Looking to jump start your creativity? One classic piece of advice is to consume media. Read books or articles. Watch videos. Listen to music, podcasts, or audiobooks. The more information you shove into your brain, the more likely something will spark your creative energy.
A small, but important, personal example
This phenomenon happened to me recently, on my way to work, when I listened to Tim Ferriss interview Amanda Palmer on his podcast. At one point in the show, Amanda mentions how everything is a tradeoff. She used the example of book publishing, specifically going with a traditional publisher versus going independently.
Zooming out from book publishing, her broader message was clear. Some routes are better for some people in some instances. But no route is perfect. You’ll inevitably make sacrifices. It’s helpful when the sacrifices are deliberate, when you know exactly what you’re giving up, and what you’re getting in return.
If you seek advice about changing your career trajectory, you’ll inevitably hear “follow your passion”. If you listen to any entrepreneurship podcast, or read any self-development book, you’ll hear the same thing. Find your passion. Follow it. Great.
Why this advice is helpful
The value you get from following your passion is a second order effect. I mean that, the immediate (or first order) effect of following your passion is you become happier. You’re happier doing things you’re passionate about than you are doing other things. But your happiness isn’t the real reason this advice is helpful.
The real reason the “follow your passion” advice is helpful is, when you’re passionate about something, you’re more likely to push past the obstacles that will inevitably appear. And if I can distill one central piece of wisdom from the body of success thinking, it would be the importance of getting back up after you’ve been knocked down.