Saturday, May 27, 2006

A Life of Creative Possibilities

A Life of Creative Possibilities

I think I've not been to the movies for more than a year now. For some reason I find it difficult to fit movie-going into my schedule and lifestyle here in KL, unlike when I was in Singapore or Jakarta, where it used to be a weekly (or even twice-weekly) affair. It is a pleasure that I sorely miss.

I am keen to watch The Da Vinci Code and M:I:III. When it comes to movies, I seldom find one that's really bad. You see, you only find something 'bad' when you approach it with a preconception. Which is why, I think The Da Vinci Code will be a movie where a lot of people will dislike, as many would have already read the book and would have certain expectations on how the movie should be.

It is very difficult to look at things with what they call a Beginner's Mind. The mind of a beginner is open to possibilities; it is full of innocence and innocence is the source of creativity.

Impressionist artists try to recapture the innocence of the mind by looking at ordinary things afresh, taking natural delight in the raw vibrance of colour and light. We had that ability when we were toddlers. But as we grow older, we learn to filter out "unimportant" information. We don't see the world with wonder and fascination anymore. How sad.

I try not to judge the people I meet too much, even though our minds have a natural tendency to stereotype and caricaturize. The mind does not like subtle shades of grey because it hampers decision-making. We want snap judgement so that we can act fast. We want to immediately label someone as good or bad. Our world is easier to manage that way.

What's wrong with people or things which are neither this nor that? Leave judgement out of it and learn to live with uncertainty. Uncertainty is good because it opens up greater possibilities. Contrary to what one might believe, uncertainty does not make one indecisive.

Instead, uncertainty enables us to maintain a certain nimbleness of mind: We are always aware of the limitations of the decisions we make, and we are able to recover quicker, should we find ourselves going in the wrong direction.

How do we make a decision if we are full of uncertainty? How do we know what's the 'right' decision?

The root of our problem lies in our obsession with getting the 'right' decision. Sometimes in life there are no such thing as right decisions: only decisions and consequences. Decide and deal with the consequences--be they good or bad. Often, they are a mixture of both.

It is in this mixture, that the creative possibilities of life emerge.

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