It's time for another dose of creative inspiration from Heraclitus, the ancient Greek Philosopher. (Heraclitus lived around 500 BC, and I consider him to be the world's first creativity teacher.)
Today's epigram to ponder is: “A thing rests by changing.”
What do these words mean to you? How would you apply them to a current problem? Pretty cryptic, huh?
Follow along with me because I believe there's a creative strategy here.
In this paradox, Heraclitus poses the counter-intuitive notion that change is more restful to us than staying still. It is resolved by understanding that Heraclitus believed that everything is continually changing, and that it often takes less energy to move on to the next phase of a process than fighting to stay in the current one.
It's like rowing a boat on a river: it requires more effort to resist the current and remain stationary than it does to go with the flow.
Simply put, the creative strategy Heraclitus is advocating is:
This is a really valuable piece of advice. In a world that is constantly changing, it's best not to get too locked into how things are now or once were.
Here's a personal benefit: I find that when I allow myself to let go of a cherished position, strategy, or belief — especially one that takes increasingly more energy to hold on to — it's much easier for me to discover new alternatives.
Try applying this strategy to a current project or problem. Ask yourself: "Where would my energy be better focused: on where I've been or on where I'm going? Isn't it time for me to move on to the next phase?"