How Your Creative Mind Solves your Problems
Life offers us many opportunities which most of us are free to pursue at will. But when set out on an exciting new journey in business and life, we discover that the plans that we have made, are not necessarily all that we need to get from point A to point B.
“People don’t like to think, if one thinks, one must reach conclusions. Conclusions are not always pleasant.” Helen Keller
Point A turns out to be the problem that needs a lot of attention, the start of a new venture is often the most daunting and courage testing moment for us. It requires that we think and conclude something into actions.
If we can’t find the solutions needed to actually kick-start our plans and get going along the path to success, then we experience the horrible feelings of being stuck, baffled, and stumped. What the hell are we supposed to do?
It should have been about the sweaty struggle up the mountain, but plan A turned into the emotional costs of spending too much time hanging around in base-camp.
In many cases you can spend too much of your energy following leaders, influencers and watching the next move that your hero in your own field of work is doing.
Before we know what’s really happening, we are so focused on looking for a solution to our own problems in the actions of others, that we don’t recognise the futility of this way of thinking.
Creating a new something in life is a process that comes mostly from within ourselves.
If we followed the actions of another person and found it started us off, we would then need to borrow and replicate the next action from that person too. Then the third step, and so on would all need to be exactly fitted to the previous steps in order for each action to be effective, each action would necessarily need to originate in the process that the other person uses.
Nothing can be new and exciting for us when we try to do this — and, it doesn’t work. (This is not the modelling process)
Creativity is an answer to the problem of getting started, getting away from hanging around point A and wasting time. Getting away from thinking that we even need to begin at a certain point called “A” is the first part of overcoming an energy draining problem such as how to go on in any endeavour that is considered important.
Too many people are baffled by creativity. They seem to imagine that it is a gift of nature, a natural bent in a particular type of person or whatever. In fact, it’s a learnable tool that we can all use, and nature gave it to all of us.
It doesn’t matter if you call creativity by the name of innovation, building things, working on a problem with precision etc, the action of creativity is the same and the results of all of these actions, under any name, is to open doors that lead to new discoveries in our lives.
The first steps that we can take in becoming creative is to use divergent thought processes that avoid the generic starting point of “A”.
That means to allow yourself to imagine how you would like to begin a process so that it really is a beginning that is effective.
To support this type of thinking you should be familiar with the concept that how we look at something changes the way it behaves, and that in turn changes our own behaviour towards it. This includes how we speak about our problems, in the negative, positive, or neutral vocabulary that will define how we feel about a problem. This colours our feelings, and those feelings are often the support factor that helps us to formulate new ideas about old worn out concepts along the well-trodden road.
Overcoming judgements about what we already know.
When we approach a subject and attempt to develop a concept about it, we can only do so based on pre-knowledge of similar concepts — but we want to change it, not see it as we already know it.
If you meet a person in a bar, they talk to you and gain your trust socially. They offer you their business card, you take it and look down at it and see their name and address printed on it, you look up at them because they are still chatting to you.
They then say, “well, you have my business card, take it and call me if you like.”
You look back down at the card and discover that it’s blank, not a word printed on both sides. Before, you saw that their name and address was on the card. How can that happen?
You brain goes into crashing mode. You are baffled about what to think.You can’t grasp what has happened to the print on the card. The person opposite is smiling, acting as if everything is normal.
Pre-knowledge; you thought you knew what the card was, what was written on it, and never questioned that it could ever be anything other than a simple business card with the expected address and name written on it.
Now, you are flummoxed. Your brain literally can’t go forwards and think about anything — none of it fits. The possibilities that you come up with are non-believable because they don’t fit into the concept of this situation.
You can’t find a solution to the problem facing you.
The context of the social situation fully supported your preconceived ideas about how things work with handing over business cards, meeting people, their behaviour etc.
Then the person opposite tells you, with a giggle, that they are a professional magician and they tricked you. Then, it becomes a little more believable. Still though, your brain can’t accept that a person is capable of such adept sleight of hand.
The environment around the two people helped to support the accepted idea of a trustful person, friendliness and amicable behaviour between two people. Except, one of the people manipulated the other person’s feelings by utilising their false beliefs about what was really happening.
I’ve experienced this situation before, except it wasn’t a business card it was cash money being handed to me by a client. A very clever trick.
It’s an example of how we can believe we know what is happening and what-is-what, and falsely applying pre-knowledge to a conceptual idea by allowing surface ideas exhibited to define what we believe about the situation.
The surface ideas in our lives often come from watching others, listening to self-appointed leaders who only want your money, and reading and believing books that tell us that we can build multi-million dollar businesses in a snap without any experience or capital. We don’t question enough, and we don’t think about our questions enough.
Asking Great Questions that can only have Great Answers
If we don’t investigate by formulating very precise questions, we can’t move forwards in an effective and new way that leads to creative outcomes.
We can formulate better questions by allowing our thinking to express off the wall ideas about a concept, such as, “what if it just fizzled away into thin air?” which would lead to a question about the crazy question, “How would I make that happen?”
By deferring judgement on our thoughts and what we see, we can ask better questions. We avoid asking closed questions that lead us to dead ends that we already know about.
“How can I get started?” isn’t a good question because it doesn’t approach the problem of starting, it addresses a vague idea of motivations about starting.
By creating clarity about what you want to do will develop a stronger idea about the types of questions you want to answer. The question often formulates out of a clear picture of what the problem is.
People often avoid thinking deeply enough about the real problem for fear of discovering that it may be greater than they are.
Delving deeply into what it is that you want to do, or problem solve, will open up a better understanding and therefore a clearer picture of the idea.
A clearer vision of the problem or goal will allow you to think about where to begin gathering better data to use as a basis for asking questions.
Better data, a stronger picture of the idea, and powerful questions will in themselves create a platform for creative thinking. You will have more elements to work with, to move around and ask questions about.
At this point you have avoided starting at point “A” and are now working with new ideas that create new thoughts and feelings about how you can tackle your problem.
With these ideas about being creative you are using divergent thinking to reach an area of convergent thinking. This is where the ideas that you have can come together, be separated again and replaced, removed from the process or changed to a better version at will.
Creative thinking is a process and a skill that can be practised in all situations in life.
Whether you are working in a creative industry, or as an artist, it doesn’t matter. Creativity is a way of thinking that overcomes the mundane everyday ways of dealing with problems with an off-hand, and destructive manner — when a problem could have been solved and become useful again.
I hope this article is useful to you, if you like it, it would be brilliant if you gave it a clap. Thanks.
Here is a great article by Darius Foroux that you may find relative to your thinking.