I’ve been thinking about creativity and perspective in an almost accidental frame of mind for the last few days and I thought it valued a few lines. I was ‘officially’ turned on to flow and creativity back in 1998 when Applied Creativity was one of the subjects on the Innovation Masters degree I was taking. I remember afterwards reading this book by a certain Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, titled ‘Finding Flow’. It was a fantastic book and sort of addresses how to be happy and stay happy. There is this ideology that creativity should be allowed to flow, almost in the sense that it flows out of you and is transferred to others or things, such as art, science, human relationships, etc. I noticed while walking around that on the whole, most people are habitual, they get up, have breakfast, go to work, smoke cigarettes (I’m surprised how many people feel the need to smoke in the morning), etc and so on. They follow the same patterns day in, day out. They take the same metro, they drive the same streets, they stop for coffee at the same places, all very habitual and I’d say that as much as 70-80% of the general population are happy to with their habitual routines.
That been said, there’s very little scope for creativity, you share the same perspective as everyone else (more or less), you perform the same activities day in/out, there’s very little external stimulation that encourages you to apply creativity.
I am an INTJ type individual, which apparantly makes me quite rare, less than 1% of general population. This also means that I contemplate such things as Creativity, Strategy, etc. I’m usually misunderstood very easily, part of the package it seems, but what I think is important is that I feel creativity flows when it goes against the habitual routines, when you can turn around and see the faces of all the people you were walking with and walk against them, when you look above eye-level or switch off your iPod for a while and listen to the sounds of the world. Extrasensory stimulation is a wonderful thing, to absorb all this information then combine it into an idea or a plan is being creative, this is finding your flow.
It’s easy to wear blinkers and follow habitual routines, it’s even comfortable and you can suppose be happy this way. Going against these patterns is not easy, it’s very difficult, because you have to change your perspective, you will have difficulty in being accepted and your ideas will generally be misunderstood, or considered different than the norm, but that is also why the world didn’t have ten Di Vinci’s or fifteen Van Goghs or even two Albert Einsteins. No one is saying give up your day job, but if you are in search of a little creative flux, start with choosing a different route to work, switch off your iPod, try another Coffee bar. It’s in the little things that we change we have the opportunity to see a whole new universe and stimulate a little bit of creative flux.