The Art of Creative Thinking
‘The art of creative thinking’ is a powerful term on its own, but to me it is the title of my favourite book. From our first days on earth, we are taught exactly what to do and how to do it, and anything else is just not ‘right’. If we all listened to this, we’d still be living in caves using sticks and stones. Creative thinking should be welcomed and embraced, because without it, life would be unimaginably boring. This quirky book challenges our traditional way of life in every aspect. We struggle with becoming complacent in our lives, we get stuck in a routine of wake up, work, eat, sleep, wake up, work, eat, sleep, repeat. The Art of Creative Thinking challenges our conventional way of thinking by showing us what can happen when you think outside the box.
People think that not everyone can be creative, that you must have that trait or be a trained artist. This is not true at all; you can be creative in the simplest of tasks every single day. Rod Judkins talks about his vast range of experiences and various people in history who have defied conventionality and created something new. We can learn to transform ourselves and our society by developing a deeper understanding of human creativity.
Creating an entirely new way of thinking, will change the way you see and live your life. Learn to embrace change and creativity. Plan to have more accidents. Challenge yourself more often. Be stubborn about compromise – don’t change yourself just to fit in with everyone else.
In school, creativity is suppressed and crushed, and ultimately feared. People fear it as it’s something that can’t be controlled. We are taught that mistakes, failure, and trying new things was a bad thing. When we open our minds to creativity, possibility, and opportunity, there is an air of freedom. All over the world, people are thoughtlessly rational, doing things just because that’s what everyone else was doing. There is no doubt that creative thinking produces more valuable accomplishments than that of the plain logical approach. An amazing example Judkins uses is when a scuba diving company is facing bankruptcy because their waters are infested with sharks. While for most companies this would be the end, for this company they turned their negative into a positive by making ‘shark infested waters’ their primary selling point – “the world’s first extreme diving school”.
The creative thinking techniques and thought processes and methods that creative people use can be deconstructed and used for everyone. Judkins shares stories of some of the inevitable obstacles that aspiring creative thinkers face, and the methods that they employ to overcome them. These challenges are ones that all of us face in day-to-day life, no matter what our career or field of expertise.
The Art of Creative Thinking can teach us that thinking creatively I not a strictly professional activity but rather a way of relating to life.
Society makes us feel that our abilities are limited and inherently rob us of our creative confidence. We are born with incredible imaginations, intuitions, and intelligence but we are trained to not utilise these powers and inevitably they wither. An extremely limited view of our abilities is projected onto us.
We need to learn that a creative mindset can be applied to everything we do and enhance every aspect of our lives. Creativity isn’t something that can just be switched on or off; it is a way of seeing, engaging with and responding to the world around us. We can start today at trying to develop a new way of thinking that we can use for any challenge of project, no matter how far it is out of our comfort zone.