As my oldest son considers what courses to take next in high school to prepare for a future career, I told him that the one thing that will help him no matter what he ends up doing for a living is creativity.  Thinking outside the box.  

Inventor George Washington Carver said, “When you can do a common thing in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.”

And author Arthur Koestler said, “The principal mark of genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new frontiers.”

In order to be creative, you must be vulnerable.  You must put yourself out there and be open to criticism.  You must be willing to fail.  Author Benjamin Hardy said, “Growth comes at the expense of status.”  You won’t look perfect and successful when you are stumbling around trying to figure things out.  But you will expand your mind and your life and your creativity.  As Brene Brown said, “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.”

Are you willing to do things differently?  Dance to the beat of your own drum?  Be a rogue sheep who refuses to follow the flock?

You can research and study and run the numbers forever.  But as author Benjamin Hardy said, “The best form of ‘preparation’ is by rising to the occasion.”  Get on the stage and give the speech.  Do the stand-up routine.  Lead the presentation.  Start the business.  Change careers.  Register for the course.  Run the race.  Board the plane.

Things will go wrong.  But it will lead to things going right.  As author Neil Gaiman said, “If you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world.  You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.”

Doing something new and creative could be the best gift we give ourselves this holiday season.  And who knows?  It could lead to the best year we’ve ever had.