If you step into my home office you’ll notice something very playful about the surroundings.
I have books I’ve read and want to read in several different places. Some on my desk and more on a floating shelf. The covers of the books tend to be bright and multi-coloured, and relate to the subject matter of being creative.
Branded logos for Mars Inc. (the company I work for) are framed on my wall and in other visible areas. Skittles, Twix, Snickers and the M&M’s characters fill my work space with even more bright colours and creative images.
I have my NFL Funko Pop collection sitting on my desk and shelf. And of course I have my kids artwork hanging proudly in several different areas on the walls.
There’s a reason for all this colourful, bright, childlike madness around me each day. It’s to stay in a constant state of creativity. As we get older we slowly lose the creative innocence we had as kids. Peter Himmelman the author of Let Me Out: Unlock Your Creative Mind and Bring Your Ideas to Life puts it this way in a 2016 article for Time Magazine:
When a child is engaged in play, she is taking material from her inner reality, or dream world, and placing it into external reality, or what we might call the real world.
Play then becomes the intersection of dream and reality. I call that… “Kid-Thinking.” Very young children don’t think about the consequences or how they’ll be perceived; they just play.
Studies have shown that when we fully immerse ourselves in joyous doing—as opposed to anxious mulling—we can become more creative.
Books, brand images, Funko Pops, kids paintings in my office all remind me that even at 40 years of age, my inner child creative potential is limitless. I just need to give it permission to be so.