an impossible, insurmountable task–at least, it appears that way. Formulaic, fundamentally structured systems do nothing but restrict one’s natural tendencies and promote the notion that one size fits all, or, that one way works for all. In other words, your personalities, preferences, backgrounds, beliefs put aside; “if you use this, you’ll get this, guaranteed.” It becomes mechanical; no room left for adjustments or adaptability. Nothing is learned (or taught, for that matter, to begin with) except for the inadequacy felt if the ‘formula’ fails to yield the desired results. That, and if it does happen to work, the outcomes become all too predictable, revealing the degree to which creativity and individualistic approach is stifled.
Bill Bernbach said it best while giving insight to the philosophy behind his radical advertising agency and its success: “We have no formula at all. The only common denominator in our ads is that each one has a fresh idea. We present the story in a fresh and original way.” Originality pays off, and well if I might add. When we strive to keep things fresh and as original as can be, we step into a realm unlike the one we’re accustomed to. We become both the teacher and the student, challenging ourselves to newer methods, and learning as we go (with the knowledge that failure is just one step closer to success). We avoid redundancy and stagnancy. Our end results are not predictable but will always have audiences guessing.
We often strive to prove our distinction by any means necessary–clothing, company, possessions, etc., but ensuring the maintenance of a sense of creativity and free thinking in as many portions of our everyday lives is all it takes to set ourselves apart.