Now, this has become a movement around the world of people setting off with themselves, off they go, in order to help themselves smash their limiting beliefs. I say, what an incredible way to help boost your creativity.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, The Samantha Leith Show.
I want to change the world. There’s nothing to it.
Creativity, the use of imagination or original ideas to create something. Inventiveness. Thanks to Google and Oxford Languages for that definition. What does that actually mean for most of us in our real world experience? And why is creativity important for us? This month on the Samantha Leith Show, we’re going to explore the wonderful world of imagination and come away with our youthful wonder reignited hopefully, so let’s go.
Let’s talk about boredom. Why? Because it helps spark creativity. Most of us these days can’t handle boredom. We grab our phone. We want a distraction because we can’t handle the space of nothing. This constant dopamine seeking sucks the creativity out from us. Chances are when you grab your phone or you jump on social media and you start looking at other people. Then comparison sets in, both the, “I’m better than,” and the “I’m not as good as them,” and they act like a new around our neck preventing any breath of curiosity or creativity from coming up for air. A bit like me in that sentence.
It’s when we’re in nature sitting peacefully that our minds can wander and engage those connections that help boost the creativity. Try this. Sit and write out a bill you have. Any old bill. Invoice number, words, blah, blah, blah. Chances are by the time you finish doing this dull and boring task, you will have had a myriad of creative thoughts bounce around your mind.
Other ways to start incorporating more of this thinking and thus creative space is to walk the dog without your phone. Have your cup of tea without a magazine. Sit on the bus with no podcast. Just be and see what flows. Colin O’Brady, who’s this incredible man who crossed Antarctica solo… Well, one of the amazing things he’s done, he’s done so many, found himself struggling during the pandemic. And I recently heard him on a podcast where he discussed how at this lower point he set off on a 12 hour walk alone, no distractions, him and his thoughts.
Now, this has become a movement around the world of people setting off with themselves, off they go, in order to help themselves smash their limiting beliefs. I say, what an incredible way to help boost your creativity. People do it in all sort of ways. I haven’t done it yet, but I will do it. I love the idea even of smaller chunks of that alone time to get creatively unstuck.
Maybe when you were younger, you felt you were more creative. Yep. Yeah, probably were. You didn’t have so much tech. Even my daughter didn’t have so much tech, and she’s a teenager. We played outside. The TV ended at eight o’clock on a Saturday night when the kiwi went up the tower and turned it off. We did puzzles with our family. We had scrapbooks. Are there any of those things that you miss? Add them back in.
When we were traveling recently [inaudible 00:03:57] and I started playing card games. Even on the plane we did it and we chatted as we did it, and we had to Google the rule for some games because I couldn’t remember, but we had fun and we were being creative, problem solving, how to get those cards in the right order so we knew which hand we could do. That’s really hard sometimes.
But enough about boredom. Now I want to talk about fear. Ooh, lots of goodies today. What the heck has fear got to do with creativity? Everything. Stop the press. Do you think you’d finish writing that romance novel if you let go of the fear of judgment? Maybe you would use that mindfulness coloring book if you didn’t fear of going outside the lines. Yep. Putting my hand up for that one. I truly had those thoughts and I didn’t use the books. Just bonkers. Anyway. If anyone wants them, let me know. It wasn’t like I had to hand them into a teacher.
One of the most well-known thoughts from Thomas Edison is not that he failed, it was that he found thousands of ways that wouldn’t work. He was willing to fail. That failure kept the spark of creativity going, allowing him to be one of the greatest problem solvers we’ve ever seen and maybe we ever will. That’s what inventors are. Creative problem solvers. From light bulbs to penicillin, to restorative eye surgery and food delivery services. All creative solutions to problems. If Sara Blakely, for example, had been afraid to fail, I wouldn’t be wearing Spanx today and she wouldn’t be a billionaire.
Fear is paralyzing in our lives. Don’t misunderstand me, some fear is good, like that fear I have of jumping out of a plane, it’s never going to happen. Or being afraid to run through traffic. Some fears actually protect us, but the fears we have that prevent us from showing up as our true selves or putting ourselves out there are not good at all. And getting more creative will, you guessed it, help you feel less fearful.
There are so many circles in our lives. Practice things that make you feel more confident, get more confident. Do more things that make you feel more confident. Hmm, round around we go. Take time to be creative, get more creative. Do more things that make you feel more creative. Around and around we go again. Fear stops all of that.
I had the idea for the Samantha Leith Show ages ago. I was petrified. Nobody would want to listen to me. I don’t have enough experience on camera, blah, blah. Then I set myself a goal of doing it. First I said six months. Then I said 52 episodes, and this is episode 47. Each month has led to more creativity and less fear. Each episode, more confidence and clarity and less comparison. It’s a practice and you can do it in any area of your life. Here are some statistics. Mozart more than 600 pieces of music. Jamie Oliver, 25 cookbooks. Shakespeare 39 plays, hundreds of sonnets and more. The Beatles 13 albums in eight years. Richard Branson, over a hundred businesses.
Now, remember what I said last week about taking 30 minutes a day to do something creative. How’s it going? Keep going. Then this week I want you to look at something you think you’ve failed at. Doesn’t matter if it’s a creative outlet or not, and I want you to share it. No, I need you. No. Okay. You need to share it. A loved one or a friend or share it with me. You can email the office at samanthaleith.com and put that failure out there so that you know it’s okay. It’s human. It’s not a flaw in who you are. Then you can pick up the pieces and start again. Take that failure, find some space and do it again, again, again. I believe you are creative, so do the work to believe it yourself.
It’s a bit elitist in the sense that you’re creative or you’re not creative. There’s a section of people that are and a section of people that aren’t. But as humans, we are all creative in different ways.
I drew a love heart once. Actually, I’ve drawn lots of love hearts. But one day in particular, I drew this love heart and showed this to my daughter and she went, “It looks like a bum.” [inaudible 00:08:07]. I was like, “Yeah, I love you too.”
There was an artist I watched one time and he made a really, really great statement about it and it’s about preparedness. It’s about preparedness for spontaneity.
It’s actually having done the work, that when you get into the moment, the resources are there-
… and the openness is there and the ideas, and the muse, and everything can flow, but it is about preparedness. It’s about having done the work and honing your skillset and being self-aware and connecting. Really, really important one too.
I think if I try to put it into words, I’d say that I turn the ordinary into extraordinary. That’s what I love to do. I look at boring everyday objects and think, how can I make this cooler, better, sexier, more fun, upgraded, make it do more than it needs to. That’s creativity for me.
Thank you very much for watching this show. Thank you very much. Thank you very, very, very much. Yep, creativity in action in an outro. On a more serious note, please subscribe to the Samantha Leith Show. And this week please do something wildly creative. Share it on Instagram and tag me at Samantha Leith and I’ll cheer you along. Now go. Be extraordinary because I know you are.
Produced by Rebecca Saunders and Pyrmont Studios
Songwriters Anthony Newley / Leslie Bricusse
© Downtown Music Publishing, Taradam Music, Inc, Tratore, Universal Music Publishing Group
Produced by Samantha Leith / Nathan Johnson
Vocals by Samantha Leith