Are you free? Like, truly free? You know the feeling — when your mind is having an insane amount of fun because it’s imagining or creating kick-ass stuff? If you’ve been there – like I have – you know how amazing that high is. And at those moments, you know – like I do – that you are about to spectacularly reshape your destiny.
I read this somewhere: the brain does not absorb all of the information that our five senses collect during waking hours. Instead of absorbing information indiscriminately, it employs a powerful filter in order to determine what will and won’t be stored.
Freedom is about imagination, about tomorrow, rather than today. It is about a blissfully open mind that likes everything it sees, and wants more. It absorbs freely, without judgement, assimilates and then ‘edits’ it to generate a dream.
Get my drift? Freedom by itself is a blank slate; it needs tools — new experiences, new sights, learnings and observations — to create… anything. Without a non-judgemental observation of the world around you, and the ability to filter and tailor all of that input, your freedom is actually pretty… well… blank.
So does creativity mean being influenced by someone else’s ideas? Yes, probably. And what’s wrong with that? We are all – at least those of us who keep a strictly open mind – impacted by stories of achievement and successful innovation. I myself am startled — at least a hundred times — at each of our knowledge platform, by someone’s uniqueness, another’s boldness, yet another’s completely independent success. And each time, I have emerged more knowledgeable, more observant, and intellectually freer than before.
Free your mind. I promise you there’s an insane amount of fun to be had, if only we stop over-analysing, and start simply learning. This year, at India Retail Forum, watch and absorb the millions of inputs in the air. And then edit all of that, to suit YOUR objective, because retail is changing incredibly fast, my friend. You need to be on top of this game, because the customer is not simply changing any more. He and she have already changed.
As we celebrate this great land of opportunity’s Independence Day today, I want to sign off with these smart words from Mark Twain: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
I want you to use new experiences, sounds and ideas to colour your freedom to dream and discover on the 17th and 18th of September, 2014.
Make the most of your freedom!
-A P J Abdul Kalam, 11th President of India