Sunday, December 16, 2012
Big Ideas, take three.
Big Ideas Fest (www.bigideasfest.org) 2012, my third year in attendance.
The holidays are an interesting time of year; filled with ceaseless running, endless to-do lists, more money going out than most other times of the year, and an overall cloak of overwhelmed craziness. It is a time when we remember and reflect on seasons of the past, move closer to a new year and the goals and aspirations that come with the future. This is the perfect time of year to be immersed in Big Ideas and the liveliness of the design thinking process. The Big Ideas Fest annually acts to kick start my notions of life’s true, wild, and viable possibilities and reaffirms the importance of making my days filled with more fun than not, more risk than fear, and more wonderment and awe than settling for present circumstances. It continually acts as an important resolution to not simply accept those things that are easy, but instead to find those that fire up my soul.
The Big Ideas Fest knocks down the doors of what is thought to be probable. It debunks the status quo and what we can choose to accept as ‘just the way it is’ and empowers doers to change the world, starting with themselves, starting with ourselves. Seriously, the speakers at the Big Ideas Fest (BIF) are incredibly human and absolutely phenomenal. Only by following their oftentimes misunderstood voices do they redefine what is conceivable. They have found themselves in an amazingly colorful, fun, lively reality by simply starting small, trusting in the unknown, and by taking one step at a time. There is nothing but possibilities out there for each of us to grab onto. There is no room for settling, and there is no reason why each of us can’t live a fun-filled wild and energized life.
I’ve been researching a lot of the effects of art making, art appreciation, and art participation on our emotional, biological, and neurological selves as of late. It’s pretty amazing to learn that, without a doubt, on a deep innate level, across history and cultural differences, we all appreciate beauty and awe-inspiring events. We all crave the miraculous. How we get there is extremely inspiring and tangible, something that was highlighted at the BIF.
The greatest take away for me from attendance at BIF this year was the 1-10-100 theory and it’s relation to achievement. There is a certain amount of mysticism surrounding great success and outstanding accomplishments. The 1-10-100 theory breaks the idea of genius down to its human state. Each of us may stumble upon a great idea (1), and after 10 tries or ‘experiments,’ it could quite possibly show its potential to be pretty awesome and interesting. But only after much effort and hours of work does the 100th try turn into that awe inspiring mystified event. The first try is not the end; it is most definitely the start. It is only when we give up at 20, 90…that we won’t succeed to move into astounding. We must begin by allowing ourselves to let go of our agendas as well as those schemata of our culture and family, to creatively seek answers and discover new beginnings for ourselves. We must also practice patience, persistence, and kindness and give ourselves the time to work and think diligently into experiment 100. If not, the extraordinary may never come to fruition. This was an amazing take away for me. Each and everyone one of us has the ability to achieve the extraordinary. It is terrifying to walk forward into the unknown, to trust in the universe and to have faith in oneself. To put more energy into believing and less into the fear that our ideas and actions might be crazy is difficult, and it is absolutely worth it.
Actions taken to leap honestly and with good motives should be, and I believe that they are, supported by the universe. The act of showing up to a blank canvas to paint is important; even if the end result is absolutely unknown. It’s a great reminder for myself to seek and expect more out my extremely human self (and sometimes annoyingly human self) and to not give up. The message is in all things, to try, to refocus, to learn, think creatively, have faith in your vision, hone in on the goal, and try again for however many times that it takes. It’s very uplifting and empowering to know that we can all make a difference or a change in our own lives. Go big folks- let the miraculous happen.
Every presenter at the Big Ideas fest had heart, believed in something bigger, and lacked ego. They were all open to share their process, failures and success. All of the participants and presenters seemed to find inspiration in simple events and were filled with energy, life, humor, and vitality. It was an amazing, inspirational weekend that again, after my third year in attendance has opened doors to additional possibilities in my own life and work. Thank you to ISKME for putting on such a great event!