Tel Aviv: Your Gym for Imagination and Creative Thinking

3 min read
Gregg Hoffman
Gregg Hoffman

“What were you thinking? That’s a crazy idea, it’ll never work!”

Moving to Tel-Aviv gives you the chance to open a new chapter in your life. You get to create new social circles and build a future with a career that hopefully ignites and challenges you. But one of the best parts is actually the thing that you will most likely never experience. Israelis won’t question what you’re thinking or call you crazy for your ideas. Instead, they’ll encourage you to make your ideas become a reality.

Imagination: It all starts from early childhood

Besides being the Startup Nation, Israel is also the “imagiNation”, meaning this country and the hundreds of startups and organizations popping up on every street corner in Tel Aviv are built 100% out of the creative imagination of individuals who had dreams that became ideas, and eventually with a healthy dose of chutzpah, energy, and action, became reality. Imagination is not only a bonus, it’s a life skill nurtured from childhood!

Stop Planning

For some cultures, planning, and planning down to the tiniest detail, is what is required before any action takes place. There is some value to this, but the danger is that this gives you too much time to talk yourself out of it or to find a reason why “it won’t work” before you even tried.

Don’t be afraid of failure

Statistics prove time and time again that Israeli businesses proportionally are more successful on a global scale than those in many other countries. But some dreams do fail.

Maybe it was the wrong timing, maybe it was the wrong mix of team members, maybe there just wasn’t enough money. But it wasn’t a personal failure. It was a lesson learned. And nine times out of ten Israelis (no matter what area of interest) will shift their dreams a few millimeters (or will scrap it entirely for an even bigger and better dream) and will try again…and again…and again, until it works.

Your chapter in Tel Aviv: give yourself permission to try

Internationals of any age creating a successful chapter of their lives in Tel Aviv need to recognize that their social conditioning comes from their home countries where they have internalized that they “can’t” before they even try.

We need to free ourselves from that mindset. This can be difficult, scary, and uncharted territory. It can also be incredibly liberating and exciting.

The next step is to give yourself permission to share your ideas and share your dreams with as many people as possible. You will be surprised how many local Tel Avivim, internationals and native Israelis alike, will encourage you, will join you in the adventure, and will help connect you to the right people to make it happen!


Gregg Hoffman was born and raised in the United States. When in his 20s, he moved to London, England for his first taste of international living, and after 2 years there returned to the States, enjoying different parts of the country and traveling around the world more than a few times. In 2014 Gregg escaped a very bad winter in Washington, DC to enjoy 2 weeks of Eastern Mediterranean sunshine (and sunsets) in Tel Aviv, returning 6 months later to make it his permanent home.


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