While thinking may seem like an obvious trait in creativity, it’s important to examine what people think is obvious and what it means to the subject at hand. It’s part of being curious. In creativity, there are two accepted modes of thinking: divergent and convergent.
Creativity is filled with diametrically opposed qualities.
The thinking required to get you there is no different. Divergent thinking is
being open to new ideas and is the important part of the idea generation
process. It’s usually done at the beginning of a project and when more ideas
are needed. Brainstorming is a popular form of divergent thinking.
Convergent narrows down the ideas to come up with one that
will work for the problem at hand. If you continually think divergently, you’ll
never wind up doing anything. Convergent thinking allows you to focus on one
idea and bring it to fruition, or at least far enough along to find out whether
or not it will work.
Both types of thinking have their places in the creative
processes if you’re looking to bring something into the world. If convergent
thinking is applied too soon, it could limit creativity. Divergent thinking brought
in at the wrong time could derail a project for something seemingly better. Learn
to apply these to your deep thinking, and get better at creativity.
For more on creativity, join our Patreon. Get “Disneyland Is Creativity” and “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity.” Also available with activity suggestions is “Penguinate! Essays and Short Stories.”
There are plenty of jobs that require employees to keep up
with new developments in the industry. Doctors and nurses are among the people
that need to have continuing education credits to keep their licenses. However,
lifelong learning should be a part of everyone’s agenda and career development.
Unfortunately, few businesses recognize the importance to
creativity of learning something outside of your industry’s best practices.
They may offer the opportunity to improve your education in your industry or
job field, but they won’t pay for a class in say pottery or ancient history. Still,
these types of classes, books, and subjects should be on your list of learning
about something new.
Learning new things allows your brain to keep its elasticity
and flexibility. The brain is a lot like a muscle. If you keep having the same
thoughts and knowing the same thing, your brain runs in those ruts. Just like
doing the same exercises for your muscles allows your body to adapt to the
activity to make the exercise less efficient for getting fitter.
When you learn things outside of your field, you’re able to “connect the dots” between domains. If you stay within your field, you won’t be able to make the connections that creativity requires.
Lifelong learning helps you improve thinking and seeing.
Learning is a skill that needs to be practiced. It keeps thinking fresh and
allows you to cultivate the curiosity you need to counteract your natural
inclination to ignore everything that doesn’t pertain to your current
situation. You’ll be able to see things you never thought were there.
For more on creativity, get “Disneyland Is Creativity.” Order “Penguinate! Essays and Short Stories.” Preorder “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity.”