Wednesday, May 07, 2008

the more new things we try... the more inherently creative we become

HABITS are a funny thing. We reach for them mindlessly, setting our brains on auto-pilot and relaxing into the unconscious comfort of familiar routine. “Not choice, but habit rules the unreflecting herd,” William Wordsworth said in the 19th century. In the ever-changing 21st century, even the word “habit” carries a negative connotation.

So it seems antithetical to talk about habits in the same context as creativity and innovation. But brain researchers have discovered that when we consciously develop new habits, we create parallel synaptic paths, and even entirely new brain cells, that can jump our trains of thought onto new, innovative tracks.

Rather than dismissing ourselves as unchangeable creatures of habit, we can instead direct our own change by consciously developing new habits. In fact, the more new things we try — the more we step outside our comfort zone — the more inherently creative we become, both in the workplace and in our personal lives.
Janet Rae-Dupree :: NYTimes

Interesting reading. Check it out... and feel free to discuss in the comments section. What do you think... can new habits make you more creative?

For me? Well... I believe my habit/obsession with blogging has made me more creative. I look at the details more... see things other people might miss... and have enjoyed taking photos along this journey. I learn new tools... and talk about them.

Consuming... producing... sharing... as Shirky says... using my cognitive surplus.

So yes... for me... new habits make for increased creativity.

3 comments:

Paula said...

I often think about this. I took my first modern dance class 4 years ago at the age of 38. Too old to start? I don't think so. I started play upright bass 2 years ago at the age of 40. Too old? Not a chance!

This old dog is going to keep learning new tricks until the undertaker comes to take measurements.

julie said...

makes me think about thought and action - we are very preoccupied with getting all the knowledge and thinking ourselves into maybe doing something if we have any energy left over - think frost and hirsch (maybe - can't remember, but one of those emergehead author guys ?)talk about the old jewish way of acting ourselves into a new way of thinking - it is the doing that should change us more than the thinking (which is often where i think heavy head knowledge discipleship programmes fail - there is always too much information to process so we get stuck with all that head learning and hung up on knowing stuff and never get to the action) - apparently it takes about three months to change even a small habit !! - and most of us have a hard time thinking about ourselves as creative people - getting into the habit of actually 'doing' something new is hard for humans - we don't change much in a lifetime !

headphonaught said...

Thanks for your comments, my dear friends... we are never too old/young to learn new things.

We need to create environments where experimentation and making mistakes are valued... so that people will be willing to try new things.

Its about orthodoxy vs orthopraxy... thinking vs doing... there is a space for both... but sometimes we need to get out of the boat before we think of the water.

They are not a "vs" scenario but an "and"... they come together... faith AND works... We need the knowledge but we need the practical too.

Ours is a practical faith... for a practical world.

Let's get our sleeves rolled up!

Love you both and thanks again,

T

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