Sometimes you have the best idea ever. You get all excited and enthusiastically start working on it. For one reason or another, it fails. When I taught for a week in Denmark, one student group shared their idea with me. It involved helium balloons turned into rising suns, floating fluffy clouds and more. But when the helium tank they ordered didn’t arrive in time, Valentin, Adrian, Sait and Alexandru had to rethink their concept. Instead of sulking or being discouraged that their initial idea didn’t work out as planned, they got creative. Their budget was mostly gone, spent on helium. What could they do?
For their second plan they didn’t need to go far. In fact, within the school they found a source of inspiration in a moment that normally is defined by boredom or frustration. They decided to change the background of the school computer screens to something a little bit more inspiring. Now, when you have to wait for a while when logging in, an inspiring, welcoming or funny quote greets you on the screen you face.
“On the screens appear different kind of funny quotes or jokes related to our education which can bring at least a smile on our fellow students faces. Hope our head of education will not kick us out for hacking the log-in system.”
I especially like the reference to ‘Fronter’, which is apparently the main system that is used for organising and accessing school related information. I think probably every university or business will recognise the scenario. The system is functional to a certain agree, but there are always frustrating aspects which everyone dislikes. ‘Fronter doesn’t like you either’, is one of the quotes that made me laugh. What a great way to lighten up something that is usually a source of frustration!
But the creativity of the project group didn’t end here. When they presented their project and video, they surprised everyone with a little gift. Under the tables they taped a colourful moustache for everyone to find (I like to think that it was kind of an Oprah-moment: you get a moustache! You get a moustache!). Seeing all those silly sticky moustaches on everyone’s faces instantly lightened the room with a sense of fun.
When you face difficulties, how do you respond? Do you sulk or do you quickly search for other creative and fun ways to change your initial idea and make it work?