• Danny Gallagher @ Misthios Media

Business in Japan: How Children Can Teach Us To Be Better Storytellers

Have you ever felt as though your life has have slowed to a total standstill?

As if your personal and professional ambitions are so far out of reach, they seem damn-near impossible? Nothing seems to go your way, and when it rains, it pours.

When your dreams are on the edge of oblivion…

Go spend quality time in the presence of a child.

The legendary theoretical physicist Albert Einstein once said, “To stimulate creativity, one must develop the childlike inclination for play.” So, why are childhood and creativity so strongly linked? How can we tap into that creative energy as adults?

Scientists have confirmed that the frontal cortex of a human being doesn’t fully develop until about 25 cycles around the sun. The frontal cortex is the part of the brain that provides our cognitive skills, like our ability to speak, solve problems, and cause and effect (like comprehending rules).

As we emerge from our adolescence and into early adulthood, we become more “rational,” allowing us to make more reasonable judgments and decisions. Unfortunately, this is a double-edged sword, because, with every action, there is an equal or opposite reaction. Entering into adulthood untethers us from divergent thinking.

In laymen’s terms: we lose touch with our imagination.

To add insult to injury, fully developed adults tend to obsess over mistakes, viewing them as failures, rather than a natural and normal part of the creation process. Children, however, usually do the complete opposite — being present in the moment, forgiving, forgetting, and not dwelling on deeds passed.

Watch any child at play, and you’ll see this is true. In fact, the more we allow yourselves to let go of false expectations, the more likely we are to come up with an unexpected solution.

With the coronavirus pandemic decimating local and global economies, and hundreds of millions of people quarantining in-state or nationwide lockdowns — it can be difficult to keep our creative and inspirational juices flowing, let alone stay productive.

In my hundreds of conversations at Misthios Media with peers in the creative media and marketing spaces, the number one common denominator that plays into the suffocation of the imagination is the illusion of “feeling trapped.”

I use the word “illusion” because although we may feel trapped — more often than not — the external factors that have us feeling stressed, anxious, depressed, unmotivated, and uninspired, are not actually as bad as we’ve made them out to be in our heads. We’ve created a metaphorical “boogeyman” that is stalemating our capacity to think creatively. The compounding result of our current situation causes us to become hyper-focused on our circumstances, rather than our opportunities.

To be clear, I am by no means devaluing or belittling the seriousness of mental health issues plaguing society today. There are many of us who are experiencing truly harrowing physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual distress. I’m simply suggesting a fresh perspective and a viable solution that doesn’t cost us a red cent to pursue.

So again, if you ever start feeling that your dreams are at risk of being obliterated — spend quality time in the presence of a child.

Children are the original dreamers. They are beings of honesty and integrity. The way they view the world is pure and limitless.

They are role models of unbridled authenticity. No false expectations. No living to please others. No “failures” to hinder them. Beings so connected to the “source” that their mere smile can lift adults out of the deepest, darkest pits of abyssal depression.

Because we used to be them.

On some level, we still are.

As an adult, we have allowed the tribulations of life to silence the most real, rawest version of ourselves. At the essence of our soul, our “inner child” slumbers — waiting to be embraced. If we can dream, then we still have an imagination. If we still have an imagination, then the inner child is alive and well!

As Storytellers, we’d be wise to channel that childlike energy every chance we get. Especially, when we’re spiraling into a creative funk or feeling down in the dumps.

Remember: It’s not over. This is not the end. It’s just the return to innocence.


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