habit zero #001

the challenge



My creative challenge for today is based on the Exploration Prism. It is a creative observation exercise which I can do throughout the day — it is a great way to turn dead-time into fun, creative time.

The Insight I should capture can take any form as long as it is based on an observation first. Other Prisms might require more specific type of Insights, but the Exploration challenge is a great way to start the day as well as this journey.

I was hoping for a less abstract Seed for this first public entry in my creative journal. But I decided to go with the first random challenge generated by the Master Your Creativity channel, so here it goes…


my insight

In the spirit of upgrading my dead time, I decided to use my ten minutes walk from the bus station to my office for this creative exploration. Keeping the Seed in mind might seem distracting at first, but it really helps me “tune-in” to what I am looking for. In a sense, it is like seeing the world through a special pair of glasses.

Five minutes into the game, I came across this cup of coffee just waiting on this wall approximately 50 cm above my head.

Now, this is when the magic happened. In any other day I might not have notice this paper cup. Or I might have seen it and not given it a second thought. But I had the Prank Seed in mind and simply seeing this paper cup for a brief moment triggered a brand new association:

What if someone deliberately placed it there so it would eventually fall on someone’s head? As a prank of course!


So, this might not be the most intelligent association (or the most original one for that matter). And that’s exactly why I love it and don’t mind sharing it — it is a creative insight simply because it was not a trivial insight for me. How do I know that? Because it made me smile — as simple as that.

Remember that the goal of this challenge is to practice your imagination and creativity — not to come up with the most original insight in the world. Just like when you go to the gym you aim to improve your physical fitness and not set a world record.

Looking back at this Insight, there are two things I would like to reflect upon. The street in which I found the Insight is likely to be titled the most boring street on earth, especially when you consider the fact that I am passing through it almost every day. And yet, when I am tuned in to finding a new angle — when I am mindfully exploring it — there is a good chance it will surprise me. Or is it me who keep surprising myself, using the street as a setting?

And in the same spirit, throughout the years I have seen dozens of similar paper cups in strange places in different streets. Yet, my brain haven’t created the prank association before. Never. The only difference today was that I was tuned in to finding a prank-related Insight. This artificial challenge made me see the same old thing differently. It created a new and different story in my mind.

Imagine what could happen when you take this idea and apply it to a problem you are struggling with. We’ll get to that in future entries. Guaranteed!

mental notes

  • Look around you in all directions and not just straight ahead
  • No matter how familiar the setup is, you can find new things in it
  • No matter how familiar something is, you can find new ways to look at it

now it is your turn… be creative!

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