CREATIVITY: From Where does it come?

So, where does great work come from? … As a writer, there are some days when the words flow effort­less­ly, and then moments when not a word makes any sense. It’s clas­sic. It’s some­thing that we all deal with. Many believe that we need the per­fect sit­u­a­tion for our cre­ativ­i­ty to flow. We need to not be dis­rupt­ed or dis­tract­ed or faced with prob­lems for our best work to flow with muse.” ~  Tim Har­ford, TED talk

And so it goes for any cre­ative activ­i­ty. There is no one key trait that defines cre­ativ­i­ty. Many neu­ro­sci­en­tists believe that acti­vat­ing our ‘cre­ative mode’ involves dif­fer­ent inter­act­ing cog­ni­tive process­es, both con­scious and uncon­scious, as well as our emo­tions. Though we still don’t under­stand every­thing that goes on in the brain, there is research to back-up the idea that still­ness plays a role and let­ting your mind wan­der with­out crit­i­cal­ly think­ing. Try­ing not to solve a prob­lem so much as allow­ing our thoughts to just free asso­ciate. 

Morn­ing Med­i­ta­tion, JASON SMITH

When read­ing about cre­ative writ­ers, sci­en­tists, artists, and so on, what they had in com­mon was ‘down time’, the time they just went for walks like Thore­au and Dick­ens, or took cat naps like Edi­son. They blocked out the world around them and went to a stress free place in their mind.

They relied on their accu­mu­lat­ed resources they had in their minds already and took time for the  brain to defrag­ment. The brain rearranges and restores infor­ma­tion that we have already tak­en in so when we need a par­tic­u­lar piece of infor­ma­tion, we will be able to access quick­ly. To do this, the brain needs us to be qui­et to incu­bate all the infor­ma­tion we have received. To do some­thing that is not prob­lem-solv­ing. We need to be relaxed and stress free. 

Increased cre­ative think­ing is a side-effect of calm­ing our inner mind

So, one way to become more cre­ative is to be in the habit of dai­ly med­i­ta­tion. It is a way to break from all the dis­trac­tions and con­stant demands we have in our dai­ly lives. 

You could start your day with a few min­utes of just sit­ting — not think­ing about what the day holds for you, but just try­ing to not think of any­thing. Or you could take a walk, or take a break in the after­noon sit­ting down and count­ing your breaths. One work­shop I was in had us sit down and con­cen­trate first on our toes, then feet, and slow­ing mov­ing up our body, think­ing of how that par­tic­u­lar part of the body felt. It takes you into your­self, let­ting your brain defrag­ment. Stop­ping your brain from try­ing to solve a prob­lem and instead just work on the fil­ing sys­tem in your head. 


Sub­mit­ted by Jude Lobe