Arts & Culture

Ideaspotting & Sam Harrison

Channeling Your Creativity and Finding Your Inner Kid

As we grow older with each year, we get more focused on work, paying bills, raising a family, and just life in general. Have you ever felt so harnessed into your work that you forget to have fun? Can you remember the last time you did something creative? Obviously getting older means prioritizing different responsibilities, but there’s no reason to hold our inner-child inside. That’s why we interviewed Serenbe resident, Sam Harrison, on this week’s episode of Serenbe Stories podcast, to talk about unleashing our creative side, channeling our inner child, and revamping our enthusiasm along the way.

Sam Harrison is an author, writer, teacher and “creative coach” as Monica Olsen noted during his Serenbe Stories interview. He has written multiple books and taught writing classes during his career and says that while he was teaching writing classes to college students, he noticed that many were self-proclaimed “creatives”, but never truly embraced their creative sides. They didn’t reflect on how to stay creative or become more creative. This sparked the idea to teach a purely “creative class” because one didn’t exist. While brainstorming on the idea with a friend and colleague, Sam discovered that you can’t teach creativity, yet you can help harness and unleash the creativity that already exists within a person. As he says, “as we get older, we begin to lose - if we're not careful - some of those creative genes, those creative abilities because we just don't question enough. We're not curious enough. We don't take risks enough. We don't open ourselves enough”. So, that became Sam’s goal: to help people find their creative sides.

His first book, Zing!, helps people find and keep inspiration. He’s since then written three more books: Idea Spotting, Idea Selling and Creative Zing. Sam explains how the inspiration behind Zing! and Creative Zing came from his interpretation of the word “zing”, as enthusiastic, compassionate and involved. He says we are always in one of three zones as human beings: a “zombie zone”, meaning our comfort zones where we just mindlessly float along, the “zig zag zone” where we’re chaotic, unfocused and maybe still not so creative, or the wonderful “zing zone” where we are hitting on all cylinders and being extremely creative. You can find Zing! and his other books at Hills and Hamlets Bookshop right here in Serenbe if you’re interested.

So how do we fall in and out of these creative zones? Sam makes a great point when he explains how we’re all taught from a very young age not to ask so many questions or be different than everyone else in school. Our traditional education system is teaching kids to conform, and is even taking out creative and art classes in younger grades. Sam mentions how it’s great to see the kids from the Acton school at Serenbe spend so much time outside in nature, playing on the green across from the school or drawing on the school’s sidewalk, and especially out on the farm getting their hands dirty. These children are truly allowed creative freedom, something everyone deserves.

Hear more from Sam’s interview on Serenbe Stories.

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