Of all our various creative abilities, curiosity is perhaps the most important. It’s hard to imagine any creativity or human development without curiosity; This amazing ability makes us not only interested in our environment but also in ourselves. Curiosity makes us read books. Curiosity makes us ask the question “Why?“. Curiosity is the fuel that drives us forward. It is also through our curiosity that we find the inspiration to change the world. And it is curiosity, not money, which is the biggest driver in research.
All good innovative projects are based on human needs. At the beginning of a creative project, it may therefore be helpful to interview as many people as possible to try and make them express not only their obvious needs but also their latent, indirect and unconscious needs. Already Henry Ford realized in the early days of the automotive industry that if he asked people what they wanted, they would have answered “A faster horse”.
If you sit still doing nothing for just a few moments, your mind will start to wander in all different directions, and this happens also after a while when you otherwise try to concentrate on a task. A beloved child has many names, and this also goes for this well-known phenomenon. The Buddha called it the “monkey mind”, likening it to the monkey constantly jumping from one tree branch to another. A western everyday name is of course “day-dreaming”, and the neuroscientists are talking about “mind-wandering”.
The American best-selling creativity writer Julia Cameron has many excellent tips on how to increase your creativity. One of the most effective is to start writing a “Creativity Diary”, or as Cameron calls it, “Morning Pages”.
One of the genetically strongest fears we have is to be abandoned by the group. Humans are flock animals, and the safety of the group has been vital for our survival throughout evolution. If you challenged the prevailing norms in the early hunting tribe, you’d risk being expelled from the group, and this was often the same as a death sentence.
There is a saying that seeing is believing, but what happens when what you see with your eyes contradicts a seemingly obvious truth?
Every single experience of what has happened to you took place within your own mind as reflections and interpretations of sensory information that have reached you from the external world around you. While this flow of sensory information is partly beyond your control, you still have a choice of what you expose yourself to. Reading books, meeting new people, experiencing nature are all within the range of your possibilities, and are all bringing you new sensory information, and thus novel experiences.
But your opportunities don’t stop there….