Creativity Comes From Nowhere - Grasshopper
"He's a real nowhere man living in his nowhere land" is how The Beatles characterized a marginal character. Truth be told, a "Nowhere Man (Woman)" lives outside the margins.
"Nowhere" in this context is defined as outside your head. When we get outside our own thought bubble, we land in the land of creativity – Nowhere Land.
We've bought into the myth that we think our way to creativity. It never happens that way. Just refer back to the last creative idea that you had. Where did it come from? It came from nowhere. It popped into your head, and not as a result of your thinking.
So how do we get to Nowhere Land? We have to get out past the margins of our thinking. We can do that in many ways without having to visit a guru on a mountaintop.
Some common ways are meditation, self-hypnosis or any progressive relaxation technique. But there is an indirect method that produces creativity as well. Let's call it the "doing something with purpose" method. Reminds me of a story . . .
I remember getting a test-taking tip from my hypnosis teacher Dr. Dave Dobson. He said to read every question on the test before attempting to answer any one of them. He said we would know the answers to some but be in the dark about others. After reading over all the questions, he said to start at the beginning and answer the questions. His claim was that the "other than conscious" part of our mind, would be scouring our memory banks, behind the scenes, for the answers to the ones we didn't know just by familiarizing ourselves with all the questions. It's similar to being stumped on some answers to a crossword puzzle and taking a break for a cup of tea or coffee and then coming back to the puzzle and getting an "ah-ha" moment regarding the missing words.
"Doing something with purpose" is a process where we do something that takes our conscious attention away from problem solving and puts it elsewhere. It could be as simple as taking a walk or a shower or as involved as rock climbing or motocross racing.
The key is to dedicate your conscious task to solving your problem. By that I mean to set an intention for your task. "I dedicate this shower to coming up with some creative solutions to my problem." Then your job is to give your full attention to your shower. Fully feel the temperature of the water on your body, smell the fragrance of the soap or shampoo, hear the water splashing off of your body, see the water going down the drain. The idea is to fully immerse yourself and your attention in the activity, allowing the creative part of your mind to work uninterrupted on solutions to your situation.
When we consciously attempt to think our way to a solution, we interrupt our creativity. It would be like praying to God for an answer and then interrupting him by telling him how to come up with the solution.
Creativity doesn't need our critical thinking.
I request that you get into the habit of "doing something with purpose." It will transform you from going nowhere to getting you to Nowhere Land.
All the best,
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