Let’s go on a ‘creative date’

‘Bumble’ the dating app came out with a very strategic placed advertisement last week.

Right in the middle of the Times of India’s matrimonial page (for seeking brides) was this advertisement that literally pulled the rug away from the traditional means of finding a life partner.

It juxtaposed humor with reality – times have changed and people’s choices of what they seek now have also undergone a change.

I bring this up because last month I happened to listen to a very interesting talk by a storyteller par excellence. Speaking at the International Coaching Week organised by the International Coaching Federation (ICF) Mumbai Charter Chapter, eminent personality Roshan Abbas sparkled with his vision of having a ‘creator economy’ where people should be encouraged to explore their ‘fuzzy’ side. His mantra – go on a creative date every week!

The thought came – what if we were to have a dating app that would be focused solely on meeting creative people and let us network? Nothing more, nothing less.

Of course, one can still do that without the support of an App. Question is – how many of us consciously plan out a meeting with ‘creativity’ as something that needs to be present?

Creative dating

What is ‘creative dating’? It is the time you spend with someone doing something out of the ordinary. Or it could be the time you spend with someone who does something out of the ordinary, something that you are passionate about but do not excel in or do not possess the skill for.

We have a tendency to network with people who think like us, belong to the same profession, stay in the same city, have studied similar subjects, blah, blah, blah. The comfort zone has much allure. It provides for the perfect pitching line. It sets the table for the context. And bingo, we are never short of words in this kind of networking.

Now imagine as a communicator you decide to network with a professional classical dancer. Would you not struggle to find the right words? I know I would unless I have always harboured this desire to be a dancer or if classical dancing enthrals me with its exquisite moves and body frames.

Let us take that conversation a step ahead. What if you do meet with a dancer? What do you think would happen? Communication and dancing – both are a form of art where one needs to connect with the audience. It could either be through words or through simple expressions of eyes and hands. There could just so much to learn from one another – especially for a communicator to pick up the nuances of nonverbal body language. I would therefore pitch strongly for such a date!

What lies behind a creative date?

Creators are basically dreamers who dare to live their dreams. They are all around us. Your mother if she became an entrepreneur without any experience of running her own business. Your favourite teacher who taught a language that few wanted to learn. Your close friend who took the decision to give up a comfortable good paying corporate job and instead pursue his passion for theatre.

Creativity also resides within us. For many years I believed that I did not have an iota of creativity in me. I was no good in drawing or painting. Cooking was not my cup of tea. I did not have a green thumb. Adventure sports left my head reeling. To me, creative people were the actors, the singers, the painters, the comedians and the like.

It took me some time to realise that my passion for writing was my creativity. My ability to go up to strangers and striking a conversation, many of which would turn into long term friendships was also a talent that I had but that had never looked at from an angle of creativity.

Look within yourself. You will find that creative streak lurking somewhere. Hidden perhaps. Or not fully explored. Bring it out. Nourish and nurture it. Explore your creative side. Dare to dream and dare to live that dream of yours.

Meet the dreamers who are doers. Absorb their energy and soak in their radiance. Grow your network beyond your usual professional group.

If the above does not work, you can always go on a creative date via any dating app. What say?

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Sarita Bahl
Country Group Head CSR at Bayer - South Asia
Sarita Bahl leads the Corporate Social Responsibility function for Bayer South Asia and is also the Director – Bayer Prayas Association. Prior to this, she successfully oversaw the communications and public affairs function for Bayer South Asia. Over her three decades of professional experience, Sarita has held multiple roles across diverse industries, public sector, trade associations, MNCs and the Not-for-profit sector. An alumnus of Tata Institute of Social Science and the Swedish Institute of Management Program, Sarita specializes in stakeholder engagement, sustainability and communications. She is passionate about animals (is mother to a female cat), books and movies.

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