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Next Step toward Creativity: Think Big

Happy New Year.

My sharing about creativity is not a handbook of how to be creative. It is more likely some episodes of my rambling that could help you solve the puzzle and find your creativity.

Our thinking pattern is one of the most significant barriers to being creative. You probably were told that if the left side of your brain is more active when you think, you would be more logical, and if the right side of your brain is more involved, you would be more creative. Therefore, we assume that the absence of our creativity is because of our logical thinking. However, we sometimes forget that they are parts of the brain, whether it is the left or the right side of the brain. They are supposed to collaborate rather than fight against each other.

Everything is relative. If there were no poverty, there would be no wealth in the world. Without logic, creativity would not exist—Vice versa.

However, just like Yin and Yang, creativity and logic rely on each other and find it very hard to work with each other. For example, each member of Dadaism produced one piece of work individually and then put them all together to create something abnormal and totally "outside the box". They did this to escape from their own thinking bias to create more space for different ideas. I believe creativity is all about creating space.

Tyndall Effect 丨 Kun Lu

Creating space has two aspects. One aspect is about opening our minds. How open are we toward different ideas? If the container is not big enough, there would be no space to include creativity. Another aspect is the accumulation of knowledge. Without enough knowledge, we would not have the tool to implement creativity. Here, I am going to share a story.

In ancient China, one gentleman was granted a gourd seed from the emperor. Then, the seed grew into a giant gourd that could feed hundreds of people. But the gourd was too big to make a gourd ladle. So, the gentleman complained to a master of that time about how useless this giant gourd was. The master suggested that he could make the gourd into a boat to travel or carry shipment on the water.

Therefore, there was nothing wrong with the gourd, but the gentleman was ignorant and thinking too small. He could not come up with the idea of making the gourd somethings else when he only thought about making a ladle. And he probably never saw a boat or the sea in his life that made him lack the knowledge to make the gourd a ship instead.

In conclusion, creativity is no magic. And it needs hard work, just like obtaining other skills. There is no shortcut for being creative but to continue practising and learning. Humans are natural inventors, and we just need to realise it.


Book to read: "Zhuangzi" ------ Zhuang Zhou

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