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Beth Comstock, former Vice Chair of General Electric, and writer of the fantastic book Imagine It Forward, had this astute observation:

“People think imagination is the purview of creative, that it’s ‘soft’. It’s not. It’s hard. Creativity implies risk, and people fear risk.”

So much to unpack there…

Creativity is Hard Work.

Embrace Risk.

Scorn Fear.

We’ve talked about dancing with fear before. That it is where great reward often lies. It’s also one of the most difficult things to do – to set aside discomfort and trepidation. Master this, and you will experience amazing things.

Embracing risk… Great reward never happens without risk. Innovation is risky. The path not explored is risky. Trying to make a new and powerful connection is risky. But until we set about these tasks with full will and courage then we will always be… medium. And so will our work.

Chris Do says, “what if FAIL equals first attempt at learning… And what if SAFE equals stay average forever?”

How’s that sound to you ?

And finally – Creativity is hard work.

Beth Comstock also said, “Our species used to rely on adaptability. Now adaptation is avoided in favor of predictability”

Well yes. A predictable crop of wheat is probably easier on the mind than hunting for game while avoiding lions. We have developed over time in fundamental ways to avoid risk, to select the sure thing over the unknown potential. It’s cultural. It’s behavioral.

But it is ONLY in the unknown potential that we find greatness. That we find new. That we find real breakthrough and discovery. If the goal is to make change minds, or provide leadership, then this is where we have to go.

So… will you play it SAFE ? Or create real change, make a real difference ?

Do the hard work.