Tháng 9 năm 2018, Đức đã có bài phát biểu tại TedxHanoi. Trong sự kiện, Đức đã chia sẻ những góc nhìn thú vị về việc liệu mọi người đều có thể sáng tạo hay không?
Bài phát biểu hoàn toàn bằng tiếng Anh và đã nhận được nhiều sự thích thú từ những người đến tham dự. Chúng tôi xin được trích lại nội dung của bài phát biểu như ở dưới đây:
Can anyone be creative, yes or no?
Many people may argue some are born creative. It is a talent that is gifted, not something that we can develop.
And many people will say I can’t come up with new ideas. I tried but I simply can’t do it.
What do you think about this? Are you creative or are you not?
My answer is YES. Anyone can be creative. And what is the evidence?
Let’s think about it. You are the first evidence of creativity. Among billion of seeds that would never become a human beings, you are the winner. Have you ever thought that you are an absolutely unique creation with unique appearance and unique character? Isn’t it a miracle? Isn’t it a wonder? Isn’t it creativity?
We were born creative. But how come that we lose that innate ability when we grow up? My talk today will give you some insights about that and if we can think like a child, we can always be more creative.
Firstly, what we believe in is usually an obstacle to creativity.
When we were a child, we don’t know much about life. And that is when we have endless imagination beyond all limits. As we grow up, we start to form our own knowledge, notions and beliefs about life. We start to learn them from the outside envionment: our parents, our family, friends, our education, the media, and so on.
And paradoxically, the more we know, the less we are creative. When something get repeated a thousand times, we start to believe that they are absolutely right and that is the only choice that we have. And we lose the ability to ask questions. Let’s take a few example:
- Milk is good for your health.
- If you disagree with your teachers or your parents, you are not a good child.
- If you don’t have a job after university, you are a loser.
- The wedding dress should be white.
The society has formed all kinds of standards for all kinds of things but it simply makes life so boring.
If we observe children, they always ask questions on everything. And that is how they learn. As we grow up, we often lose the ability to think critically which means to ask questions about we have thought? So What if we also think like a child and just ask as many questions as possible and as often as possible? I will give you an example:
For thousands of years, Vietnam has inherited a Chinese tradition of giving lucky money during Tet. And nothing will change until 2 years ago when a question was asked by my friend ‘are you sure that giving lucky money will bring more luck? Or is it a form of bribery?’. At that time, we had a very successful gift box company. And of course we sold a lot of lucky money envelopes. The question caused us a headache for a long time. We want to provide respectful products only, and we don’t want to support bribery. That question lingered with us for a long time and embarked us on a journey to find an alternative option for getting luck. What is it? What is the true Vietnamese way to get more luck?
After 6 months of torturing and suffering from pain and pressure to come up with something respectful, we decided to give up and go for a walk on the ocean. And that is when I got my ‘aha’ moment. In the ancient Vietnam, everyone believes in Karma: if we give to life, life will give to us. Aha, so the true Vietnam actually believes in cultivating luck rather than waiting for it. So what if we can give to life? And what can be the simplest way to do so?
How about giving seeds?
Yes, that’s it.
We launched the lucky seeds project last year and so far it has received a lot of support from the society. If we succeed with this seed project, then every year billions of seeds will be planted, millions of trees will grow and millions of people will be inspired to become nature lovers and little better human beings..
And all these beautiful vision will never happen without a question that was asked at the right time.
So whether it is about event management or life; many times what we believe is what blocks us from seeing possibilities. And what is the mantra to break that? Think like a child. Always remember to ask questions, shake yourself and the team to look for different perspectives. Solutions are always available when you are ready to let it come to you.
Secondly, fear kills creativity.
A child has no fear of failure because she doesn’t even know failure. She falls a thousand times until she can stand up firmly on her own 2 feet. But as we grow up, our notion of the fear of failure grows up also.
Judo is my favorite sport. It is a form of Japanese martial art. They teach wrestling techniques. The interesting thing about this sport is that the first lesson that was taught is how to fall. We may have to spend months learning this falling technique. Because in order to become a good Judoka, you have no choice but fall thousands of times and stand up thousands of times every day. We can apply the same principle to LIFE.
Winston Churchill said that success consists of going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.
And probably you will tell me that ummm, I have already heard about that before. So if we all know that failure is such a natural thing, then why we still have so much fear about it.
At this point, I want to open a new topic called the FACE culture. And this is a very Asian thing. We are afraid of the judgement from other people saying that we are loser. And I know that there are people going through life just to keep a nice face.
- I don’t understand but I will not ask questions because people will think I am stupid.
- I will tell lies or hide my failures or weaknesses because if I show myself, people will tell me I am loser.
- I have to be that person who is always rich, happy, smart and successful all the times.
The more we try to keep the face, the more fear of failure we have, the less creative we can be. What if we have no face to keep?
What if we have a thousand face and we just lose 1 face?
Seeds succeed! Always remember that nature has failed a billion times until it succeeds to create you. So now are you ready to kill the monster of fear of failure inside you and come out head on?
I want to end this 2nd part with a poem of Erin Hanson:
There is freedom waiting for you on the breezes of the sky,
And you ask
“What if I fall?”
But, oh my darling,
“What if you fly?”
And the final thing that I want to talk about is that creativity is not about the result, it is truly about the journey.
I have been talking about thinking like a child can help you become more creative. But I am just curious if everyone here like children? And what is the best part about children? I think it is its creation process.
The man and the woman work together on this project. The man gives the seeds to the woman. Sometimes it takes only 1 night. And sometimes it may take many months. The man never feels discouraged to do it again. If he fails one time, he will keep doing it again, again and again with joy, with happiness and excitement.
And when the woman becomes pregnant, everyone will congratulate the couples on such a great job that they did. From that first initial success, the couples will embark on a different project: the nurturing process. It is scientifically proven that the health and psychology of the mother will strongly affect the health and psychology of the baby. If the mother is worried, angry and stressed; those will be passed onto the baby. So it is crucially important for both the man and the woman to do the process with joy and without worries.
So now, we can apply the same kind of psychology to project management. When you start a project, you and your team need to have new ideas. New ideas are like seeds. You can fill the process of ideas generation with joy. If one doesn’t work, just come up with another one. Don’t worry about the results. Don’t worry about its successes and failures also. Because in the end it is all about the journey that counts. You can imagine the satisfaction that the man has when he gives his seed to the woman. So the generation of your idea can be of great satisfaction too. That’s why your idea should be original. Because if you copy or steal ideas from someone, the reward from the creation process is gone. It is the same thing as you create your baby from the seeds of your neighbor (laugh).
When you finalize idea for your project, you are ready for the nurturing process. If you are worried too much, the results will be affected – the same way the mother affects the baby when the baby is inside her. Think about it, it is hard to start up a project. Most of the time people get stressed and the beauty of the process is destroyed. Then the enjoyment is gone; therefore, there is no creativity. So people will simply end up copying ideas from somewhere, because it is always easier and safer to do that.
So now I want to end my speech with what you can do to be more creative?
“It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.” – Pablo Picasso
If you want to be more creative, think like a child:
- Check all of your beliefs by asking questions
- To have no fear
- And have joy in everything you do.