You might recognize the image above as part of a clever advertising campaign by Nissan featuring the simple but profound word “SHIFT.” By pairing this word with numerous other words they can evoke different emotions. Shift…perceptions. Shift…passion. Shift…discovery. Shift…perspective. Shift…inspiration. “Everything we shift we make better.” Think about that or a second. There are so many areas of life where this is true. Products improve because manufacturers are constantly searching for ways to make them better so you’ll buy the next great version (when is that iPhone 5 going to be released?). Creatives and artists push themselves to come up with new “art” (of any variety…music, architecture, paintings) by continually shifting, finding new inspirations, and trying something different.
I really like that…or at least I like the idea of that, but I’m a creature of habit and routine in many ways, so working for a company like Visioneering Studios that is one of the most creative in its industry I have to push myself and my team to continually shift our routine. Routine has its place in certain businesses and certain tasks within all businesses (such as accounting), but routine can be the enemy of creativity. Routine is often the bane of inspiration.
So what can you do to break out of a rut, change up your routine, and find your new inspiration? It doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are a few suggestions: take a different route in to work tomorrow, try a different flavor coffee, try that new restaurant instead of your old favorite, read a different author, watch a different movie, or even just rearrange the furniture in your office. Doing something new can change your perspective and inspire you to “think outside the box.”
Mainly, you just have to “risk” doing something different and push yourself out of your comfort zone. But, you argue, I like the way I am, and I like the way I’m doing whatever it is I’m doing. Ask “Word Perfect” how that strategy worked out for them (does anyone even get that reference?). If you’re not moving forward you’re moving backward, not staying the same, because your competition is not sitting still. You will soon be seeing their rear bumper as they pass you by for good.
So, where do you get your inspiration? What are you doing to shift…your routine?