better-together-reese peanut butter cups

Do you want to unleash your creativity?

Then you’ve got to learn how to use the key that unlocks the door to the world of creative expression: combination.

Combination is the first key to creativity, and “what if?” is the language of combination.

Combination is the key to creativity.

What if we combined peanut butter and chocolate? You get the framework for snack food perfection: the Reese’s peanut butter cup.

What if we combined music and digital technology? You get the framework for the iPod.

What if we combined art and these new tablet computers? You get the framework for graphic design on a whole new level.

Some combinations are more complex. What if we combined a user’s iTunes library, their location, their calendar, and media news? You get Songkick, an app that organizes a local concert calendar for you bases on who you’re listening to.

Cooking is built on combination. Every episode of Chopped, for example, features a chef who tries a novel combination of ingredients that surprises the judges.

I love to draw, and I love to write, and I love to preach. So my sermons (especially lately) include a fun combination of speaking, storytelling, and pictures. I used this one on Sunday to illustrate how God wanted the Israelites to worship Him at the Temple instead of all their “high places”:

israel high places idols

In this case, I combined a biblical concept, technology, drawing, and a dash of humour.

Since we can’t create raw materials (only God can do that) and most of us don’t have the prowess to create categories (engineers do that) we use existing materials and categories as building blocks to explore new and interesting combinations. The key to creativity—combination—helps us discover things that are better together than they are apart.

Take a page from Reese. Combination (and re-combination) is the key to creativity.