in Creativity, TheCreativeKeychain

The Key to Creativity is Perspective

-This post is part of a continuing series, The Creative KeyRing

Physically or mentally, where you stand changes how you see things. Simply shifting your position a few inches can give you a completely different opinion of reality.

Perspective changes everything. If you are afraid of dogs, and you see a large, menacing dog on the path in front of you, you will most likely at least stop moving forward. You may even start running away. But, if you take a step to the side and realize that it’s actually just a couple of bushes that lined up just right from that angle to LOOK like a dog, you will start to relax and continue on your way forward. Then, as you walk, you see a $20 bill under the bush, you will probably move forward even quicker to claim your prize.

Perspective changes what we can see, how we see it, and even how we act. But how does it relate to creativity?

A great piece by Thomas Medicus shows a wonderful example of this. A glass cube shows four different images, but only when viewing a side of the cube from a direct, straight-on angle. Otherwise, the images scramble into a chaotic mess. It’s a great analogy to our own perspectives. Depending on where you are looking at something from, it will look different. In fact, when two people stand side-by-side and stare at the same thing, they both get different views. Their field of view is different, if only slightly, and the actual angle of view is shifted, sometimes enough to deliver a completely different experience.

How can you use this? At least two ways: Physically & Mentally


– Change the path you take to work every day.
– Ride in the passenger seat of a car, and try to look at the road through binoculars. Do your best to keep them up to your eyes when it looks like you’re going to crash.
– Listen to your favorite music through a cheap speaker and try to appreciate the nuanced differences without being critical of them. Take notes.
– Make glasses out of prisms, or those dragonfly eye toys. Wear them while you work and see how it changes the way you interact with the world.


– Imagine yourself as a different person, someone whose work you admire. Approach your project pretending to be that person. How would they do this? What would they do differently than I usually do?
– Repeat the above exercise as someone whose work you hate.
– When things go wrong, take ten minutes to write down all of the benefits of the event. If there seem to be no benefits to write, take 20 minutes. You’ll find them
– Consider the quality of your work 5 years ago compared to today. Likely you will see how much you have improved. This perspective is much more motivating and encouraging than comparing yourself to others.

Try these things out, and other ideas you come up with. If you find a great way to change your perspective, leave me a comment on it, I’d love to know!

Thanks, and have an amazing day!

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