The fight-flight-or-freeze response is a famous concept for how humans react in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat. I would like to add a fourth alternative – an alternative that I think is generally the best.
Let me explain.
Let’s take the epitome of a crisis: being attacked by a lion.
Most people think there you have three choices:
a) Fight – attack the lion and try to kill it before it kills you (Good luck…)
b) Flight – run away from the lion (the fastest human to ever live, Usain Bolt, can run 27.79 miles per hour. A lion can run 50 miles per hour…)
c) Freeze – that might feel extremely intimidating, but is apparently the “right thing to do”.
So what is the fourth choice: Be Creative!
For example: Give the lion a foot massage.
The last few weeks a post have been going around about Alex Larenty who lives on a game reserve in South Africa and who gives the lions on the reserve foot massages…
”One day, he discovered that every time a lion was applied a cream to cure an infection on its paws, the lion would slacken and appear to smile. Since then, he has massaged all the lions in the park on a daily basis. Thanks to the pampering, he created a bond such that just by seeing him arrive, the lions lie down, begin to stretch their legs and smile.”
From the post: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/lion-foot-massage/
Now offering a foot massage to an attacking lion will probably not work, but you have to admit that the idea of even offering lions foot massages were totally crazy to you before you found out that it actually works.
That is the power of creativity – it makes crazy things make sense.
For the last 18 months or so most of humanity have been living in a crisis. What has been your response?
Did you Fight?
Did you Flee?
Or did you Freeze?
Or did you use your creativity to come up with a beautiful solution to a terrible crisis?
When covid hit, my family decided that our children should look at the years of covid as the most happy times of their lives. We took them out of school and homeschooled them to get as much time as possible with them, and for six months now we are living on our private island in Sweden to be able to live in freedom and paradise – without a need for masks or any risk of getting sick – while we wait for the pandemic to die down.
The next time you are facing a crisis, evaluate your options when it comes to fighting back, fleeing and/or freezing – but do not also forget to examine your fourth alternative – to come up with a creative solution to get out of your predicament.
Creativity is the most amazing human superpower. If it can come up with the idea of foot massage for lions, imagine what it could come up with for you.
Stay creative and keep exploring.
Fredrik Haren – The Creativity Explorer.
ps. Any comments or ideas? Please drop in to my Linkedin profile and share: https://www.linkedin.com/in/fredrikharen/detail/recent-activity/posts/
pps. If you know of anyone in need of some help to develop the creativity and innovation in their company/organisation/team do reach out. I would love to help.
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