“When we were younger, our imaginations were limitless and unfettered by practicality and qualifications. Once when I visited by my wife at the local elementary school where she teaches, I asked her class, “How many of you can draw?” The entire class raised their hands. Then I asked, “How many of you can sing?” Jubilantly the entire class raised their hands and they all began to sing different songs. It was a chaotic and wonderful sound. When I am teaching, I ask my college-age students the same questions. In each class, sadly only a couple of brave people raise their hands. You see, the students have added a self-imposing qualifier to the question. While I asked, “How many of you can sing?” they heard, “How many of you can sing well?” Picasso said it: “All Children are artists. The problem is to remain one when you grow up.”
I’ve seen segments of this in an e-mail forward and read about it in blogs, but little did I know it was part of a larger book entitled, Visual Poetry, and is written by Chris Orwig. One I’ve now added to my reserve list at the library. I suggest you do the same.
This is so true in PR and business. We all get comfortable with what we’re good at and play down our talents with qualifiers. As children, we weren’t afraid of risks. We’re afraid of failing our clients, our employer and ourselves. That fear combined with expectations of how we’re supposed to behave as adults and what we’re supposed to be doing is holding us back. Perfectionism can be a hinderance to progress.
So you might not have the perfect campaign? So what? Did you try something new? Was it a learning experience? Do you know why it failed?
Let excitement creep back into your life! Let wonder come back. I think we all can agree that a little appropriately sprinkled child-like tendencies would benefit the industry, our employers and most of all ourselves.