Picture: Credits to Hugh MacLeod & Vitor Bellote
“You cannot force creativity to happen—every creative person can attest to that.
But the essence of creativity is making connections and solving puzzles”
(Nancy C. Andreasen, Neuroscientist)
Creativity is connecting things. In other word, making connections where none existed before is what creativity is all about. The world is our field. Thus, there are practically unlimited possible connections that can be made. We are making connections all the time as part of our learning process. For example, a lot of things happen when I’m doing one thing and I’m not thinking about what my mind is doing. I’m either watching movie, I’m reading a book, eating my lunch and then – I make a connection. It may have nothing to do with what I am doing, but somehow or other I see something or hear something or do something, and it pops that connection together. People use to say, millions saw the apple fall, but Newton asked, ‘why?’
“Creativity is just connecting things,” Steve Jobs, late CEO of Apple told Wired magazine. “When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people… Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem.”
Jobs told a story when he took calligraphy in college, a course with no practical applications to his life then. But after he came back later he used his knowledge and skills to added Macintoch, the first computer with beautiful typeface, fonts, and calligraphy. The dots were connected. Creativity is connecting things. Can be few years from now, can be months from now, can be in a minute later. So how to connect the dots? Here are my suggestions (at least, these are the things that I do myself):
§ Carry a notebook and keep track of everything – especially in the toilet (sometime I just write ideas on tissue!)
§ Read to add more knowledge. Logically, the more knowledge you have, the more connection you can make.
§ Play or try to experience more things in life. Most of the time, connections just happen when you least expected it.
§ Review the last sermons or scratch or whatever notes you had wrote before. Recalling and reminding are the best way to spark creative connections.
§ Try observation skill. Just look around you and try to make connections between things which may show similarity or maybe totally unrelated.
Don’t just stare the ceiling, make connections.
Don’t just read and play, make connections.
Don’t just eat and sleeping, make connections.
Maybe just relax, and there is a connection!
God, Give Us Today Our Daily Idea(s)