Start Small

2-40 people

Embarking on any creative pursuit can often trigger feelings of anxiety. It's a common belief that the first step is always the most challenging. In his book 'Being Creative', Michael Avatar suggests drawing inspiration from the Zen Buddhist concept of the 'beginner's mind', where everything is fresh and new. According to futurist and writer Kevin Kelly, in a world of constant technological advancements, none of us can claim to be experts for long. Therefore, adopting a Newbie mindset is crucial in today's world. Whether you're a tech enthusiast or a follower of Buddhism, it's important to acknowledge that every day and every moment presents a new beginning. A beginner's mind is characterized by openness, curiosity, and possibility - all of which are valuable qualities for exploring creativity. This simple exercise can be used individually or in groups to kickstart a workshop or project, or to overcome a creative block.

Workshop steps


Take a pen and paper.


Locate a peaceful area and inhale deeply.


While exhaling, jot down on the paper in a free-flowing, unrestrained manner. Write adjectives, colors, and emotions until you need to inhale again. Concentrate on a nearby, minor detail, observing the evident aspects of your surroundings. Michael Avatar suggests simple examples like: - Observing the scenery outside a window - Examining your shadow - Noticing a stain on the wall - Measuring the size of a room


Pause and Think. What have you found out? It's okay if you can't understand what you've written immediately (we often fear it must be clear right away). The important part is that you've started!


Give yourself a pat on the back! The initial step works well as it focuses on something minor and attainable - a breath. It prevents you from being swamped with excessive information, making it highly manageable. This is a crucial aspect of starting. Often, we fail because we commence with a plan that is too extensive and colossal. Don't hesitate to begin with small steps!

Need help with this workshop?

Anna Lundqvist portrait
Anna Lundqvist
UX Designer and AI Ethics Strategist guiding innovative product development and educational workshops
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Eddy Salzmann
Design lead and team culture enthusiast driving products and design processes
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Ola Möller
Founder of MethodKit who has a passion for organisations and seeing the big picture
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