Creativity = Mastering the Harmony between Yes and No

My inspiration for this blog comes from the closing event of the course Mastering Creativity (Dutch description) which was taught at two universities in Amsterdam last semester by the Bildung Academy and for which I was fortunate to play a development (and small execution) role. It led me to formulate the Bipolarity paradigm which I will explain below.

A question of taste. Literally.

That made me think: what else might represent this ultimate challenge: appreciating the paradoxal nature of something without wanting to capture it in a neat little box.

A creative paradox

Now, this is a very common advice in this realm, but I don’t necessarily fully agree. I think reality is much more interesting. I think there are basically two main ways of looking at it. And I will integrate two relevant notions: flow and friction.

  1. Saying Yes means you open up to something and thereby create flow and a path to the answer/ solution. Saying No means you put up a blockade thereby stopping flow and introducing (too much) friction to move on.
  2. Saying No (, not yet) means you are keeping your Curiosity alive, you keep an even more open mind to exploring further, not being satisfied yet and realising that the flow might still be stronger in another direction. Saying Yes implies you have already found the path to the answer, and thereby ignore the level of friction that is required that represents reality. “No/low friction means it is probably fiction”.

So, what gives? Both can’t be true at the same time, as they seem to flat-out contradict each other. They are the opposite poles in a spectrum…

Nurture the bipolarity

In summary, for me it’s not so much about the neat little box, i.e. only saying “Yes”, it is more about saying “Not yet” long enough before you switch to Yes, i.e. connecting the boxes and in fact not allowing one to dominate the other.

There, from paradox or dilemma to harmony and appreciating the mix that represents reality, which not coincidentally was the topic of an earlier blog.

This blog was previously published here, with the title being the main difference.

Chief Curiosity at The New ABC. Always Be Curious and forget “the box” altogether.

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