Creative Conditioning for Everyone

Tarun Durga
2 min readJul 7, 2022


There is a lot of great advice on what it means to be a creative person today. It’s not about the job, it’s about the approach and the mindset. Creativity comes with flexibility, discipline and curiosity — and we can all do with some of that, regardless of the functions we serve or the problems we solve. Here are my thoughts:

1. Being able to do more with machines — knowing a few photo composition tricks, some math on Excel, a bit of code won’t make you a polymath, but they will teach you how to think better about things

2. Being able to explain complex stuff simply and visually in analog — on a whiteboard or on paper with tools like mind maps and cluster maps and flow diagrams

3. Thinking in analogies — seeing the world through different frames of reference

4. Making room for learning every day — changing how we learn, what we learn and where we learn by exploring alternative media and formats (eg. long form podcasts, Blinkist if you can’t read the whole book)

5. Consciously breaking silos by reaching out to others outside of one’s domain for a chat. It can be incredibly enriching — Try it on LinkedIn, request someone to give you time for a short, unstructured conversation — sign up on LunchClub / CafeCito and meet a different professional every week- or even strike up a conversation with a complete stranger on the bus, it takes 5 seconds of courage to say “hello”

6. Acquiring the muscle for thinking in systems — seeing all the parts contained in it and exploring how they relate to each other for a richer, deeper and wider perspective

7. Reflecting regularly (if not daily) — examining decisions, emotions and interactions leads to discovering more options and paths

8. Focusing on interests rather than positions when caught in loggerheads with someone — becoming fluent in empathy and seeing the other side of the story without needing to agree with it

9. Adopting a Zen Mind when solving a problem — you only know what you know but there is more to it — this nurtures the super skill of shamelessly asking questions

10. Realizing you are more than your day job and stepping out to discover (or rediscover) more interests — mindfully opening yourself to new experiences and opportunities outside of work

In fact I’ve been actively practicing #10. I look for new ways to start a conversation without resorting to — So, what do you do? A good alternative is — Where are you from? Because everyone is from somewhere and they are happy to talk about it.

There is much to learn from kids when it comes to creativity



Tarun Durga

I help people think clearly about the problems they want to solve & more creatively about the options they might not have considered. I also draw obsessively.