Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Jonah Lehrer: how creativity works

Jonah Lehrer, author of Imagine: How Creativity Works, was on KQED Forum earlier today.  For anyone who wondered about how to be more creative, Jonah shares practical tips and stories about creativity.

Although it did not air today, he appeared on City Arts and Lecture today as well.  I think it will air on KQED soon.  Jonah has been appearing different speaking engagements as well.

Watch from 1:35 into the video for Jonah's comment
about the role grit plays in creativity

To be more creative, break boundaries, turn off self-control and daydream;
enemy of creativity may be success itself and getting too vested in one idea

There is a subtle point that I want to underline.  Jonah uses the term "being creative" as thinking outside the box to come up with a solution to a problem.  This may happen due to shear stroke of luck and genius.  But more often than not, it's continual process requires efforts.  What's funny about these efforts is that focus is not what determines the effectiveness.  In fact the opposite is true.  More focused you are, less likely it will be that you'll have an insight to solve the problem.

Trick is to persist through failures and disappointments, yet distance yourself from getting too focused on the problem at hand until you get to epiphany.   In other words, to solve the problem stay the course without getting obsessed with the solution.  Put it simply, have a faith.

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