Everybody needs to be creative now and then. For entrepreneurs like us who are trying to become self-employed and create sustainable income through a small business, great ideas are like gold. It’s far better to have many average ideas than only one that’s above average. Why? Because when we have a much larger pool of ideas to work from, we’re more likely to hook into one that needs only a little tweaking to turn it into something remarkable.
If you’re like me, you keep a list of ideas. Some of these may eventually turn into future income streams. I have a lot of ideas, though many are still a bit undeveloped. However, I’ve noticed that there are times in which I’m more likely to have a multiple-idea burst. This happens after I’ve done something very exciting or when I’ve watched a movie that has me really charged up with energy. That’s when the ideas seem to come to me in clusters. Here are some examples of movies that seem to lubricate my creativity:
Back to the Future
I saw this movie at the theater while on summer vacation between my junior and senior years of high school. It was a bright summer day and I had no obligations. Life was about following my interests and having fun. I was already feeling that summer-time bliss when I went to see Back to the Future. The movie was fun, creative, exciting and ended on a high note. The final scene had the perfect ending and it featured the rousing Huey Lewis and the News song, The Power of Love playing at full volume. I walked out of the theater feeling like I was Marty McFly (played by Michael J. Fox). I was all juiced up and the world seemed ultra-lucid. In moments like this, we can feel invincible; like we can accomplish anything in the world. I felt physically taller, stronger and at the top of my game.
The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951 version)
This may be my all-time favorite movie. For me, it represents the essence of future potential. Science fiction blends with the imagination inducing dreams of possibilities. The heart of the movie storyline questions our fundamental humanity—how we relate to each other, how we get along, how we handle crisis. It causes me to reflect on the kind of world we have created and if it’s possible to change or fix what’s broken. The philosophical underpinnings of this movie are very rich as is the cinematography. From the play of light and dark during the night scenes at the spacecraft, to the message given to the world by Klaatu, my mind moving at the speed of light by the end of the movie. I can’t help but ponder our place in the universe. After watching this movie, my creativity skyrockets, like the spacecraft leaving the earth in the final scene.
There’s something mystical about the works of Shakespeare in movie form. I always feel imbued with deeper insight. I feel like my thoughts and imagination become sharpened and highly coherent. And again, I usually feel stronger and more capable of achieving anything I set my mind to. Feeling stronger usually equates to a deep inner strength and confidence. When I make a decision, I make it with greater conviction and certainty of outcome. The irony is that tragedy seems to be at the heart of many Shakespearean dramas, though there’s usually some kind of redemptive quality in the end. Either way, I find it very powerful and moving.
Charlie Chaplin in City Lights (and other funny movies)
I grew up with a general idea of who Charlie Chaplin was. He was a comedian from the silent (black and white) film era. I knew he was old-school but he was supposed to be pretty funny. Then one day, my mom invited me to watch a Chaplin movie. Since the rest of the family was going to watch it, I joined in. The movie was City Lights. I’m not stretching the truth when I say that within the first five minutes, everybody was rolling with laughter. We all were laughing so hard, we couldn’t see; I had tears streaming down my cheeks. I was literally lying on the floor in front of the TV, laughing uncontrollably. You know how it is when you laugh long enough and hard enough you almost start convulsing? Yeah, I’m not kidding—it was that funny. Let me remind you at this point, that City Lights was a silent movie…it only had a musical score playing.
There is something so deeply cathartic about watching a movie that touches you in some way. There are many great and inspirational movies that can charge up your confidence, boost your creativity and strengthen your conviction. Think back about movies you’ve seen. Are there any that stand out as being particularly meaningful and that filled you with the resolve needed to start a new project or move in a new direction in life? Movies can trigger a precise combination of body chemicals that enhance your faculties in ways that can empower you beyond belief. I suggest you plan an important activity immediately following an inspirational movie: brainstorming business ideas, planning the next step in a project, making an important phone call, writing an important letter or blog post, power researching, etc.
Give it a try. Make a list of movies that you know have empowered or inspired you in the past and plan a block of time to watch one. Then, after the movie, do an activity that requires some creativity (I particularly like brainstorming). Of course, you can also be spontaneous and watch any movie that looks good. So grab some popcorn, kick back, watch a movie and get inspired!
What movies inspire you and make you feel more creative? Let us know in the comments.