How Creativity Works: Jonah Lehrer
Imagination and creativity are not just an art or capacity that is innately bred into some of us.
Lehrer explores the science of creativity and the natural endowment we all share, if we are willing to free ourselves and allow it to happen.
How do we permit ourselves to ‘think crazy,’ find inspiration, rediscover our childhood zeal for serendipity, clear the decks of the stale layers of familiar thinking, and swim with the creative.
This may not be groundbreaking material, but it’s an enjoyable guide to the path most of us wish to follow.
From The Book: When we tell one another stories about creativity, we tend to leave out those days when we wanted to quit, when we believed that our problems were impossible to solve.
The feeling of frustration, the act of being stumped, is an essential part of the creative process. When a solution does appear, it doesn’t come in dribs and drabs; rather the solution is shocking in its completeness.
An insight is like finding a needle in a haystack. There are a trillion possible connections in the brain, and we have to find the exact right one. Just think of the odds!
When our minds are at ease – when those alpha waves are rippling through the brain – we’re most likely to direct the spotlight of attention inward, toward the stream of remote associations emanating from the right hemisphere.
People assume that increased focus is always better. But what they don’t realize is that intense focus comes with real tradeoffs. You might be able to work for eight hours straight, but you’re probably not going to have many big insights.
Insight arrives only after you stop looking for it.
Creative individuals seem to remain in contact with the extra information constantly streaming in from the environment.
A daydream is that “fountain spurting” as the brain blends together concepts that are normally filed away in different areas.