Creative Minds Need to Experiment – Today’s Subject Joseph Priestly

Creative Experiment - Joseph PriestlyOne of the big blocks we face in being a creative problem solver, innovator, artist or individual is our fear of MISTAKES. We can learn to change that by a daily experiment habit.

We have been trained as adults that it is a weakness to make mistakes – a flaw in our character that we need to work on!  NO WONDER we suffer from the prison of our own demise, the place of infertility where no new idea can be consummated.  Mistakes are part of the process of creativity – if you could call experimentation results a mistake.  I see them as the result of exploration and adventure into what for you is – “the unknown.”

Who is/was Joseph Priestly?

If you like soda pop, soda water or most things bubbly – you can tip your hat to JP, Joseph Priestly.  Aside from offering the world soda water for the first fizz, Joseph Priestly is credited for discovering….wait for it…


Kind of a big deal!  A huge deal really.

He called it “dephlogisticated air”.

Priestly was not always popular.  Many disagreed with him.  In fact, he was a liberal in politics and God Minded in philosophy and brilliant – which means most people couldn’t keep up with his thoughts.  Does that make him flawed?

He was insatiably curious and liked to carry chemistry tubes with him and do experiments at some crazy times – like when giving a lecture.  He would apply fire to trapped air and enjoy the response of the audience when it popped upon release and scared the willies out of them.

He had a childlike nature in his curiosity, a quality often found in creative people.

Could you allow yourself to experiment with ideas without having to be right?

Would you play with someone else’s’ concept even if you totally disagree in principle – just to see what it feels like to be on the other side?

To be creative, you need to experiment – there is no way around it.

How Can You Apply This Today?

Here are three simple ideas to implement the concept of experimentation into your daily life:

  1. Pick up a magazine or go online and read about something with which you are familiar but are not fully educated. Maybe it’s a new software, recipe, or tool for the workshop.  Try it. WHO CARES IF IT WORKS?  Not you!  You care that you simply opened your mind to something different and experimented.
  2. Go ahead and get lost.  Turn off your GPS or ignore your mentally programmed route home. Head in the general direction using a completely different route that you make up on the fly.  Watch what happens.  Don’t consider yourself lost or that you are wasting time.  BE PRESENT to what is before you at the time.  Allow yourself to see things you don’t normally see. SEE what happens.
  3. Pretend for 10 minutes that you are on the other side of the political debate in America.  What if you were an avid supporter of the opposite team – how would you see things? Pretend you are the person who is discussing politics with you from the other side – what would you point out, defend, or believe in?  After 10 minutes you are free to resume your station.  It’s just an experiment after all!