habit zero #040

the challenge


Today I am playing with the Colorize Prism which introduces an arbitrary constraint to the creative exploration. My challenge is to capture an Insight inspired by the Seed’s title, but at the same time, the Insight must include a touch of the color of the Seed.

You probably remember that constraints boost creativity, but I must admit that every time I come across such an arbitrary constraint, my first reaction is “What?!” — a reaction which should come as a surprise to anyone who knows that it was I who came up with these challenges to begin with 🙂

Well, it’s time to get down to business and start the day. The Seed I’ll be using today is the Remix Seed.

my insight


I went out on my way to work hoping to find at least one Insight that complies with this arbitrary constraint. To my surprise, I found three of them even before I started working.

This was pure luck, or pure observation, or any combination of the two. I found this business card lying on the pavement. It had belonged to a painter and the graphics on the card showed cans of paint. I associated this with the concept of Remix — the basic colors appearing on the cards can be mixed to create other colors, and since this was the business card of a painter, chances are he does this mixing operation on a daily basis.

But remember the constraint! Luckily, part of the card design included two stripes colored with the exact same color of the Seed.

Next, I found this encrypted message on the pavement, warning pedestrians to cross the road safely. At least that was what the message should have communicated as it was all (re)mixed up.

Part of the message was painted in cyan which was close enough to the color I was looking for, even though it was not as accurate as was the color in the previous Insight.

Last but not least, when I arrived at my office, I found these jars in the kitchen — one containing instant coffee and the other black coffee. Which made me wonder, how would it taste to mix them? And, what do you know? The cover of one of the jars was again painted with the same color of the Seed.



Anyone who reads anything about creativity knows constraints promote creativity. But no matter how many times I prove this to myself and see others prove the same it will always surprise me.

Since the focus of the assignment today was creative exploration, I think we can try rephrase or extend the original concept: constraints promote not only creativity in general — they boost at least one of the core creativity skills: observation.

Being aware of the constraint made me more focused in my exploration. I noticed things I might have missed otherwise. Sure, the Seed is a key factor in that, but I feel the constraint I used made me even more mindful. It was like a lens focusing me during the exploration.

With that in mind, I will try tomorrow to use the same constraint and the same Seed for a different activity. Instead of going on a creative exploration, I will try to focus more on the imagination part of creativity, and see what impact the constraint has on it.

mental notes


  • Constraints can make the creative exploration more focused — they help the brain tune in and capture better Insights.

now it is your turn… be creative!



Share this page and help us inspire more people to realize their creative potential

The 3X CREATIVITY Newsletter

Three things to experience and experiment with every week

Scroll to Top