Permission To Be Stupid

We all hold ourselves to a high standard. We want to produce the best work for our clients and be responsible brand stewards. But as we ascend the corporate ladder we tend to become more rigid and intolerant of “dumb” ideas. We perceive them as a reckless, like running with scissors.

There are many psychological forces that must be resisted over the lives of our careers and this is one of them.

We are not accountants or building contractors. Nobody will go to jail or die if we do something stupid. We are creatives in the idea business. An extremely crucial part of doing the best work is allowing ourselves to be stupid, trite and silly in the early stages of the idea process. We need permission to follow our inspiration, wherever it takes us. 

It’s a mindset. It’s how we approach creating. We can shackle our feet and be mature or we can let our selves run wild and think or say anything, no matter how stupid.

Here’s why: when you give permission to be stupid, better ideas happen. That’s because random, seemingly ridiculous ideas can trigger other ideas. Random words can inspire. Gobbledygook can evolve into pure genius. 

Most all innovations in the last few hundred years flew in the face of convention and “better judgment.” Personally, I don’t believe any of those ideas would have become a reality if people weren’t allowed to try stupid things.

Let’s free ourselves from the grown-up mindset of conformity. Let’s stop considering ourselves brand guardians, at least while in creative exploration. There’s a time and place for maturity. But until then, let’s not be afraid to run free and naked, like an unashamed 2-year-old just out of the bath.

[Thank you Tom for inspiring this blog post.]