Developing a “Discovery Mindset” in the Age of COVID-19

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Remember what it felt like to be a kid? Every waking moment of your life was ripe with adventure, exploration, and the glimmering opportunity to discover something new.

Riding a bike, climbing a tree, building a sandcastle. Childhood activities that seem so trivial to us now were actually the building blocks of enabling our adolescent brains to learn new things and make sense of the world around us.

Something as simple as playing in the sandbox shapes our neurons, allowing us to develop key communication skills for more “serious” endeavors in the future.

But somewhere along the line, we lose that sense of wonder as we grow up. That hunger for life and the urge to explore becomes suffocated by fear. We hold back. We don’t throw ourselves into the unknown.

We look for reassurances, signs that our end-goal will make the journey worth it. Embarking on a new project just for discovery’s sake? “Hmm…I don’t think so,” we say. “Not right now – not ‘til I research it a bit more.”

So, what does it mean to have a discovery mindset? Well, let me ask you this: If you could do anything in the world without the burden of fear or the pressing weight of discomfort – if you were guaranteed to succeed, no matter what – what would you do? What opportunities would you seize? What action would you take? Would you be more open, less stressed?

 

What’s that…thing that is trying to realize itself in you?

Having a discovery mindset is what regenerative art is all about. Discovery is life-enhancing. It feeds your innermost creativity and unlocks your deepest, most unexplored potential.

Having a discovery mindset can radically improve our quality of life. As an artist, I love living from a place of exploration. It’s like being a kid again. Over the years, I’ve developed a load of tips and tricks for getting ‘unstuck’ and stopping myself from getting bogged down.

Everyone gets stressed. It’s normal to feel uncertain at times. Am I making the right decision? Should I do this? Should I do that? I let go of all that when I’m painting. Truth is, when we’re in the zone, we’re in the moment. We may scarcely know what we’re doing or where we’re going. It can feel like whatever we are creating is creating itself.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown many of us into a state of uncertainty. We’re having to reinvent ourselves. It’s a shock. Suddenly there’s so much that’s out of our control.

A ‘discovery mindset’ seems like a great concept, but what if you were planning on having to create from nothing? What if you don’t want to ‘pivot’ – a word I for one have come to resent – and you’d rather have all of this end so things can go back to normal?

Maybe it wasn’t perfect, but at least you knew what was what. Turns out that frustration and discomfort are where discovering new perspectives often begins, but only if we stop, breathe, and get out of our heads. That’s where art comes in. (And no, you don’t have to be ‘good’ at art for it to help you feel your way to discovery.)

What will set you apart in this pandemic will be a change of mindset – tapping into your inner creativity, revitalizing the ‘new you,’ and feel what resonates.

Having a discovery mindset isn’t about suppressing those feelings of fear or pretending they aren’t there. It’s about leaning into them. It’s about allowing yourself to feel the opportunity of discomfort and recognize the creative edge it gives you.

Welcome to my newsletter. I’ll share what I’ve learned about embracing your inner creativity. I’ll share what works for me – as well as some cool and wicked successful people I know. I hope these stories about jumping in head-first inspire you to find, create, and curate new opportunities for yourself during these challenging times.