Michael Dargie, Creative Zealot

Michael Dargie, Creative Zealot, in his 2021 Creative Playful Summit Playing Within The Guardrails conversation with David Chislett, touched on so many ideas about creativity I wish I could just open up the YouTube video to the world. I need to start this summary by making it EXTREMELY clear that I’m paraphrasing the conversation very broadly. Somehow, it seems important to me to “translate” the conversation, to prove that anyone can access the ideas. I fervently hope that Michael and David will correct all the mistakes I’m about to make. And I feel very guilty, because I’m not covering it all.


They emphatically drew out the idea that it can be critical to set boundaries (guardrails) on your efforts – with a calendar, and/or a journal and/or a timer – so that you are moving forward in the work – there is accountability. CLIENTS, I’m gonna “I told you so!” and add the simple reminder that if you’ve got the task, intention, details written down, you’re not nearly so likely to going to forget them. BUT…


They simultaneously recognize that, once the guardrails are built, you can let yourself have freedom to play (Michael’s wording) as much as possible – letting your unconscious preferences decide which project might get your attention at any moment. Clients – there’s neuroscience behind this, for example we can try to find or create everyday cues behind positive behaviors we want to enhance, and use those cues as support (Greater Good Science Center, How to Use Your Unconscious Mind to Achieve Your Goals, John Bargh January 30 2018.) AND…


You form any intellectual or physical stuff out of nothing and everything. The guardrails protect the fundamental integrity of the project – but they let you explore and have fun with all the possibilities that come to you. You don’t start with intention X and end up generating Alpha, which possibly isn’t viable. But X+ will be fantastic, and maybe even Y.


About Lauren Williams

Lauren Williams, Certified Professional Organizer®, Certified Virtual Professional Organizer®

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