A Basic Creative Anchor: Hope
Monday March 15, 2021
A number of basic anchors are required in order to establish long-lasting creative works, or rather, creative styles.
Hope is a big one. If you can find a place for hope in your creative process, you can maintain an active energy transport to and from your personal system of ideals.
If you can do that—if you can keep the energy flowing to and from your ideals, you can 1) consciously measure the progress of a creative undertaking relative to your ideals and 2) use your intuition to correct a project’s path before it fails your higher-level creative energy.
Hope is the baseline—you have to be able to say: “I’m going to be a little naive and think hopefully,” or “I’m going to take a risk and harbor hope, even though I’ve been a pessimist before.”
Beyond that basic point of “ok fine, I’ll hope for good stuff”, hope in what is a really important question. The answer to this question should be a sort of intuitive design specification:
- I hope we can complete this project in a way that is a win for all of us.
- I hope that we can create something really special here, not just a repeat of past failures.
- I hope that we can sustain this creative energy throughout the project.
These are midpoint specifications. From each of these you can derive a more detailed set of structures that inform the day-to-day process.
This is design.
Working through this process is what will lead to the “hope works” idea. If you hope in isolation, maybe positive outcomes are less certain. Hope starts to feel stupid, especially as an anchor.
And the funny thing is, this hope-anchor is kind of an inverse anchor. Instead of an anchor to the sea floor, like most anchors (anchoring us metaphorically to our past), it’s an anchor up in the sky, or out in space. It’s a vague anchor to our future, and there seems to be no fixed point of location for now.
This feels scary, vulnerable, and it may awaken an unnecessary contingency reflex in us INTJs. Especially if we think we already know the future, or can predict it. We may have to work hard to learn creative and conceptual design principles first, in order to release our overly-firm grip on the only outcome we can perceive at present.
Principles of design can help us remain open to unanticipated, emergent, creative, surprising, happy outcomes—mainly watching ourselves create them!
So this re-connection with hope is really important. What does that look like for you?
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