Monday, 7 October 2013

What Usain Bolt Can Teach You About Being Creative

Usain Bolt is the fastest man alive.

Because he made the right choice for his body.

Before he switched to 100m, coach Mills was convinced Bolt was better suited for middle distances.

Coach Mills was wrong.

Now it's clear Lightning Bolt is built for short explosive bursts.

Not longer, drawn out events.

Your creative mind is the same.

It's a sprinter.

Made for short, efficient sessions of creativity.

It doesn't like longer, drawn out bouts of thinking.

If you try and force these out of it, it won't be happy.

And your creativity will suffer.

Here's an example.

I spent last weekend at One Club's Creative Bootcamp working on The Peace Flag brief.

3 days of being cooked up in a classroom telling my brain to THINK!

My creative brain got tired early on in day 1.

Day 2, it decided to go to sleep.

Day 3, it just told me to fuck off.

I gave my brain a break.

Day 4, I come up with an idea better than anything I thought of during days 1, 2 and 3 combined.

I was eating dinner.

You ask anyone where they do their best creative thinking, I doubt they'll say in a classroom.

I do mine in the shower.

Or while I'm cooking.

Funny thing is we know this.

But it's easy to forget.

Don't forget.

Your creative brain is a sprinter.

Don't make it do marathons.


  1. Good post Charles, and your observation rings true. However, there are times when a creative mind is in a zone and it takes days for it to slow down. In that case, you just sit back, pay attention, and enjoy the ride

  2. Thanks for the feedback Roger. And there's some truth in what you say. When you're on a high, the last thing you want to do is stop.

  3. HI Charles,
    I really like this. I'd like to see some social media buttons at the bottom of the posts so I can share them with others.

  4. Hi Jean, glad you liked the post and would like to share it with others. I think you'll find some share buttons at the end of the post just above the -4 comments- and right below where it says posted by Charles Oben