13-09-2019 – The Imagineering Suite, Amersfoort (NL)
The six basic elements of a working product – Expectations & Visions
And this week, we have arrived at the fourth element of the six basic elements of a working product! Your expectations and visions are very important in the creative process. Your vision will give you a direction to guide your creative process towards. The expectations that are connected to this, will motivate you to take the steps to make something. Your original vision and expectations can be a big source of energy to motivates you to start working on a creative project. There is however, one core to logic to keep in mind:
Your vision and expectations can be colored by your knowledge and experiences.
If you visualize the product that you want to work towards in a creative process, you will have a certain vision that goes along with that. This vision can be incredibly detailed or more of a global indication. This differs per person. One person might know exactly what he/she will be making, while the other chooses a more abstract goal to start working towards. Every person has their own ways of thinking and thus both visions are equally valid as they lead to active creation.
Your expectations will come into play as an extension of your vision. You are aware of how you enter a creative proces. You know in advance what you can do, what experience you have and what knowledge you have already gathered. All that information combined, will create your expectations. You already know what you are good at and what perhaps are not your best points. This will lead to internal expectations that are connected to your vision. People sometimes tend to forget a small piece of logic with this however, because:
Expectations and visions can be altered. They are not absolute and therefore not a guarantee for what will happen.
This can of course be interpreted both positively and negatively. I personally see it as a very positive thing to enter every process with an open vision and expectations. Your expectations and your vision are based on the knowledge and experience you have at that moment in time. This can be both a blessing and a curse. If you had multiple negative creative experiences in the past which all stranded on the same problems, you will not be able to start something new with a 100% open outlook on things. The bad experiences can then be a major influence on your motivation and thus your vision and expectations. Because if it went wrong earlier… Why would it be different now?
This way of thinking is tempting for people, because it almost seems like a logical conclusion after having bad experiences. However, people forget that EVERY creative entrepeneur out there, has bad experiences. And yes, that also goes for the really successful ones. As I stated earlier in the blog about experiences and knowledge: What happened in the past is never a guarantee for what will happen in the future. Actually, bad experiences in the past, as hurtful as they sometimes can be, can actually form the basis out of which you can make something very successful. This is because you will be able to take the mistakes you made before, learn from them and thus not make them again. Especially when you have had negative experiences before, it is of vital importance to create a new vision and pattern of expectations. You must be aware that your negative experience do not ruin your creative process, but that they can serve as a valuable foundation to learn from in the next process.
And just to repeat this for the viewers at home: Your vision and expectations can be shaped and changed!
You have influence on how positive, or negative your vision and expectations will be. However, it sometimes takes time to put the negative experiences into perspective in such a way that they can be used in a positive manner. I do want to emphasize that I think there is NOTHING wrong with being careful or taking your time in your own process. And I will also not tell you to just jump into projects willy nilly like a happy kitten/puppy thinking that everything will always be alright. It is good to look at things with a critical eye and analyse where you went wrong before, so you can enter a new process well prepared. However, you must watch out to not be TOO critical or worried, because that can ultimately remove the joy and fun that can be had in a creative experience. And sometimes that can even lead to not doing anything creative anymore at all…
So, one more time for the listeners in the back: If you have reached the point that you are way too critical about things and you lost your passion for the creative process, then perhaps a re-evaluation of your vision and expectations is needed and perhaps you must realize that you can actually change both these elements!
We all make mistakes and not every project we work on will be a full on success. Sometimes you need a few tries to get to that one perfect product, but don’t let yourself be discouraged. Because if you are able to take the right learning experience from your past ‘failures’, you will realize that these ‘failures’ are no longer that what you thought they were. But these ‘failures’ turn out to be the steps you needed to grow.
And if you can look at your own work with that mindset, the vision of your next product will be a lot clearer and your expectations will be much more positive!
See you next week!