We admire creative, thought provoking leaders. We look towards innovative creativity to solve our fossil fuel dependency. We applaud inventive creativity in the form of re-conceptualization of existing governments. The Green Revolution has launched a potent creative skill that I.A. Tayor (1959- The nature of the creative process) calls emergenative creativity. It is a new creation opening an entirely a new paradigm. Good or bad; think about hybrid seeds, cloned corns, plastic from plants and of course the phenomenal creativity of financial engineering that paved way for the financial crisis of 2008. Well, whatever that may be, to be creative and to stay creative is the name of the game. We are all looking for ways to activate our creativity at the snap of our fingers.
The irony is we expect ingenuity to be at our beck and call, yet we starve ourselves of the right environment that feeds it. Ask an artist, a musician or an athlete about the out of the world place they call “the zone.” They all acknowledge a sense of immersion and effortless ease. It is called being in the Flow.
To encounter creativity as a regular phenomenon, James Webb Young in his classic book, "A Technique for Producing Ideas" provdes some simple steps to harness creative ideas.
- Gather tons of Information on Your Subject Matter. Research, Research and Research.
- Understand the Information. Be expansive with the creative technique. Question conventions and assumptions. Employ Lateral Thinking: It is about finding a solution to problems through an indirect approach. Be constrained in your technique. Force associations between the subject matter and a random word from a dictionary.
- Consciously disconnect from the project. Let your subconscious take it from here.
- Give Life to your Idea. Make it real!
Needless to say, the creative process unleashes the Flow State as popularised by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. He spent decades studying a wide variety of professionals, actors, artists, scholars and athletes who regularly cultivate that zone-like state of effortlessness he calls Flow. He concluded most of the people he studied experience their deepest flow-states while engaged in extremely challenging physical or mental work.
Find expression in something that nourishes a "strong sense of effortless flow to inspire the deliberate practice/work" that will propel you to the pinnacle of your profession.
“There is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost.” — Martha Graham