Moment of Truth: Thom Walters

Sitting on the deck of the ferry between Port Angeles and Victoria BC, I soaked in the anticipation of my weekend escape to Canada. I thought how cool that I can spend 90 minutes on a ferry and change my perspective by visiting another country. There is something that comes alive in us, that unlocks energy and anticipation when going on an adventure.

As I sat with the idea of adventure, change and disrupting the norm through new experiences, it led me to further reflection on what stimulates inspiration and creative discovery. Many of us may be in careers that are perceived as “creative”: designers, writers, developers, strategists or entrepreneurs. Is it surprising to observe that we don’t force ourselves regularly to solve problems clearly outside of our areas of expertise?

We consistently look for options that avoid risk or change—solutions that keep us comfortable and hopefully “looking good” to others. And that’s exactly where we are squandering our greatest creative resource.

With routine, patterned approaches and avoidance of discomfort, people get stuck in prescriptive forms of thought and rigid assumptions. When we force our thinking out of our comfort zones, we become part of a more intellectually and emotionally diverse population that helps us continue to learn, expand and challenge our own assumptions.

Many people fear change. They avoid people, places and scenarios different from what they’ve traditionally known. They choose to stay stuck in patterns and fail to spark transformation within their companies and professional and personal lives.

This is destructive behavior and … talk about missed opportunities! Creative tension and degrees of disruption lead to spontaneous change, and change has the power to create immense value. New problems can be solved. New innovations move forward. Even new partnerships can be formed.

Yes, change, difference and creative tension can be scary—but it’s the place where reward, influence, expansion and opportunity exist. It’s actually an adventure just waiting to be happen. Risks waiting to be taken. And most people respond to adventure with a big, hearty “Yes! I’m so jazzed I did that.”

So, my advice? Put your skin in the game. Go try something different.

Observations of a Behavioral Strategist & Cultural Anthropologist & One helluva waterskier