We have so much information at our fingertips, it seems like there is nothing we can’t know. Yet, if information were the answer to improving our lives, we’d all be happier, thinner, healthier, more creative and more successful.
As Michael Ellsberg pointed out in this video, if we want to change, we don’t need more information, we need transformation.
Ellsberg spoke at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition about how changing his diet drastically affected his health and well being. Until he determined to make the change, though, his life was in jeopardy. He knew what he had to do for his particular problem, which was to cut out sugar, alcohol and caffeine, yet until he was inspired to make the change through hearing an emotional story, he was stuck. he was literally at risk of dying and he still couldn’t change.
Change is hard. We resist change because it’s so much easier to stay the course. We resist change because of one of the oldest and most powerful emotions: fear. We are afraid that we won’t succeed because we aren’t up to the task, or that we will succeed and we won’t be worthy. We’re afraid people will laugh at us or simply, that we’ll be wrong. What information in a blog article or a book can compete with all this fear?
What finally got Ellsberg to change was hearing a story that inspired him. It moved him emotionally and made him believe that he had the potential to make the necessary changes.
I’ve read most of the top selling books on Amazon about creativity. One of them tells us why it’s so hard. One tells us who is most likely to be creative, and one tells us the daily habits of some of the most creative people in history. Money-making books. Fascinating books. Not one of them is likely to make you more creative.
Here’s the really surprising thing about self-improvement. We already know what to do. We know what it takes to lose weight. We know what it takes to be more creative—if nothing else, we know that binge watching a season of Game of Thrones, or checking our cell phones 40 times a day isn’t it.
One of the things I know about being creative and innovating at work, is that it doesn’t happen when I’m sitting at my desk taking care of things on my to do list.
That’s why I first attended a conference called C2-MTL which is a conference about creativity and commerce held each year in Montreal. What I heard there were the unique stories of some of the most creative people in business, education and the arts. What I experienced was a conference designed so that people could connect intentionally with exactly the people they wanted to meet. Where the physical space encouraged play and conversation. Where I heard powerful stories that gave me the courage to try new things. And, that’s also why I became an ambassador to the conference, promoting it to my connections.
When I returned to my desk, I started executing on the ideas I got when I was there. C2-MTL is May 27-29, 2014 and it’s almost sold out. If you’d like to go, let me know soon and I’ll give you a discount code. You can reach me on Twitter @Ilana221