Creative Genesis

When I first told my partner, Chuck, that I was compelled to explore “creative genesis” in my next blog post, he looked at me and said, “Don’t you mean creative genius?” I smiled and started to share my thoughts on the topic, and as his curiosity grew I knew this concept was wildly provocative and something that I had to share with you.

Let me start by stating that I operate from a perspective that there is a creative genius in all of us. We are inherently designed that way. Creative “genesis” is altogether different. The dictionary defines genesis as “the coming into being of something; the origin.” We have the ability to generate (genesis) anything we desire because we are born as a creative genius.

You may be familiar with the notion that there are two ways of interacting with our world. The first is a reactive mindset. If something happens in our lives we react to it. It can be something as simple as an email. You get an email and you respond to it. Or maybe someone says something about you. You react to what was said.

I find that I often spend much of my day in a reactive mindset. I maintain what is, keeping the status quo. It is a thought process and an energetic groove that I get into, answering one email and then the next. I find that I even begin looking for things to react to—a comfort zone that is so comfortable and natural that it feels like breathing. This mindset will eventually become deflating and depleting over time.

The second way we interact with our world is in a creative mindset. When we are in a creative mindset, we can make something new from nothing or from what is happening. A great example of this can be taken from the recent global recession. Many folks lost their jobs and remain angry or resistant to what happened. And there are others who, after losing their jobs, created some new business or opportunity from what happened to them. They learned to quickly recover from the circumstance and put their thinking into creative mode and began to see what was possible (It has been proven that more new ideas are generated during a recession than at any other time). Many of my clients over the years have realized after the fact that what they were most fearful of actually became the gift to change and wake up their life.

The creative mindset gives me energy! As invigorating as it is, though, I notice I spend less of my day in this mindset. In my coaching and leadership work, others share that they do the same. We invite circumstances, like work and mundane tasks, to distract us from being creative. Why?

I sense that our reactive mindset is based in fear. It has a job to keep us safe, which is a good thing. Yet over time, it moves from a sense of safety to utter boredom. The creative mindset takes deep courage and vulnerability. It requires a compelling purpose and is built on hunger for something new. Creative genesis requires a big shift in where we put our attention in our daily lives. Many feel so alone in making this shift happen!

As your Bigger Game advocate I have some thoughts on how you can be more creative and less reactive in your daily experience.

Seven Simple Ideas for staying in a creative mindset

  1. Stop looking backwards.
  2. No more blaming. Take responsibility.
  3. Stop comparing.
  4. Ask and notice in your day what is working?
  5. What moves you emotionally?
  6. Look for the best use of you in your work and personal life.
  7. Go create an ideal experience, i.e., if you love food, take a cooking class to experience creating something new in a very real tangible way.

Imagine if you could co-create with life and not react to it! It is an investment well worth the effort. We are all creative geniuses—that is a given. Remember being in a “creative genesis” mindset is a conscious choice you can make at any moment with all your circumstances.

I’d love to know what you think so please respond here, or reach out via Facebook and twitter.

More to come-

Tagged under:


  • Penni Blythe-Jones Reply

    Oh how inspiring. ‘Spot on’. I’ve been wobbling in reactive all morning’. What really hit home is the ‘looking for something else to react to’. Ouch. Yes quite a comfort zone. so much so it is severely uncomfortable. Thank you for a steer… Off to practice creative genesis!

  • Jennifer Crow Reply

    Oh, absolutely! Over the past several years, I’ve consciously tried to live in the moment, to shoulder accountability, and to push myself as well as my clients toward doing something. I find myself often impatient these days when folks won’t move out of their reactionary mindset, as you so nicely coined it. And I’ve also noticed that, if I don’t really consciously practice it, I can get caught up in reacting rather than creating. I believe it takes conscious effort — although if I practice it regularly enough and stay mindful enough, I find myself in flow mode more often. And that, I like. Thanks for the reminder and the wisdom.

  • Pat O Reply

    I find your statement about when something happens to us that we are most fearful of actually becomes the gift to change and wake up our life. I have had this happen so many times, I stopped counting and find that no matter what I go through in my life, even when it is full of fear it always, always becomes the gift.

    I’m receiving that gift right now.

  • Kat Koppett Reply

    As I’m sure you know, one of the tenets of improv is, “Everything is an offer.” The longer I play with this idea, the more profound it becomes. When EVERYTHING is an offer – something that can be seen, noticed, accepted and BUILT with, then life becomes one giant opportunity for generative possibility.

    You reminded me to seek that creative space moment to moment. You also reminded me of one of my favorite Keith Johnstone quotes, “There are people who prefer to say ‘yes’, and people who prefer to say ‘No’. People who say ‘Yes’ are rewarded by the adventures they have. People who say ‘No’ are rewarded by the safety they attain.”

    Thanks for the great new words!

  • Megan Densmore Reply

    I love this and it is very applicable to what I working on right now. I have been taking a break from using texting as a mode of communication this month because I discovered that the messages popping up on my phone were a major distraction. Your post allows me to see that the texts were causing me to be reactive instead of creative. Removing them and communicating in other slower ways this month, like email and phone calls, has enabled me to release a need for instantaneous communication and to spend more time discovering my own creative desires. This also slows the rate of feedback and advice and allows me the time to discover my intuition regarding decisions in the meantime. Then I can listen to my intuition and also hear potentially valuable outside opinions from a strong personal perspective. It is fascinating and I am grateful for the awareness. Thank you for putting this into words better than I could!

  • wayne peacock Reply

    Hi Rick:
    You are on target as usual. Regards to Chuck.
    I am nearing the end of a 90 day time out.
    After a fabulous 75 years/birthday, I have been pausing for 90 days to plan how I want the next 25 years to be; or 35 years as the case may be.
    My recurring and dominant insight is that before I can due justice to my constant creative urges I must eliminate a 12 year build up of clutter around coaching. The clutter resides in my mind and physical office.
    The harsh reality is that there is no room for a big creative dream, bigger game, because I am knee deep in the residuals of hundreds of coaching things; i.e. it is physically and mentally prohibitive.
    My No. 1 strategic objective is to clear enough “space” so that I have the time and energy to tackle what fires me up next, and next.
    PS: You would enjoy my last blog at

  • Melissa O'Mara Reply

    Ahhh… Thank you Rick Tamlyn for articulating this! My creative genesis came in the middle of the night – huge creativity, and I had the sense to capture it, as I am in the midst of a very creative cycle. I believe that at our very best, we are simply a channel for creative genesis, we are the voice of the evolutionary impulse, the expression of what is wanted, needed – what is “next” in the world. This is very related to the collective leadership training I will be launching in the US in April – bringing it in from where it was birthed, in the Netherlands, with Roelien Bokxem and Jane Weber. Coupled up with playing a bigger game – it is what’s next for those that are leaning into their creative genius to reinvent and reinvigorate how we live, work and play; in public and private sector, and in our homes, towns, and cities. I’ve never been more excited or more sure….

  • Bernard Lamborelle Reply

    An old navy man once told me: “Sailor, the world will bless you of all its richness and splendors if only you can keep the “C” in front of you!” He then leaned over and whistled to my ear “Stop reaCting and start Creating cause the clock is ticking!”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.