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  • Writer's pictureMichael Kennedy

In Search of the Unexpected

Updated: Oct 22, 2023

Embracing Creativity in an entirely different way

If you are skeptical and never expected to be inspired by art in its natural form, this short visual story will encourage you to embrace creativity in an entirely different way.

Paying attention to the world around you helps develop the power to look at the mundane and see the extraordinary. It helps you develop what could be called a binary vision, allowing you to see what others see, but noticing the unexpected as well.

The spark of creativity can come from anywhere, including tree stumps and the roots of fallen trees.

Creativity, wherever it's found, leads to something more.

Case in point: Do you see anything unexpected in any of the images below?

If not, look again.

In the first image, some people see just a tree stump.

But if you notice the unexpected, you also see a frog.

Consider the unexpected in the following three natural tree images.

You might see more than a colorful, textured root system in this fallen tree. Maybe an Eagle or a dragon?

And in this old root system you might see a snarling eye.

And finally, in this cross-section of a tree that's been cut, it's easy to see a face with a Robert Mitchum-like smile (for those with a peculiar imagination who remember the great actor).

Creativity isn’t a gift. It's a skill which needs discipline and development. Engaging with Nature helps you do exactly that.

A walk in Nature not only sparks your creativity, it reduces anxiety, lowers your heart rate, it's refreshing, and it allows your brain to make connections more easily.

Finding the extraordinary in ordinary things

By being better noticers and looking for the unexpected, our brains work harder. Our capacity to look at the mundane and see the extraordinary grows and strengthens.

"You get ideas from daydreaming," says Neil Gaiman, "You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we're doing it."

Einstein didn’t sit down to brainstorm hundreds of ideas and then launch straight into writing. He would let his mind wander. Einstein called this method “combinatory play” and insisted it was the secret behind his genius.

Make Curiosity a Focused Discipline

Be curious and make curiosity a focused discipline. Let go of assumptions and deliberately become better at noticing the unexpected in things. Use your senses to intimately explore Nature, the words you read, the things you see, the people you meet, and the stories you overhear.

Challenge yourself to be puzzled, surprised and awed by things, things you once took for granted.

This is a practice of focused discipline... of improving your awareness and sharpening your noticing skills.

And as you notice more, your creativity will grow.

And as your creativity grows, your passion and energy will expand.

Creativity, wherever it's found, leads to something more. That more can be an inspiration, a story, a masterpiece, or an idea that can change the world.


I’m Michael Kennedy, Olympic Valley, CA resident. I’m a premium ghostwriter and photographer. Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed it, please share with others. I value your attention, it means a lot to me and it helps others see the story. If you're interested in any awe-inspired photos in this post, or in my gallery: click here, or just call or text at 530.608.9150. Let me know what size you want, and I'll send a quote. My email:

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