Random Inspirations

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Creativity Jungle-Style: What Animal Are You?

on July 7, 2014

Yesterday, Antonio and I finally made it to the famous San Diego Zoo with our friends Janice and James, who are visiting from out of town. None of us had ever been there before, and as with any new and innovative experience, our minds were working overtime during and after our adventures there.

Being "attacked" by a lunging tiger at the San Diego Zoo. ;)

Being “attacked” by a lunging tiger at the San Diego Zoo. 😉

My most striking observation was how similar the animals are to us humans. Each species had a different personality type that mirrored how we humans behave in our everyday lives, as well as in our creative and/or professional ones.

Here are just a few animal personalities I encountered. As you start your post-holiday work week, ask yourself… Which animal sounds like you, and how can you overcome your obstacles to become more creative and productive?

  • The Meerkat – These adorable little mammals make their homes in the deserts of Botswana, Namibia, Angola, and South Africa, and can crawl on all fours or stand up on their hind legs. With their small ears, intelligent-looking faces, and upright posture, they almost look human. Meerkats have no body fat, and must forage for food every day–evolutionarily not advance planners. They reside in underground burrows and are very social, living in clans of 20-30 members. If you have the creative/work style of a meerkat, you’re likely to be amazing in brainstorming sessions and collaborative work environments, but when it comes to strategizing or working alone, you generally prefer to bury yourself in the sand. Creative meerkats should focus on working in industries where teamwork is encouraged and essential, but let strategic planning and independent projects to a different personality type.
  • The Camel – With their humps packed full of water for long desert days, camels are awesome advance planners. They move slowly and are capable of deliberate, almost singular focus. The only problem: they’re stuck in their ways. We observed this firsthand when we interacted with an older male camel. He was obsessively chewing on a branch of dried wood. When the wood was moved away from him, he pouted, waiting for it to return so he could resume his chewing. He continued this behavior for the entire time we observed him, and when we left, he was still working on that piece of wood. Creative/work camels are focused, and can achieve much throughout the course of their work days. However, they are prone to closed-mindedness and are not the best at thinking outside the box. If you’re a creative camel, take advantage of that famous focus, but strive to enhance your creativity by becoming more open-minded.
  • The Giraffe – Giraffes know how to get to the top–they just stick their necks out. If you’re a creative giraffe, you’re not afraid of reaching new heights every day, and you’re always striving to go higher and shoot further. If this sounds like you, keep up the great work. Just remember that you might hit your head and face a few bumps and bruises as you break through the glass ceiling. 🙂
  • The Condor – What a show-off! Condors are sexy and they know it, especially the male ones, who are prone to flaunting their powerful bodies and plumage atop rocks and cliffs. And what a wingspan… They’re made to fly up, up, and away! If you’re a creative/work condor, you may be prone to boasting, but you’re usually able to back up all that talk, soaring to new heights when faced with a challenge. Keep the strutting in check, and you’ll go even further!

I hope this exercise was fun for you as you embark on your work-week. Can you think of any other animal personality types that I might have left out? If your creative/work personality mirrors any of these, how have you overcome your own personal obstacles to succeed? As always, I love hearing what you think!

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