Shake off the numbness, habits and standard worldview. It's time to look and act from a different, more productive and creative perspective. How to become more inventive and learn to embody breakthrough ideas?
Our brains are built for creative problem solving, and our natural ingenuity can be enhanced. Tina Seelig, a Stanford professor and author of the bestselling Do-It-Yourself book, is convinced of this. In her explosive new book, Breaking the Pattern, she provides great advice to help shake off the stupor and see the world from a different angle, make it a little better, and make yourself more creative.
From a different angle
The ability to look at a problem from different points of view is critical to solving all types of problems. Until 1543, people believed that the sun and the planets revolved around the earth. But in 1543, Copernicus changed the idea of mankind. A radical change of view took place, leading to the "Copernican revolution." You, too, are capable of starting a revolution. You just need to look at the problems you are busy with from a different angle.
Some artists and musicians deliberately break our boundaries. For example, Maurits Cornelis Escher is famous for his graphic works, in which he plays with the viewer's perception, making him see different figures alternately in the foreground and in the background.
Another example is the work of the composer John Cage "4 ′ 33 ″". It was written in 1952 and is suitable for any instrument or orchestra. The score says that all musicians should just sit quietly for four and a half minutes, without touching the strings or keys.
You can train yourself to change your point of view every day. Find a stone or piece of wood, insert into the frame and get an art object. Imagine that your young secretary will one day become an executive director. Sit on the floor and understand how young children see the world.
Looking for inspiration
Tantalizing. Just one word - teasing. Can you write a three-page essay inspired by him?
Absolutely everything - every word, every object - gives you the opportunity to make the most of your knowledge to fuel your imagination.
Until recently, applicants at Oxford took the "one-word exam." They both anticipated and feared The Essay itself, as it was called. In the exam, each of them, at the same time as the others, turned over a sheet of paper on which was written one word - for example, "innocence", "miracles" or "teasing." In three hours they had to write an essay inspired by a single word.
The ability to connect and combine incongruous objects is an important step in creating innovations. To form new ideas, you need to learn how to reorganize and regroup old ones.
This principle is adhered to by fans of the Japanese art movement chindogu. Chindogu is the creation of strange, unusual inventions by combining the incongruous. For example, a suit for an infant with a doormat on his stomach - while crawling on the floor, the child simultaneously cleans the apartment. Or a shirt lined at the back so you can tell exactly where you need to scratch your back.
Of course, these inventions are impractical, but they may well be the first step towards creating something truly useful.
For the sake of mastering this combination, you can take part in a competition from the New Yorker. Every week the magazine publishes an unsigned picture on the last page. Images from the New Yorker often feature incongruous objects, objects taken out of context, or images that have been zoomed in. The challenge for the reader is to find a fun way to tie them together.
Brainstorming Rule # 1
The main rule of brainstorming is that there are no bad ideas. This means that participants have no right to criticize each other's proposals. As odd as the idea is, your job is to use it. Brainstorming allows you to explore all possibilities, be they brilliant or idiotic. Remove obvious solutions from the list of possible solutions and force participants to think further.
During the brainstorming session, you can throw unexpected or provocative questions and clues to the participants that nudge the discussion in a completely different direction. For example, if the design of a new playground is on the agenda, ask how such playgrounds would look on the moon or under water, in 100 years or in the last century, if they were built by children or disabled people, if the construction budget was one dollar or a million, or if this site is to become the most dangerous in the world.
Encouragement and punishment
If you want to increase your own creativity and unleash the creativity of those around you, you need to come up with ways to reward. For example, Proteus Biomedical has created an interesting game. When one of its employees applies for a patent for an invention, they are given a toy rubber brain. The employee puts this brain in a large jar on the shelf at the entrance to the company, next to the same banks of his colleagues. The more brains an employee has in the bank, the higher their status in the company.
Another fun example is a website called Written? Kitten! Its job is to motivate authors. You set a goal for yourself, for example, write 3000 or 5000 words, and as soon as you fulfill the norm, a picture with a kitten is shown. For cat lovers, this is a good incentive.
The program was created in response to the Write or Die application, which, on the contrary, punishes lazy writers. In light mode, the program simply sends reminder messages. In normal operation, the stop is accompanied by an unpleasant audible signal. And in the "kamikaze" mode, the program starts to erase the written word as soon as you stop writing.
From a change in the places of the terms, the sum … changes
"What is five plus five?" "Which two numbers add up to ten?" There is only one answer to the first question, but to the second there is an uncountable set, especially when you take into account fractions and negative numbers. These two examples for simple addition differ only in wording.
The ability to pose a question differently is an effective method of developing the imagination, because with a change in the wording, a huge number of possible solutions opens up.
Albert Einstein once said: “If I were given an hour to solve a problem on which my life depended, then I would spend 55 minutes to formulate the question precisely. And in order to answer a correctly posed question, I need no more than five minutes."
Invent the future
Creativity opens up a whole universe of possibilities. By developing creativity, instead of problems, you discover potential, instead of obstacles, motivation, instead of challenges, the likelihood of revolutionary solutions. However, school does not teach creative problem-solving, it is not even considered a skill that can be mastered. Unfortunately, the persistent belief that ideas are cheap is fairly common. Ideas aren't cheap at all - they're free. And priceless.
Ideas lead to innovations that move the world economy forward and prevent our life from becoming a monotonous and inactive existence. These are the cranes pulling us off the beaten path and onto the path of progress. Without new ideas, life will not just be a repetition of the same episodes, it will begin to roll back.
In essence, our main mistakes are not that we are doing something wrong, but that we do not even dream of something more. We are all inventors of our own future. Invent your own.