habit zero #006

the challenge



The creative challenge for today is to capture an Insight inspired by the Square One Seed. It started with creative exploration in mind, but it took a surprising turn during the day…

my insight


The day started with nothing related to the challenge. Throughout the morning I saw squares practically everywhere, but that was not enough. I couldn’t justify associating any of them with the phrase “Square One”.

Hours after picking the Seed, I was waiting for a bus. I was not thinking anymore on today’s challenge, when something caught my eyes for no more than two seconds. It was a huge red square with a big white digit in it. It was the most perfect “square one”. I was so surprised that I barely managed to capture it.

So I had a visual Insight for today, but as often happens, my mind just kept on going. On my way home I kept thinking about the bus, about where it was headed, and who might ride it. The phrase on the Seed also kept showing up in my thought-loop, and gradually this ultra-short story took form…

She sits there in the front row of the no. 1 bus.
She likes the feeling of moving and standing still at the same time.
She recognizes some faces — they don’t bother to try.
When the bus arrives to the final stop she doesn’t get up — the driver doesn’t ask her why.
Soon, the last stop will become the first — where everything is possible.
But she knows



The creative process I went through today differed from the one in the past couple of days. First, it took me some time to find my first Insight. In fact, I was about to give up just before I found the big red square. You probably know this is not a rare thing to happen. When you are facing a problem and you are looking for a creative solution, often you get stuck. If fact, often the more you think of it the greater the chances are to get stuck. Although the creative challenge I was facing today is very abstract and simplified, the lesson is that sometimes letting go and putting the challenge on hold enables a breakthrough.

But an even more significant difference today was that without intending to, I took the challenge further. I initially looked for a visual Insight — something I see around me inspired by the Seed. Once I had it, I was attentive enough to let my mind continue working with it. I didn’t had to — it just happened. I could have easily killed that bud of new thought and force my mind to focus on something else — something I planned to do in advance.

The decision to flow with this new thought and let my brain play with it, might have had a short-term impact on my productivity, but it was a long-term investment in making my mind more flexible and promoting flow-oriented thinking mode.

Being in flow is the operating mode that supports and fuels creativity. We can never force it, but we need to encourage it and clearly not kill it.

mental notes


  • Sometimes you just have to let it go.
  • Don’t force your brain to cut the flow. When you have an idea, let your mind flow with it. Even if it seems unrelated to what you have to do.

now it is your turn… be creative!


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