It might be quite dated now, but a movie that had a profound effect on me was American Gigilo, especially the following scene…Cop: how can you do what you do? Gigilo: some people are above the law. Cop: these people that are above the law, how do they know? Gigilo: they ask themselves.
Another movie that affected me similarly was Cider House Rules, where one of the characters reads a list of restrictions posted in an itinerant workers’ dormitory and comments: “who ever made these rules doesn’t live here.”
Both of these scenes relate to a very fundamental principle of creativity which is what we teach at Natural Success. From an early age we are conditioned to believe that there are rules for everything and that the person who can best learn the rules and follow them the best has the best chance of coping in life. Yet if we mean to experience magic in our lives, by which I mean elevated end results in all areas of our life, then we need to start breaking the rules.
I don’t mean that we should become anti establishment rebels; that’s just a reaction to the rules which keeps the focus on the rules, anyway. But if you look at the levels of creativity, the lower levels include imitation and derivative while the higher levels include invention and innovation. Invention and innovation happen when people begin to go outside the boundaries and rules of convention.
Creativity, by definition, is a state in which we make connections that haven’t been made before and see fresh possibilities. I like to use Andy Warhol as an example, how he looked at a can of baked beans and (while everyone else saw nothing other than a gaseous staple food) he saw a work of art, now worth millions! The higher the level of creativity, the more exalted and rewarding are the connections and possibilities.
And here’s the thing. Creativity occurs when we start defying the rules we believe govern everything. When we know by referring to ourselves, that is when we are in touch with the most appropriate values, appreciate what suits us best and what leads to the highest good. There is no formula or recipe that covers directly who you are, your situation and your best alternative in each moment. Hence the relevance of that line, “whoever made these rules doesn’t live here.”
This is why Farid udin Attar, most exalted of Sufi poets said, “if someone asks you how to do something, tell them to forget everything they ever did before.” He might have added, “and everything they ever learned, too.”
It was Einstein who famously remarked that imagination is far more important than knowledge. One of the key premises we teach at our Natural Success trainings is that what you know once you have let go of all your concepts, that is the key to living life for fun and profit…to borrow from a famous magician.
- Written by William Whitecloud, Founder of Natural Success