In today’s interconnected world, we are constantly fed with a great amount of information from the web–some are helpful, insightful, while others are just a waste of time.
When the universe decided to give us this unlimited access to information, we were given the opportunity to decide what to do with it. Sadly, a lot of people have become so caught up with these senseless posts and news on the Internet or on TV that it actually makes us lose our creative juices.
Instead of scrolling through your social media feed on your free time at work, reading all those thoughtless posts about the Kardashian’s new apps, why not use it as an opportunity to help you spark your inner creativity and become a better employee? Here are 5 inspiring, and practically useful TED Talks that will do just that, and you only have to click play.
1. Lawrence Lessig: Laws that choke creativity
Lawrence Lessig, a lawyer and legal activist who founded the non-profit organization Creative Commons, discusses how creativity has both grown with the proliferation of the Internet and new communication technologies, and at the same time has become stunted by the attendant copyright and intellectual ownership laws that come with this evolution. He talks about the notion of “amateur culture” in fostering creativity, and how the world must change to ensure that creativity remains free, democratic, and productive in today’s legally-bound world.
2. Linda Hill: How to manage for collective creativity
Linda Hill is a Harvard Business School professor who, in an effort to understand how creativity and innovation emerges in organizations, did a study on 16 leaders all over the world. She and her “co-conspirators” found that creativity and innovation does not emerge from one single mind — it is, in fact, a collective effort. Sometimes, even, the best ideas come from people outside the collective working on an idea.
3. Dustin Yellin: A journey through the mind of an artist
Sculptural painter Dustin Yellin prides himself for “being raised by lesbians” and for hobbling down New York City “like a gnome” after living for so long in Colorado. When he was 8, he put a pen, a dollar bill, and a fork in box, thinking what it would be like for others to discover these paraphernalia of 1980’s Earth hundreds of years later. Twenty years later, he is still putting things and objects and stuff in boxes, but this time, he has found a way to think outside the box even if his art demands he must keep his ideas within one.
4. Elizabeth Gilbert: Success, failure and the drive to keep creating
Elizabeth Gilbert, who you might know as the writer of Eat, Pray, Love, had a big dream when she was young: all she wanted to be was a writer. Unfortunately, for a long time, the cosmos seemed to tell her otherwise. Rejection letters and years of being unrecognized piled upon her when she started to write, all this while eventually becoming a waitress as she waits for that one big break. We all know how the movie went; we also all (don’t) know how Committed: A Love Story didn’t exactly succeed. But she writes on anyway, and why she does this is what you need to hear in this TED Talk.
5. Matt Cutts: Try something new for 30 days
Google engineer Matt Cutts has a short and simple message, and perhaps, this might not seem to new for you. Try something new in 30 days? Sounds easy enough — until you start doing it. The logic is simple enough, that anything new will help you expand your creative vision. But, trust me, listen to Cutts. Listen to how he feels transformed with any new thing. Moreover, simply listen: this video might be Day 1 for you.