The Value of Mistakes

The Creative Process – short version

 From “Creative Thinking” John Fink Copyright Oct. 2000, 

revised September 2015

Creative thinkers have the courage to face failure – to try something that intuitively seems the path to telling the “truth” about a thing, knowing that even when it doesn’t work, that there is some important lesson to be learned having gone there. It may mean having to start over. It is the same in life and in living – it is in the “broken” places of our lives where we have the opportunity to learn the lessons inherent in such fractured places. Learning such lessons create possibility and integrity in one’s life– a life that feels whole and on balance. Getting to this state involves a certain amount of risk. 

But what is risk? True risk is an integral part of faith, that which you know to be true; armed with the confidence of your skill and what you know to be true, where you willingly leap into the dark, into the unknown, not knowing the final outcome. We artists know about this. You take a leap of faith when you’ve almost finished a large sculpture you’ve taken weeks to form in clay, knowing it is competent and functional, but could be so much more. So you take your tools and alter it dramatically in hopes you’ll “connect” with something marvelous, reaching, stretching, seeking a larger truth. That decision to reinvest the time, effort and even money, could transform what is merely an adequate sculpture into something wonderful, where all of the elements of the design come together in a powerful new energy, a piece that would tell you and others, that you’ve stood at the threshold of the Divine. Artists turn themselves over to this process all of the time, for such leaps can carry you into a state of excitement, into an atmosphere of possibility, even a condition of divine grace, the home of the divine Source. Call this grace a windfall, call it coincidence, call it synchro-nicity, or call it karma . . . it doesn't matter what you call it; but what happens when you take that leap, there is a Positive Force, a Devine Power lifting you up and covering your back when you take such calculated risks. People trained to think creatively, people of faith routinely access this power to problem-solve their jobs, problem-solve their lives all of the time. What is so marvelous is . . . it is accessible to anyone