The best weapon against the ideas and attitudes—from “the one right way” to “experts know best”—that stifle creativity yet abound in our schools and other institutions is a vigorous, searching, questioning, elaborate style of focusing. When you pay rapt attention, your spirits lift, expanding your cognitive range and creative potential, and perhaps even poising you for that personal renaissance.
Occasionally my at-work practices fall victim to this weakened state of creativity — I justify this by saying, “Well my manager can be anal-retentive and very particular. It’s best I do it ‘the right way.'” Tricky thing is, I’m not wrong in my thinking.
It’s about knowing when to take creative liberty…and that knowledge comes from paying attention. If I pay attention closely enough, I will more easily be able to discern when I can deviate to solve for patterns, versus when I should follow the guide.
Such judgment calls are best made with a complete palette of information.