Am needing to come up with a good idea fast here at the moment – and struggling.

It’s in a field I know little about, video-making, which is most of the problem. So straight after writing this, I’m back to the web for total immersion. Then when I’m almost nauseous with how-to advice… kerchang!…inspiration may

Which brings me to this week’s subject: the fine art of balancing exposure to influence with goals.

Discussing this at university, a friend suggested Mental Toughness training. All the rage in management development apparently, this measures and improves:


Sounding sexier than stress management, how it differs I’m not sure. But I am sure that calling something Mental Toughness, in these tough times, is a good idea : ‘We may not be able to pay you any more – but you’ll be equipped for this.’

Now toughness involves the notion of putting protective armour around oneself – a hard skin through which the arrows of rejection, isolation, misunderstanding, unacceptability and ignoring cannot penetrate…

Trouble is, the arrows of enlightenment, example, instruction and inspiration can’t get through either.

We may be so busy being tough, focussed, single-minded and goal-orientated, that we fail to notice no one is currently firing arrows – and that we are passing castles full of dragons and maidens and all sorts of opportunities…

So. An experiment here in the cowshed this week, with much clanking going on as I get in and out of the armour, every few hours. Will spend a third of the time meandering around seeking exposure to all influences – and two thirds of it, on my trusty steer, Intent, charging forward and producing stuff.

Will let you know how I get on.

In the meantime, here’s a recent article on how teachers don’t like creative children, which has generated a lot of online interest.

Much more on all this soon.

By szcz

10 thoughts on “Are you Soft Enough to be Creative?”
  1. well i think i could certainly benefit from this training. Been spending a lot of time immersing myself in a new topic, and feeling the same! X

  2. And it would be especially inspiring if the trainers looked like the guy in the photo above, don’t you think? Do hope all well with you and thanks for the comment

  3. Mental toughness is an itneresting area. I recently scored the whole team here on some typical measures and found some very intersting results

    One point though, rather than ‘blocking’ inputs completely, mential toughness is about dealing with them? There are a relatively large group of measuress. Constancy is one measure for instance. Rather than being viewed in isolation, there should be taken as the whole – as with so many of these things.

    So i might be ‘constant’ in my approach to looking out for new ideas, is a ‘mentally tough’ postion to take, but one that still allows for ‘creativeity’?

    for the sake of the arguemnet a complete set of characteristic is determination, self belief, postiive cognition, visualisation, confidence, the aforementioned constancy and control

    thought provoking piece as always, thanks!

    1. And thank you for this fascinating insight of real-life application. I’d be very interested to know whether your sales experts have a distinctive profile and also – which is probably the crux of the matter – of the complete set of characteristics, which ones are easiest for people to develop?

      Please can I put in a request for you to do a post on this sometime in the future over at

    2. And thats why I love visiting you on here! thats a great idea, I’ll do just that!
      Here’s a little insight to the results. Out of all the tests, the group that scored highest in every single on were the team administrators!
      And can i just apologise for the spelling in those comments! speed and accuracy are mutually exclusive concepts for me, clearly!

  4. A few weeks ago someone told me about thier induction talk from the boss which went along the lines of “if you want to get on here it’s all about resilience. Skills and ability are fine, but you need to be tough”. Shame really as it does stifle creativity and innovation in the workplace.
    Great post, and very interesting link that about creative people in schools. Probably also applies to some of the world of work, so pile on the body armour!
    Good luck with the quick changes today.

    1. Newbie to Mrs M’s stimulating blog, and this discussion really resonates with me.

      I wonder if resilience is really key to developing entrepreneurial creativity (innovation), self-confidence and the idea of “constancy” Tony puts forward within the work place? Having to ‘tough it out’ is often the case in most work environments perhaps, a skills inevitably honed within our school years. Ild humbly like to offer that the truly resilient find workable ways to survive and thrive by overcoming the obstacles that present themselves on a daily basis? Rather than stifle, it may boost creativity and innovation, making us as individuals determined not to take ‘no’ for an answer and reminding us of the value of the “good old Blighty spirit”.

      The world of blog has opened my eyes and tickled my brain, can’t wait for more fascinating input 😀

      1. Hi Natalie

        Great to see you here – and yes, toughing it out must be critical to get creative ideas made – that ‘never say no’ attitude you evoke..

        And grand to hear your eyes have opened and your brain is being tickled – look forward to hearing from you in the future

  5. Yes, resilience or ‘ connecting to your inner punk’ as I like to think of it, so important – especially in creative industries as quite often people who may be commissioning your work and holding the cash have never actually created anything themselves…

    And they may be hugely risk-averse in order to keep their jobs through safe decision making…

  6. Hi Tony

    you’re talking here… so spelling doesn’t matter a jot. And very interesting about the team administrators…but when I think about experiences administrating anything it is about dogged determination to get everything in that’s required, and then make it happen…

    Looking forward to hearing more from you on all this over at your place, I mean, blog.

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