DISRUPT: Habitual Patterns
“Perception and imagination are linked because the brain uses the same neural circuits for both functions. Not only that, but experience modifies perception because it modifies neural connections. The more experience we have with something, the more efficient our brains become at processing the information or stimulus”
Gregory Berns – Iconoclast: A Neuroscientist Reveals How to Think Differently
Our brains are highly efficient when it comes to repeating patterns, however this efficiency restricts our creativity. In order to disrupt these systems we need to change our habits. This is easier said than done, habits are hard to change, they are ingrained in our psyche. Changing habits involves changing how you think and analysing the reasons and motivations behind our actions. Traditions are a great example of this, they can run generations deep and be enforced through parental lineages. Traditions and habititual thoughts form sets of pre-programmed assumptions when approaching new subjects. This is where judgement kicks in and we go into auto-pilot. By becoming aware of this and consciously catching this moment, we can hit the pause button. This is the perfect moment to consider an alternative viewpoint.
SEEK: Diverse Perceptions
“if you’re trying to be more creative, one of the most important things you can do is increase the volume and diversity of the information to which you are exposed.”
Imagine: How Creativity Works, Jonah Lehrer
“Conformity comes from following traditions, wisdom comes from direct experience” – Me, i said this (i think?). This sounds like a bold statement but please allow me to explain, as mentioned above we have already established that conformity comes from an auto-pilot way of thinking. Just realising this is powerful as it opens us up to a degree of intentionality in the way we experience information. New surroundings, diverse cultures and facing fears opens you up to new perspectives by challenging your existing closely held opinions and beliefs. This allows you to acculumate true insights into the inner workings of things that were previously clouded by judgement and third party opinions.
There is a big push lately for diversity within the creative industry. As somebody who started their career as a 16 year old in the underground music industry it was a natural melting pot of class, race, belief systems and geographical backgrounds. I honestly believe that by surrounding ourselves with diverse thinking styles and people that challenge each other we collectively become more open in our perspectives.
GAIN: Fresh Perspective
“Creativity is seeing what everyone else has seen, and thinking what no one else has thought.”
This is the peniultimate point – perception is key to everything. On our journey of radical creativity and enhanced imagination, everything stems from perception. Perception is a combination of vision, past experience and our particular point of view. By hacking these interpretations we achieve new mental impressions.
Quite often in the creative industry the challenges we face are not new, they have all been seen before, and often in the same way by multiple people. The switch comes from how you percieve this challenge differently to everyone else. It’s about creating a new frame of reference for an old image.
By fighting habits, withholding judgements, seeking new experiences, and immersing in diversity it is possible to see with old problems with fresh eyes.