Writer and artist, Austin Kleon, said it well:
“Your brain gets too comfortable in your everyday surroundings. You need to make it uncomfortable”.
In his book, “Steal Like An Artist,” Kleon writes about 10 ways to increase your creativity. Every time I read this book (which takes 30 minutes from front to back), I am inspired and rejuvenated to attack my next project with a force that tends to fade if not nurtured. This book definitely helps with nurturing and caring for your creativity muscle.
This time however, I was struck by the page that encourages “[spending] some time in another land among people that do things differently than you.” How beautifully written. How relevant.
Writing a book? Doing some illustrating? Looking to solve a difficult problem? Leave home. Even for a little while. This will make your brain uncomfortable so that it works harder trying to make sense of its surroundings. Its a similar argument for building cultural intelligence.
But, I just love how the author frames the brain:
outside of comfort zone -> brain working harder -> creative juice increase
Creativity and cultural intelligence are results of a brain that worked harder. So, instead of squinting your eyes and holding your book with a strong grip in an effort to work your brain harder than your neighbor’s, put yourself in a whole new and uncomfortable world. The results will give you the competitive advantage and awesome stories to tell.
Have you made your brain uncomfortable lately?