Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Don't (just) look back - look sideways

The Cafe Press anti-Valentine contest has proved to be an eye-opening experience for me.

First, I was amazed at how easy it was for me to come up with ideas that reflected a cynic's view of love. Negativity is not the most desirable of traits. :-)

Second, when I looked at the designs others created, I learned that there are people who are a lot more cynical than I am out there. Bitter, bitter, bitter.

Third, was the major "duh" moment I had when I realized that I could create designs with a positive message even though they weren't part of the contest and added a couple of positive valentine designs to my shop. I think this was the most important thing I learned from this experience.

It reminded me of times in the past when I have started a project with specific ideas and goals in mind and gotten stuck when I found something blocking my path. Sometimes all that's required is a tiny adjustment - other times, not so tiny.

If I keep focusing on the problem, all I will see is the problem. On the other hand, if I glance around a bit, I may see an alternative that I had missed before. In many cases, it might not have been there earlier - timing is everything. Often the best way to deal with getting stuck is to change my perspective and look "sideways".

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