Creativity Inhibitors

When you get under pressure, what kind of fuel do you reach for?


As Chris Barez-Brown, author and creativity guru, points out, our daily habits often can inhibit or sabotage our creativity. In this video, he discusses adopting new habits and breaking old ones so you can increase creativity.

No, he doesn’t talk about our work habits; Chris points out foods that attack our energy levels and subsequently decrease our creativity.

Watch this video and think about the impact your daily routine and habits could inhibit your brain function.

When I was younger, I used to be able to live on curry and beer quite happily. As time's gone on and I've got more sensitized to my energy and the work that I do, I've realized that what I put into my body has a massive impact on what comes out of it as far as ideas, and inspiration, and energy. Now one of the problems of working really hard and flat out is we go for cheap, easy fuel just to keep ourselves going. So I've just got a few observations, just stimulus for you to think about on maybe how you can consider how to look after your energy a little bit better.

So the first thing is coffee. Now I love a decent cup of coffee, especially first thing in the morning. But if you drink coffee all day long, it gives you a little bit to much stimulation. It's very hard for you to access your subconscious because you're a bit too tweaked. The other problem with coffee is that often people drink it without thinking of the additives that they put in. When I'm talking about additives, I'm talking about largely sugar and milk. Now I'll come on to sugar in a second because it is the devil's work. But milk, most of us our lactose intolerant, 75% of the population. And it's incredibly calorific. You wouldn't think twice about having a quarter pounder with cheese between breakfast and lunch. It would be nonsense to you. And yet often, your venti cafe latte will have more calories than that because of the milk involved. So if you're going to drink coffee, drink it black, drink it wisely, consume it in a very deliberate fashion, and I think it will work better for you.

Now let's talk about sugar, the cocaine of the food industry. So Robert Lustig, who wrote a book called Fat Chance, squarely puts the blame of the obesity levels on the amount of hidden sugar we are eating every day. Twenty-two grams a day, that's 1.25 pounds per person per week we're eating without realizing. It's in everything, it's in bread, it's in sauces, and it's in yogurts. And it has a terrible, detrimental impact on our bodies. Five percent of this world's population is now diabetic. That has doubled in the last 30 years, all because of refined sugar. So check out what you're eating, look on the packs. Do not add it to your coffee. And you'll find it's a lot easier to balance out your energy over the day.

Another little bugbear of mine is bread. The quality of grains, the hybrid grains that we now consume are 40% less nutritious as far as minerals are concerned than they were 30 years ago. And most of this fresh bread that we crave every day is actually cryogenically frozen to -20 degrees, par baked, and they just flick a switch to give us that lovely smell of fresh baked bread. There's very little nutrition in it these days. So again, think about where your food comes from and how good it is for you.

Boy George, the reformed bad boy from Culture Club, puts it a fantastic way. If it has an advert, don't eat it. Now that might sound a bit extreme to you. But we need to know that we're giving ourselves the best possible nutrition if we're going to have the best energy. The best energy is going to give us the best ideas. And that's going to help you be a more shiny, resonant, creative leader. So watch out for the warning signs. If you are in the hamster wheel, trapped in being busy, you will fuel yourself with donuts and coffee all day long and you will die young. My advice is get out from that, take a breath, work out what you really need, keep hydrated, and choose wisely, and you will find you'll have a much more extraordinary career and a much more extraordinary life. Choose well.

Chris Barez-Brown

Chris Barez-Brown has been unleashing the creative potential of worldwide organizations including Nike, Coca Cola, Diageo, The Gates Foundation, Sony and WPP. He is a master of metamorphosis, challenging and transforming businesses th...

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