How mixing with people with different interests can help you find your muse
Hanging out with the same old crowd can lead to creative stagnation. While a core group is a good thing, sometimes in order to get new and better creative ideas it is a good idea to step away from the usual crowd and experience something a bit more contrary to routine. This can open up your mind to new perspective and allow you to blaze a whole different rail through the dense forest of your creative mind.
You like coffee, I like tea…
Meet Smith. He is a coffee drinker. Okay, not just a coffee drinker. More of a coffee fanatic who knows everything there is to know about coffee: its history, how it is grown, cultivated, roasted and brewed. You might call him a coffee snob, but most of his friends do not. That is because Smith only surrounds himself with people who also happen to be a little crazy over coffee. To them, Smith is the coffee guru, the one to go to when you need to know the right immersion time for a French press and so on.
Smith likes his title of Coffee Guru, which is probably why he chooses to only hang out with people who can appreciate all that goes into making a good cup of Joe. This way, he can talk, talk, talk, all day long about his passion for the stuff, and remain convinced that there is nothing else out there that can quite compare to the complex flavor of his favorite bitter brew.
Too bad for Smith: because by alienating himself, he is stunting his own creative growth. Instead of trying so hard to keep his coffee guru title, if Smith were to make friends with some people who talk about other things besides coffee he might actually find out there is other stuff out there that can tease the palate. For example, he could spend some time with a few wine nuts and find out the similarities between the bean and the grape and how they both can pick up flavors from soil they are grown in. Or he could talk to (gasp) to a group of tea drinkers and gain an appreciation of the custom and ritual behind the morning cup of tea. All this time away from his coffee cronies might even actually give Smith further insight into his own passion allowing for new perspective and perhaps even some new creative roasting and brewing techniques.
When it comes to finding new ideas, sometimes it is better to step away from the gang you usually hang out and spend some time with people whose creative thoughts do not stem from the exact same source as yours. This can allow you to gain a new perspective of the things that interest you and even help give you new thoughts and ideas on how to achieve your creative goals. A musician who is a devotee of heavy metal, for instance, who takes the weekend off from rocking out with his buddies to do something different such as go to a Folk Music festival, might find themselves coming up with new creative ideas and directions that would have never found otherwise.
By hanging out with other people and doing other types of activities that are in contrast of your regular routine, you will end up giving your muse a better chance of finding you. By exposing yourself to different experiences, you find new opportunities for inspiration. By opening up and letting a different world view in, you gain new perspective allowing you take on your creative hurdles with new and better strategies.