Since so many people say that they do their best thinking in the shower, it only makes sense that shampoo holds one of the keys to creativity.
But David, I can hear you say, shampoo is just liquid soap for your hair. What could a bottle of Pantene have to do with increasing my creativity?
Well, it’s not the actual shampoo but some marketing on the bottle.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
That simple instruction contains a lot of metaphorical wisdom. (In realistic terms, unless you shampoo only once a week, you probably don’t need to repeat. It’s something they made up to sell more shampoo.)
People look at creativity as a beginning, middle and an end, but it’s not. It’s an endless loop of new projects and ideas. Too many people get stuck on having an idea (lathering) or overwhelmed with the process (rinsing) and never get to starting a new project (repeating).
Lather people have an idea that they’ve held onto for years. It’s their pet idea and they aren’t willing to let go of it and move on to the next one. A lot of latherers want to talk endlessly about that idea, but never do anything about it. You’ll know someone is in lather territory when she brings her pet idea up and all her friends groan.
Rinsers get caught up in the process. They can’t start writing their novel until they have the right laptop to use in the corner of a quiet coffee shop while they’re wearing their lucky sweater. His 50th take of that song is going to be way better than his 49th, maybe he should book another week in the studio. For rinsers, there’s always one more thing they need before they can complete what they’re doing.
Repeaters are the winners when it comes to creativity. Their skills improve. They have tons of completed projects that they can use as springboards to greater things. It’s hard work being a repeater, because you know that any pleasure you take in an accomplishment is only a short break before the next project starts.
Most repeaters I know have multiple projects going on at the same time so that if one gets stalled out or delayed they can switch over to another one. But, they are also always finishing something.
Being a repeater means letting go of perfectionism. It means opening yourself up for criticism because you have to tell something is finished. It means having a stack of failures way bigger than people who never finish. It also brings huge rewards and will change your life forever.
The next time you find yourself stuck while thinking in the shower, just read the instructions on the back of a shampoo bottle and get inspired.
Just think how clean your hair will be!