Share Your Intention



Updated November 3, 2022

You’re reading an excerpt of Creative Doing, by Herbert Lui. 75 practical techniques to unlock creative potential in your work, hobby, or next career. Purchase now for instant, lifetime access to the book.

On occasion, an intention—a reason, or a purpose, or even just a hypothesis—can be enough to get an idea started. When you share your intention, you give the other person or people a chance to make sense of it, which refines it and provides a space for it to grow.

It can help to be clearer with how you’re asking someone to support your intention. I remember once introducing two friends over coffee, and one was sharing a vision of setting up a dome installation during a film festival and making a request for the other’s expertise with cameras. I left in awe of my friend’s informal presentation and vision.

Perhaps the request isn’t supporting an end result, but for support during the process. For example, “I’m planning on writing for 100 days, and I’d love your support because I’m trying to be an author and it’s going to be hard!” You might also make a request more specifically for accountability, or for feedback, or just general moral support.

Setting your intention and action in the right direction will help create momentum. Communicating that intention and showing people your work will get others involved. Given enough time and space, someone will see it and suggest a way they can contribute. Don’t limit your vision to your work to yourself. Invite family and friends, friends of friends, and acquaintances to experience your work, and allow them a chance to understand and further your intention.

Discard Some Feedback

Early into his career as a designer at Adobe, Andrei Herasimchuk had designed and programmed a prototype over the weekend and a few days into his workweek. One of the product managers, who had worked at Adobe for a while and was well liked by the team, stopped by Harsimchuk’s cubicle.

After a question on how long this took, they said, “While I certainly applaud your effort, I must say that you really don’t need to go to this length. You’ll have to do this all the time for all the products going forward. These screenshots you have here are plenty. It’s all we’ve ever done before, so there’s really no need to spend this kind of time on a prototype.”

Herasimchuk identifies the point when things went wrong, which is when he accepted the product manager’s feedback blindly, “Um… Ok. I guess. If you think so.” He never built another prototype while working at Adobe. His coding skills would dull over five years, and he missed a chance to make coding a part of Adobe’s design culture.

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