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Creativity.

Creativity is a mixture of original thinking, insight, ingenuity, and innovation. It should also make sense and have simplicity. Obviously some people are more creative than others. Or in other words some people are born with a greater tendency to tap in to their creative potential. May be much of these is the outcome from encouragement and opportunities called nurture. A negative self image or lack of encouragement can also hold one back from ones creative aptitude. Creativity, like inspiration can come like a bolt of lightning from within anyone anytime. We have all heard the story of Archimedes jumping out of the bath and crying Eureka!and we all know he was taking bath till that moment for years. Naturally a creative person should have a lot of brain power along with practice and patience.

Demystifying creativity
So what do we mean by creativity? Fundamentally, it s a mixture of original thinking, insight, ingenuity, and innovation. Naturally, some people are born with a greater tendency to tap into their creativity (note how many times artistic and musical talent seem to run in families), but much of that results from encouragement and opportunity. A positive role model always helps. So, if for some reason you think youre not creative, perhaps its the negative belief that is holding you back, or the lack of encouragement, rather than the level of your creative aptitude.

The creative geniuses


Where does this creative spirit come from? The images of the English Romantic poets Shelley and Byron striking a heroic pose on the rooftop in the midst of an electrical storm have seduced the world into believing that all inspiration comes like a bolt of lightning. Dramatic perhaps, but it couldnt be further from the truth. Archimedes may well have jumped out of the bath and cried Eureka! the instant he worked out how to calculate the volume of an irregular shaped object, but were fairly sure that hed visited the bathhouse fairly

often before reaching that breakthrough moment. Mozart was writing symphonies at an astonishingly young age, but is he remembered for any those early compositions? Of course not, because he had to serve his apprenticeship before he could fulfill his undoubted genius. And how many unworkable theorems did Einstein devise before he thought up his Theory of Relativity? The truth of the matter is that whichever creative genius you can name, you can rest assured that his or her creation not only took a lot of brainpower, but practice and patience as well.

Introduction: demystifying creativity 67

Right-brain = creative?
As much as it is wrong to think that creative people are only those blessed with an innate genius, it is equally wrong to think that all creative people are naturally right-brained while all left-brained people are analytical and orderly (see p.15). The statistics might suggest that creative people tend to have a more dominant right-sided brain, but that doesnt mean that the rest of us cant be creative. The truth is everyone has the ability to be creative. In fact, creativity flourishes best when you use both sides of your brain. As proposed by Wallas model (see above), creativity is not some magical state of mind but a series of actions that depend on logic and applied thinking as wellprocesses that are largely performed by the left side of the brain. Whats more, brain scans have revealed that during creative thinking both hemispheres of the brain share the task equally. So, while you may have heard stories of artists feeling that they were taken over by some higher power during a creative act, the science leans more toward the theory that novel ideas materialize when imagination and analysis work side by side. Creativity is, therefore, whole-brained and only by integrating various mental faculties can you maximize your untapped creative potential. You can develop your ability to think creatively by learning a few popular strategies described on the following pages.

Don your creative cap


It is essential for you to be in the right state of mind to realize your full creative potential. Although this may seem to be obvious, it is something that science has been researching for a long time. For example, several years ago, neuroscientists in Australia claimed that they had found a way to switch on a persons unconscious creative skills by magnetic stimulation. They argued that everyone possesses extraordinary creative powers, but the problem is tapping into these reserves, for which one has to be intensely focused.

Finding focus
The ability to focus greatly determines your creativity at any given time. For example, have you never become so engrossed in an activity, such as staring at a painting, that your mind has been transported to a different time and place? Think about the last time you were curled up with an amazing novela real page-turner. As you became more absorbed in the story, your inner eye went into a Zen-like state, conjuring up all sorts of images of faces and places. Admittedly, you were stimulated by the quality of the writers storytelling, but the images you fashioned were uniqueeach the product of your creative mind. No two people reading the same novel visualize the details in the same way, hence our occasional disappointment with film adaptations. Any creative task demands your fullest attention. Somehow you must eliminate any distractions so that you can concentrate only on the task. This will establish a space in your mind where your creative spirit can roam free to be playful and inventive.

Thinking outside the box


You may have heard the expression lateral thinking, which is a method of getting us to think in unorthodox ways about a problem. Psychologist Edward de Bono, who coined the phrase, believes that we tend to overuse logic and follow linear paths in our creative thinking, consequently ignoring the open spaces that flow out to the sides. In other words, logic then becomes counterproductive because we box ourselves in and produce the same solution to a problem, which, lets face it, isnt the least bit creative! Lateral thinking relies on reasoning that is not immediately obvious, and encourages ideas that you may not think of by

relying on logic. Lateral thinking is concerned with the perception part of thinking. It is about rewiring the way you approach a problem. De Bono describes lateral thinking with this metaphor: You cannot dig a hole in a different place by digging the same hole deeper. Think about it. Trying harder in the same direction, especially if the direction is wrong, will not lead to any progress, and might actually hinder the chances of a breakthrough because you will only be squandering precious creative energy. Lateral thinking asks you to dig as many holes as you can. Each time you dig a new hole you uncover a new possibility. It might work or it might not. If it does, then great! If not, you simply dig another hole and continue your search.

Lateral thinking in three steps:


1. Identify the dominant ideas that prevent original ways of seeing the problem. 2. Approach the same problem from different angles, regardless of how random the angle might seem. 3. Put a stop to any doubts, preconceptions, and prejudices that might dismiss original thought.

HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES

Introduction: demystifying creativity 67

Right-brain = creative?
As much as it is wrong to think that creative people are only those blessed with an innate genius, it is equally wrong to think that all creative people are naturally right-brained while all left-brained people are analytical and orderly (see p.15). The statistics might suggest that creative people tend to have a more dominant right-sided brain, but that doesnt mean that the rest of us cant be creative. The truth is everyone has the ability to be creative. In fact, creativity flourishes best when you use both sides of your brain. As proposed by Wallas model (see above), creativity is not some magical state of mind but a series of actions that depend on logic and applied thinking as wellprocesses that are largely performed by the left side of the brain. Whats more, brain scans have revealed that during creative thinking both hemispheres of the brain share the task equally. So, while you may have heard

stories of artists feeling that they were taken over by some higher power during a creative act, the science leans more toward the theory that novel ideas materialize when imagination and analysis work side by side. Creativity is, therefore, whole-brained and only by integrating various mental faculties can you maximize your untapped creative potential. You can develop your ability to think creatively by learning a few popular strategies described on the following pages.

Don your creative cap


It is essential for you to be in the right state of mind to realize your full creative potential. Although this may seem to be obvious, it is something that science has been researching for a long time. For example, several years ago, neuroscientists in Australia claimed that they had found a way to switch on a persons unconscious creative skills by magnetic stimulation. They argued that everyone possesses extraordinary creative powers, but the problem is tapping into these reserves, for which one has to be intensely focused.

Finding focus
The ability to focus greatly determines your creativity at any given time. For example, have you never become so engrossed in an activity, such as staring at a painting, that your mind has been transported to a different time and place? Think about the last time you were curled up with an amazing novela real page-turner. As you became more absorbed in the story, your inner eye went into a Zen-like state, conjuring up all sorts of images of faces and places. Admittedly, you were stimulated by the quality of the writers storytelling, but the images you fashioned were uniqueeach the product of your creative mind. No two people reading the same novel visualize the details in the same way, hence our occasional disappointment with film adaptations. Any creative task demands your fullest attention. Somehow you must eliminate any distractions so that you can concentrate only on the task. This will establish a space in your mind where your creative spirit can roam free to be playful and inventive.

Thinking outside the box


You may have heard the expression lateral thinking, which is a method of getting us to think in unorthodox ways about a problem. Psychologist Edward de Bono, who coined the phrase, believes that we tend to overuse logic and follow linear paths in our creative thinking, consequently ignoring the open spaces that flow out to the sides. In other words, logic then becomes counterproductive because we box ourselves in and produce the same solution to a problem, which, lets face it, isnt the least bit creative! Lateral thinking relies on reasoning that is not immediately obvious, and encourages ideas that you may not think of by relying on logic. Lateral thinking is concerned with the perception part of thinking. It is about rewiring the way you approach a problem. De Bono describes lateral thinking with this metaphor: You cannot dig a hole in a different place by digging the same hole deeper. Think about it. Trying harder in the same direction, especially if the direction is wrong, will not lead to any progress, and might actually hinder the chances of a breakthrough because you will only be squandering precious creative energy. Lateral thinking asks you to dig as many holes as you can. Each time you dig a new hole you uncover a new possibility. It might work or it might not. If it does, then great! If not, you simply dig another hole and continue your search.

Lateral thinking in three steps:


1. Identify the dominant ideas that prevent original ways of seeing the problem. 2. Approach the same problem from different angles, regardless of how random the angle might seem. 3. Put a stop to any doubts, preconceptions, and prejudices that might dismiss original thought.

HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES