The Five C's
Learn “The Five Cs”
Of these, choosing courage is the foundation, because it's often required in order to choose creativity, curiosity, and context.
Most of us are familiar with the process of brainstorming to facilitate group creativity.
This is a powerful process with well-documented abilities to create breakthrough results. Yet, when we are stuck, when we have a real problem, how often do we think of and initiate a brainstorming session? This would be a choice of courage on several fronts.
Or, even more simply, when we are faced with a seemingly lose-lose situation, how often do we ask ourselves the simple question, “How might I use my creativity to create more winning results?”
Look deeply and you may see that the choice of creativity is also a choice of courage.
Curiosity is the forerunner of creativity. Curiosity is the natural birthright of children. We never have to teach children to be curious. It is only when we begin to acquire and resist our fear of discovery (when it becomes important to us to avoid looking foolish or to feel like we have it all together), that we begin to suppress our curiosity.
For example, how many of us, when we feel stuck or stopped, ask ourselves the questions:
“What is the benefit of feeling this way?”
“How might I change my attitude right now?”
“What resources might I use to get unstuck?”
Just when we need it most, our curiosity is the least available to us. Especially in these types of circumstances, the choice of curiosity is a choice of courage.
It could be argued that choosing context is more powerful and more important than choosing courage.
However, to choose a more empowering context is almost always a choice of courage. No matter the cost and the pain incurred, the old contexts and interpretations we grew up with, the ones that permeate our language and our culture, have their own comfort and feeling of rightness.
My wife expresses jealousy because I enjoyed talking with another woman at a party. My automatic response might be one of defensiveness, created out of the context and interpretation that she is attacking me and wants me to feel hurt.
I could switch my context and consider that her response is an expression of her deep love for me. She would not feel jealous if she did not love me. Choosing this new context would likely involve choosing the courage of vulnerability. If I really embraced this new interpretation, then my defensiveness would likely disappear.
Example: somebody has to take the blame
My wife and I are getting a divorce and my automatic context and interpretation is that we have failed in our marriage and that somebody and something is to blame, most probably my wife, but likely including myself as one of the bad guys.
I could choose a new context, a context that saw divorce as something to celebrate, as something to learn from, as a valuable process in the continuing discovery of how to live my life to the fullest. Choosing this new context, this new interpretation, however, is often a major choice of courage.
I've just been fired. The automatic context and interpretation is that I have suffered a major setback and I anticipate that my life will not be as good as before. I could choose a new context, a context where everything in life that happens to me is a gift, especially in cases where something occurs that seems to be the opposite of a gift (like getting fired). To assume that getting fired is a gift, to keep looking for that gift, to keep creating that gift is a choice of courage.
Remember the five Cs:
Choose courage, creativity, curiosity, and context.
"To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong."
–Joseph Chilton Pearce
"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep."
"Curiosity is a willing, a proud, an eager confession of ignorance."
–S. Leonard Rubinstein