From a very young age, we are told to be creative and think outside the box. Many of us first heard the word ‘creative’ in English class when our teacher asked us to practice creative writing.
But as you grow up, you realize that creativity is a lot more than just writing a fun story. It’s about taking everyday problems and solving them in innovative ways. And surprisingly, the first taste of creative problem-solving for most of us came from our daily dose of Cartoon Network.
Some of you might remember coming back from school, quickly finishing your homework, and then sitting down to watch the wacky hijinks of your favorites—Tom and Jerry, Scooby-Doo and gang, Dexter from Dexter’s Laboratory, Bugs Bunny, and if you had younger siblings, you probably also watched Doremon and Phineas and Ferb.
These characters always got caught in outlandish situations and then came up with solutions on the fly to try and come out of them unscathed. They face challenges on the way but always find a creative solution to solve their problems, a Harappa habit you can learn in the Unleashing Creativity course.
Many people think creativity is only about writing poetry or painting. But it’s also a key workplace skill that helps solve problems effectively. You need to be creative to innovate at work and to push yourself beyond your limits. Harappa’s Unleashing Creativity course gets your creative juices flowing so you can take on any problem at work.
Tom and Jerry
Growing up, an everyday staple in most households was Tom and Jerry, a series chronicling a literal cat-and-mouse chase between Tom, a house cat, and Jerry, a little brown mouse.
In an attempt to get the better of each other, the two would often use whatever resources they had at their disposal. Whether it was pies to slow down Jerry, or Jerry painting a baby elephant to scare Tom, or the two dressing up as other animals, the two were constantly trying to outdo each other to solve their problems—catching the mouse or escaping the cat.
Scooby and Shaggy
Another cartoon that was a favorite with my generation was Scooby-Doo, a tale of teenage sleuths and their dog. They went around the world solving mysteries and getting into scrapes, which often forced them to improvise to get out of trouble and solve the mystery at hand.
The gang tried innovative methods such as elaborate disguises, hiding in unique ways, and often concocting convoluted traps to catch the bad guy. They often found themselves in places where they had to use whatever resources they could find to solve their problem.
In one episode, Scooby and Shaggy found themselves in an abandoned prison and disguised themselves as guards to hoodwink the ‘monster’ by using old uniforms they find lying around. In the same episode, they also hid in a shallow barrel and then used it as a shield to run away from their pursuer until they halt over a trapdoor they can escape into.
However, we cannot talk about creative problem solving and Scooby-Doo without mentioning the various villains who tried to solve their problems by creating unique legends and ghosts to scare people away.
Road Runner Show
My personal favorite was the underrated Road Runner show, a classic Looney Tunes cartoon about a roadrunner trying to outsmart his nemesis Wile E. Coyote. Mr. Coyote came up with multiple ideas and then kept at them until they succeeded.
One particular idea—a contraption made out of roller-blades, a sheet, and a fan—help him become as fast as the Road Runner. Unfortunately for him, as the Road Runner ‘Beep Beeps’ ahead, Coyote misses a turn and falls into a lake.
The audience never really got to see Coyote succeed because the Road Runner always got the best of him, but it was always fun to see the coyote create complex devices and innovative contraptions to catch the roadrunner. It also left children with the lesson that sometimes even the most creative ideas fail, and that’s okay as long as you are willing to come back with more creative solutions the next day.
Cartoons are exaggerations of real life, and so too are problems and the solutions. However, if you attack every problem with a little innovation, you can unleash your creativity and find solutions you wouldn’t have thought possible.
Aishwarya Agarwal is an associate specialist in the Curriculum team at Harappa Education. She has studied History and Liberal Arts and moonlights as a stand-up comic. This was a well-kept secret…till her cover was blown.
Discover more from Harappa with a selection of trending blogs on the latest topics in online learning and career transformation