Whether they’re framed above the mantle, spelled out in magnetic poetry on the fridge, or scribbled on the inside of your office’s bathroom stall, quotes can have a huge impact on the way we think.
Quotes are the ultimate short-form prose, as they cut away the unnecessary (but tasty) fat and leave us with just the meat of an argument or idea. Easily digested and easily shared, quotes are a low-barrier-to-entry way of spreading knowledge.
Creativity Exercise: Inspirational Quotes
- Print out a bunch of quotes. (Tip: Pick a theme. I used “creativity” as my theme when I ran this exercise with my company’s content team.)
- Put the quotes face-down on the table and have each participant pick one.
- Go around the horn (participants read their quotes aloud).
- Lead discussion by asking questions – e.g.
- What was your favorite quote?
- What was your least favorite quote?
- Which quotes had similar messages?
- Which quotes were most at odds with each other?
- What does the ___ quote mean?
(Tip: Encourage participants to re-read their quotes as needed.)
What’s the point?
Think Different: Tackling the tasks required of you each day (while obviously a necessity) can get your brain stuck in a certain way of thinking. Discussing ideas from some of history’s most creative minds will encourage your brain to think in different ways and can help spark creativity.
Get Talking: Running this exercise is a great way to generate a good – dare I say, “academic” – discussion. (When I ran the exercise, the discussion in the room came to revolve around whether or not the term “creativity” implied something entirely unique/invented or the connecting of ideas/components in novel ways.)