I realize I am taking a big risk by mentioning this performer’s name as many people find him irritating. But it is a good example, so what the hay. (Make sure you look at the bottom of the post, there is an important Crossroads Dispatches link.)
Yanni. There I said it. Yanni – the long-hared Greek born new age musician. People generally love or hate Yanni – kind of like Martha, Hillary, and Trump.
This post is not about Yanni, but about something he once said in an interview several years ago. The interviewer asked Yanni what type of music he listened to. Yanni said that when he was composing music, he did not listen to anyone else because he wanted to create from within himself.
I am all for benchmarking and keeping abreast of new approaches, but I think Yanni was on to something. If you want be creative, you don’t want to be TOO influenced by what everyone else is doing. If you are, all you will create is vanilla ice cream with a few colorful sprinkles.
I felt this way when I was writing my book about focus. There are other books about focus, but I did not read them before I wrote my book. I wanted to write MY book about focus and say what I THINK and have learned is important about focus. And you know what? I really like the book and it is nothing like the others. I am thrilled it is nothing like the others.
In what ways do you want to be creative? You might want to try ignoring what others are doing or saying and creating what you really want and think.
Hugh agrees. In this post and his e-book called How to Be Creative, Hugh says:
1. Ignore everybody.
The more original your
idea is, the less good advice other people will be able to give you.
When I first started with the biz card format, people thought I was
nuts. Why wasn’t I trying to do something more easy for markets to
digest i.e. cutey-pie greeting cards or whatever?
know if your idea is any good the moment it’s created. Neither does
anyone else. The most you can hope for is a strong gut feeling that it
is. And trusting your feelings is not as easy as the optimists say it
is. There’s a reason why feelings scare us.
And asking close friends never works quite as well as you hope,
either. It’s not that they deliberately want to be unhelpful. It’s just
they don’t know your world one millionth as well as you know your
world, no matter how hard they try, no matter how hard you try to
In Yanni’s case, he created a unique style of music that is very, well, Yanni-ish.
Do you want to create something amazing? Something uniquely YOU? Stop looking around and get inside your own head for a while. You might be surprised at what is brewing inside!