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Creativity is Lodged Deep in our DNA

Creativity is Our Birthrightresponsibility


A long time ago, I spent some time in the calaboose. It’s a long story and I am working on it for a future page or post. Not a time that inspires pride. While there I met an art teacher by the name of Bill Murray – a different Bill Murray. One of the things I remember about him was his telling me that we are all born artists. He would say that if we weren’t creative and willing to take risks, we could never learn how to walk. Sometime, around 4th grade, he’d say, somehow the artist is shoved aside as if outliving it’s usefulness. A video well worth watching is Sir Ken Robinson on TED. He says that schools kill creatity.

This weeks list is several posts related to the creative process.

Daniel Pink: How the 21st Century Brain Affects Creativity

Dan Pink, you remember him from his book, A Whole New Mind.  He has now written Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. He demonstrates that praise and reward actually retard the creative spirit.  He talks about that in the video in the HBR Blog post above.

Bad News for the Imaginative?

Science Daily reports that …

High creative skills have been shown to be somewhat more common in people who have mental illness in the family. Creativity is also linked to a slightly higher risk of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Certain psychological traits, such as the ability to make unusual pr bizarre associations are also shared by schizophrenics and healthy, highly creative people. And now the correlation between creativity and mental health has scientific backing.

On my sweetheart’s studio door there is a small sign with a Voltaire quote, “You must have the devil in you to succeed in any of the arts.” Works for me.

Livia Blackburne writes about the writing brain on Problogger.

The Deliberate Pathway

The deliberate pathway handles problem solving, planning, reasoning. You use this pathway when you’re actively focused on a problem or task. For those interested in brain anatomy, this pathway primarily uses the prefrontal cortex, the most frontal portion the brain.

The Spontaneous Pathway

The spontaneous pathway, on the other hand, comes into play during idea incubation, immersion, and free association. You’re in this brain state when you defocus your attention: when you’re sleeping, in the shower, in a boring meeting, etc. The spontaneous pathway uses posterior portions of the brain.

The book she refers toin her post is is by one of those Harvard guys. You can pre-order it here Your Creative Brain: Seven Steps to Maximize Imagination, Productivity, and Innovation in Your Life.

Charting Creativity: Signposts of a Hazy Territory

A story in The New York Times follows scientist Rex Jung as he attempts to chart the pathways of creativity in our brains.

“Creativity is kind of like pornography — you know it when you see it,” said Rex Jung, a research scientist at the Mind Research Network in Albuquerque. Dr. Jung, an assistant research professor in the department of neurosurgery at the University of New Mexico, said his team was doing the first systematic research on the neurology of the creative process, including its relationship to personality and intelligence.

Problem Solving: Where Does Sudden Insight Reside? From Science Daily

A recent study provides intriguing information about the neural dynamics underlying behavioral changes associated with the development of new problem solving strategies. The research, published by the Cell Press in the May 13 issue of the journal Neuron, supports the idea of “a-ha” moments in the brain that are associated with sudden insight.

Do You Worry that You’re Just Not Creative?

This is the second in Lateral Action’s ‘Break Through Your Creative Blocks’ series. To be creative simply means that you create things. I thought about just putting in a quote from Mark McGuinness’ post. Instead, I decided I would create these few sentences myself. Creative. It seems pretty simple doesn’t it.

Creative people create. That’s all. Sure, there are occasional flashes of genius. It happens. Waiting for that to happen is like expecting to golf and hit a hole-in-one your first day. Occasionally someone wins the lottery. When that person does, some 80,000,000 lose the lottery.

Maybe it’s better if we invest our money in a retirement fund. Maybe it’s better if we just sit down and make something. Look back at the past 60 years. The boomer generation has been one of the most innovative in history. If we aren’t the greatest generation, maybe we should start calling ourselves the Innovation Generation.

Go. Make something.

About Mike

Writes for men in transition, interested in personal development, and who are excited or lost when it comes to life and all the possibilities it offers after 50.

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