The Age of the Explorer: Fight Club and Creative Singapore

Is that you Tyler Durden?

You know how in Fight Club Edward Norton visits support groups to cure his insomnia? Well, I’m Edward Norton in Singapore, looking for like-minded people to help me sleep better at night.

It’s an emotional relief, one of the many disconcerting needs that’s multiplied manifold by change, especially when moving to a new country, starting a job fresh-faced from college and away from your friends and family (or in my case both.) You search until you find a community that doesn’t make you feel as alone and crazy because they feel just the way you do. They want and believe in the same things that you do — a shared something that eclipses the circumstance of where you grew up, what school you went to, where you work, etc. It’s like finding a needle in a giant, never ending haystack. Where to look? How to look? Can’t I just burn the whole goddamn stack? No. I have to dive right in, grain marks and all.

But after two months of settling down,  I am finally putting in the time to do what I came here for: explore, be exposed, attend talks, collect, learn something new without making a career out of it! Just. For. Fun.

I learned in Creativity and Problem Awareness (for Ateneans, the best, most practical class you will ever take by the brilliant Mark Escaler FYI) about the 4 roles in the creative process. It’s a great way to understand why we often times feel stuck.  We’re unconsciously short circuting ourselves, playing certain roles pre-maturely.

It’s the age of The Explorer (literally, for twenty-something year olds.) A time to incubate ideas. The calm before the storm. A good friend of mine once told me that “Patience is like braking the speed a bit, knowing that you’re still headed the right direction only at a slower rate of travel.” Why are we always in a rush?  Trust that when the storm comes, you will know how to ride the beast into the horizon and back.

Two weeks ago my first destination was Creative Mornings Singapore, held at The Hub. It’s a monthly breakfast series of free talks over coffee and great ideas. The positive juju you want to wake you up every morning.  Talks may be organized for a purpose, but the best kind are grown organically by people who want to be there and not forced by a (school) requirement to. Lectures begin to shake off their negative stigma post-college, but it’s something a part of me enjoyed planning in college especially my first ever Social Media Summit last December, 2011.

So nothing could stop me when a slot finally opened up. Not an alarm clock set for 6:00AM (I  live far away from everything…I can’t even wake up this early to exercise! ) or the rain that threatened to ruin my umbrella and outfit for work.

Creative Mornings is like a localized version of TED, which is what initially drew me to it. I instantly fell in love with the place: well-loved red-brick walls juxtaposing the exposed ceiling, hanging silver lamps, and a well-known Banksy painting “Keep your coins. I want Change.” Random affirmations found in the exterior. A façade that like-minded people instantly see through.

The August speaker was Mark De Winne, Creative Director of Relay Room and “convicted hipster.” He spoke of the Story of the Typeface and the lessons it taught him. While I’m an architect of words, and not with art or design, creativity is a spring that anyone can drink from. There are always take aways, even for a writer.

For writing: Change your style, tone, re-arrange sentences, vocabulary, structure, where you write

For writing: Get past that darn first paragraph. Write first, edit later. (I still struggle with this)

For writing: No one will know what you’re talking about. Do not assume. Provide perspective.

By Bernie Quah. Taken from CM Fb page.

The eight and final rule of Fight Club is: If this is your first time at Fight Club, you have to fight. Welcome to Singapore, Tyler Durden.

Related Posts:

If you’re in Manila and want to check out something similar go to Co.lab xchange makes social entrepreneurship ‘sexy’

Beyond Stress and Success: The story of a Social Media Summit

The Creative Particle Theory

Intersectional Interests

* Note: If you’re from Singapore and know of any creative, social innovation events/lectures/talks, please drop me a message! I’d love to attend. 

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