Shark Surfing designed by Wolff from the Noun Project

Shark Surfing designed by Wolff from the Noun Project

Fast Company writer Ekaterina Walter echoes the advice of author Erik Wahl, who states that we need to be more provocative if we want to have more creative ideas:

“Some people wait until they are provoked by [external] forces to change, until their cages are rattled for them and their hand is forced,” says Wahl. “Artists don’t wait to be rattled only from the outside. They provoke themselves first, and then the people around them, in order to constantly imagine new possibilities. They instigate change even when it doesn’t seem necessary.”

Wahl says that “purposeful provocation” should be a part of our personal and professional lives, every single day.

So how do we provoke ourselves? Ekaterina gives us four steps from Wahl’s book, Unthink: Rediscover Your Creative Genius. Included in the steps: step outside your daily bubble, live with some discomfort, ask for forgiveness instead of permission, and focus on starting small. How you do each of this is going to be a personal preference, but the core advice remains the same: don’t fall victim to the daily routine. Shake yourself up (and your business) by becoming more provocative and answer: “What if?”

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  • Catherine Castellani

    Quite frankly, the advice to shake yourself up, “think outside the box,” and “get out of your comfort zone” IS the standard now. Here’s some nonstandard advice: find out exactly what your comfort zone for maximum productivity is, and cultivate THAT. Don’t get precious about any one element, but make sure you know how to go straight to the place–internal and external–where you do your best work and DO IT.

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