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Our nervous system is designed in such a way that inventing something new stimulates pleasure centers. And it does not matter what genes do you have. Everyone can be creative.


Molecular biologist, neuropsychologist, Ph.D. Estanislao Bachrach explains that there are methods by which you can get more insights and intuitive breakthroughs. Here are 15 quotes from his bestseller "The Agile Mind: How Your Brain Makes Creativity Happen " that I kindly present to your attention.


1. We´ve got confidence when we are enough familiar with some topic, when we have vast experience in some scope or when we understand the nature of some discipline (in my case it is molecular biology) a country, a company or a family. And it is good. But in many cases, knowledge restricts the mind, prevents us from looking inwards. It might discourage us from looking for different possibilities or answers to the same question. In general, experience helps to solve problems in the same way as we have already done it in the past. On the other hand, the view from the outside, from a different perspective, a point of view of the bystander allows us to find new solutions to the problem.


2. We can bring back our ability to be creative if we start to be like children again. Pablo Picasso once said: "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up".


3. Trying to become outstanding and creative without changing the way of life is a hollow and meaningless work.


4. Try to make sure that every day something new surprises you. It can be something that you have seen, read or heard. For example, you can try to come up with an unexpected end for a famous story or find new shapes in known patterns.


5. Every day write down what has astonished or surprised you. After a few weeks of keeping these records, re-read them. You will notice a certain pattern. Mark the topics that interest you the most. Perhaps you will even find an area that you want to explore more in-depth.


6. Imagine that you are in some far-away country. Write a short story about this place. Fill it with emotions. If you had a creative task, how would you cope with it there? Reread your story in search of associations and tips that will help you to solve your problem. Imagine that you live in a different historical era. Write down how you would solve the creative problem back then. Reread your story in search of associations.


7. If you are stuck on an issue, that is particularly difficult, Professor John Kounios recommends you to set the alarm for a few minutes earlier than usual. It will give you time to think about the solution in bed, while you are not completely awake yet. It is exactly at this time when we are visited by the best ideas. And do not forget to write them down later.


8. The best way to produce interesting ideas is to relax.


9. By shaping a complex problem in one phrase composed of six words, you stimulate your imagination.


10. Try to dress up, wash your hair and brush your teeth with your eyes closed. During the dinner try to communicate with your interlocutor only with the help of your eyes, without any words. Check out how does it feel to listen to the music while sniffing the flowers.


11. On any day of the week, select a random color. Throughout the day, look for this color in everything you meet. Make five minutes and write down a list of everything that can be improved in the place where you are right now.


12. To think creatively means to think productively. Consequently, with a creative approach, we do not rush to the problem, armed with past experience, but rather ask ourselves: how many perspectives on it are already existing, how to rethink and solve it? The goal is to come up with as many answers as possible, including non-template ones. Reproductive thinking is deprived of flexibility, and that becomes the cause of a failure: solutions found with its help are exactly reproducing our past experience or at least they look similar to it.


13. Come up with 100 solutions for brick application and write them down. You will see that the first 10 or 20 will be standard, habitual, known like to lay down a wall, to rise higher, to build a grill, to support bookshelves, etc. The next 30-50 ideas will be more original. As we approach the hundredth, the brain will start to make extra efforts and produce more creative and non-standard alternatives. For this process to be most effective, it is necessary to tame the inner critic and to start recording all the ideas, including the most obvious and bad ones. It is most likely that the first third will include old, identical ideas; in the second third will appear more interesting one; and finally - the ones that definitely deserve attention, the unexpected and difficult inventions. If we had not set the goal of producing so many ideas, these last thirty would not have been born.


14. The more we write, the faster we think. Therefore, our thinking becomes more plastic.


15. One of the most striking and enjoyable ways to develop a vision of the world from other perspectives is to travel, to leave the places where we spend most of our time. When we are physically close to the root of the problem, our thinking is automatically limited to a series of possible associations. This can be useful for concentration, but it does not help our imagination.



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