To live is to solve (Or, at least, try to solve) a series of everyday problems that never stop, of varying magnitude depending on circumstances, luck and individual personality.
Most problems can be solved on a regular basis, Imitate the solutions that have been instilled in us or that we see applied by the society around us, or in a different and personal way, seeking originality, trying to find a better alternative.
Creativity: in search of better solutions
All problems, by definition, have at least one solution; because if a situation has no solution, it ceases to be a problem and becomes a tragedy, misfortune or bad luck. Some mathematical problems (exact and pure sciences) present unique solutions; some mental or philosophical problems present two opposing solutions (they are dilemmas of the type “to be or not to be”, for example).
But the most common problems in human life (impure sciences and practical philosophy) present a variety of options for dealing with them, Although not all of them are easy to see if the gaze with which we approach them is not accompanied by the creative spirit.
- Read more: “What is creativity? Are we all ‘potential geniuses’?”
Does this mean that we must by all means reject the routines that life offers us? Not even close. Routines have an unfair bad reputation. It only means that when faced with any solution of routine, we have to ask ourselves whether we are able to optimize or find a better routine, based on other methods and other concepts.
The great progress of mankind has consisted and will continue to consist precisely of transforming into effective routines solutions that have hitherto been unable to be solved systematically or involving ineffective routines. Turning appendicitis or a cesarean into a simple surgical routine has been a breakthrough. Changing the routine of going to wash clothes in the river by housewives, being able to talk on the phone with any inhabitant of the planet at a glance have become lucky routines of our time. Millions of successful routine solutions constitute our current well-being.
Routines that improve our well-being
As the great philosopher and mathematician said Alfred North Whitehead: “Civilization advances by increasing the number of important operations that can be performed without having to think about how to do them.” Creating a routine to solve a problem where there was none is one of the greatest qualities of creativity possible: antibiotics to cure infections; Internet to expand knowledge, are paradigmatic examples.
Avoiding Alzheimer’s disease, beating cancer, avoiding huge economic inequalities or reversing climate change are four of the many major challenges we face today.
Tips to be more creative
The first step in creation is to detect a problem where the rest of humanity either does not see it or dare not face it. Without making the mistake of confusing creative nonconformity with systematic discontent, rebel without a cause, grunt ineffective. The second step is to properly define and delineate the scope and scope of the problem. The third will be to find out what solutions exist in other countries or environments different from our usual environment. The Internet and its search engines are, at this stage, a great help.
If we find what we are looking for, we will replace the routine of our fellows with what we learn on the net. We will be innovative and we can have followers and believe in the trend. Otherwise, we will enter the fourth step of the process: creative thinking, active search for alternatives. This is the phase in which we will have to resort to our right hemisphere, our intuition, our unconscious, our sensory stimuli, our dreams, our open and uninhibited mental associations. And that’s when the texts that teach us to trust our sensory stimuli, to avoid creative blockages of any kind, and to use mental strategies, techniques, and methods to help the essentials happen are useful to our brain. It has rained a lot since then Alex F. Osborn invented in 1957 his famous “brainstorming” and great have been the contributions of many authors to aid in creativity.
Creative or visionary?
Being creative isn’t about seeing what no one else has seen or doing what no one else has been able to do (that would be two comic book superhero superpowers, anyway). To be creative is “to think about what nobody had thought of, to associate elements that nobody had associated before”.
All the great advances in progress are born from an imaginative mind which freely associated things that until then no one had dared to assemble. Being creative isn’t about seeing what no one has seen before or having the magical power to turn ideas into realities. To be creative is to see the same thing that everyone sees, but to think of things that no one has ever thought of before, to create a new association animated by the imagination. With the help of appropriate mental strategies.
You might be interested in: “The 14 Keys to Boost Creativity”
A slow but persistent progression
Everyone knew from prehistoric times that an emptied chest could sail like a seashell again; and they broke their arms rowing to move it. Everyone had observed that the wind could push the leaf of a plant and carry it over long distances. But centuries must have passed until someone imagined a leaf attached to the shell of a walnut with a vertical stick. It is very possible that 3500 years ago, it was an Egyptian boy who said to his parents: “I want to test if the wind which blows a palm leaf can push a shell on the Nile”, and his parents would say : “Great idea! We will help you prove it. “
The invention of sailing was the main technology in maritime transport until the invention of steam at the end of the 19th century. All the great world empires relied on him to trade and impose their military rule. But it was humanly impossible for the Egyptian child that we imagined to predict the true dimension of his creation. Well, there is no doubt about it, also in our time, a child could unlock the key to the mental concept that we need for our technological progress evolved objects around us.
We must be insightful, attentive to the creativity of our clearest minds: children and good creatives.. The darkness and immensity of the unresolved or poorly resolved problems that haunt us, no doubt oblige us to resort to them.
If we are allowed a pun: we have acquired the routine of looking at all the problems around us creatively. Building routines that solve us systematically and stably the problems of humanity that we do not solve in the right way.
- Demory, B. Techniques of creativity. Granica, 1997.
- Guilera, L. Anatomy of Creativity. FONDS- ESDi, 2011.
- Siqueira, J. Creatividad Aplicada: Key Tools, Techniques and Attitudes to Be More Creative. CreateSpace, 2013