The key to a more creative life? Be unreasonable.

The key to a more creative life? Be unreasonable.

What is The Creative Nudge?

The Creative Nudge’ is a new book that sets out to unleash the creativity within us all.

Creativity is a way of looking at the world in whatever field you are in. Even a big muddy field. There’s creativity in every industry. Every walk of life. The key to success in life or in business is applying original and different thinking. But we don’t always do it. Why? Because a combination of biology (simple human traits) and sociology (societal conventions) stops us from embracing the new and the different, in all areas of life.

This book is designed to overcome our natural programming and the straight jacket of society, so we can release our inner creative potential. 

It’s not hard. 

It just takes a few small nudges.

The key to a more creative life? Be unreasonable.

This is always the most controversial element to discuss, present or defend – but there really is no major reason why it should be. 

For starters, let’s be clear, we do not mean that you should start acting like a dick. No one wants or likes that. But if you are going to get somewhere new or start to think about doing new things in new ways, then people are going to accuse you of being “unreasonable.” It’s how society works.

What they actually mean is that you aren’t prepared to happily follow the consensus just because that is the easiest thing to do. 

In fact, in most cases you aren’t actually being UNREASONABLE at all. It’s just that society tends to love people who ‘fit in’ – and if you don’t, they’ll accuse you of this sort of thing. Don’t worry. Think about amazing people like Grayson Perry, Elliot Page, David Bowie, Vivienne Westwood – do you think they got to where they got to by being “reasonable”? Of course not.

The reasons humans struggle with being seen as unreasonable is a thing psychiatrists call 'social injury'. 

Think about it. In the days before Waitrose, police forces and Tinder, the only way you could get food, protection and sex was to be part of a tribe/herd. Therefore, your evolutionary genes are all screaming at you to go with the flow. This is because being thrown out of the tribe for ‘unreasonable behaviour would have meant….DEATH! (And no one wants that). So, your brain is always fighting your urge to be different because its evolutionary psychology is trying to avoid ‘social injury’ - being ostracised, shunned, look down upon as ‘other’. It’s the reason behind the fear of public speaking – the fear of making a fool of ourselves in front of others. 

Fear of social injury (being seen to be wrong) is a powerful anchor to creative thinking.

So, we must work at it. We’ll need some – you guessed it – nudges to help. 

The antidote to worrying about being seen as unreasonable is that we must AGREE TO DISAGREE. It’s fine. Just get comfy with being seen to have different opinions to the literal, but mostly metaphorical, ‘herd’. Remember you’re not being unreasonable. You’re just not going with the flow because that won’t take you anywhere new or interesting. 

Here’s a few nudges that’ll help

Egg Timer Time: OK, so you won’t be happy at the start being seen to be ‘unreasonable’ – it’ll pinch like a cheap clog or a new brogue. Try just being unreasonable for a small amount of time each day for the first week or so. Get a timer. Set it for 30 minutes. And in that time, you don’t say yes to anything. You don’t necessarily have to say no, just don’t agree. Be unreasonable. Be the one who always positively dissents.

What Would Gaga Do?: This is my favourite nudge in the whole book. So, when you have an idea or you’re thinking of an approach to a problem ask yourself "what would Gaga do?". Imagine tonight that you were going to a party and the dress code was ‘black’. And you decided to wear white. You’d think you were pretty brave, eh? Gaga once went out wearing a dress made of RAW MEAT. Suddenly your outfit isn’t so brave. Apply this logic to your ideas. Get Gaga on them. Ask what’s the bravest, most ‘unreasonable’ version of it.

Invisible Friend Nudge: If you’re really unhappy being unreasonable, then don’t be. Invent an alter-ego and let them think up the unreasonable things. Beyonce has Sasha Fierce. Eminem had Slim Shady. Create an invisible friend for yourself and get them to come up with the unreasonable option.

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