Here are a few more “killer phrases” – those statements we unconsciously direct at ourselves or each other, which have the effect of convincing us to abandon our creativity in favor of timidity or conformity or even mediocrity:
Harry Warner, president of Warner Brothers in 1927, insisted, Who the heck wants to hear actors talk? We all know what happened to the silent movies! What about what has happened to your creative genius when you say things like Take that through a committee…
In 1897 the president of Remington Corporation rejected the rights to the new invention of a typewriter, by saying No mere machine will replace a reliable and honest clerk. Have you ever found yourself in line with that sentiment, uttering words like We’ve always done it this way… It is change for the sake of change.
You remember Chicken Little’s famous declaration The sky is falling! What about our tendency to declare things like They’ll clean your clock… People will leave… We won’t be able to pay the bills.
Some anonymous quality controller quipped, Do it right the first time. A nice sentiment, but what happens if we need the trial and error in order to grow? Ever hear yourself suggesting If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it… Leave well enough alone…We’re okay…?
I wonder what might happen in your life (or in mine) if just for a season – a few days maybe, a few weeks, even a month – we imposed a moratorium on these creativity killers? What might happen if we paid attention to the phrases emanating from our lips and stopped them before they left? What might happen if instead we consciously chose to live as if we believed we are created in God’s image and therefore all of us – every one of us – is a creative genius?