Let´s start with a simple question, what do all these tasks have in common? driving our car; riding a bicycle; baking a cake
All of them are:
- Relatively complex to perform: multiple subtasks have to be carried out to achieve success.
- They are activities that vary in time, that is to say, they are never the same (unless we freak out and start to carry out them in an obsessive-compulsive way).
- And we are able to perform them on autopilot, that is, without giving them too much thought.
What does this mean? It means we are capable of solving problems in our personal and professional lives, many times (not always), without thinking, without being conscious of what we are actually doing. More specifically, in the realm of creativity, it proves that the human brain can actually learn the fairly complex process of being creative.
What is the advantage of autopilot anyway? Shouldn´t we be more free and loose in order to be more creative? Well, should you be free and loose while driving? Yes, but to a certain extent. After all there are rules that are applicable and which actually work. If you want to accelerate the car, you definitely don’t want to step on the clutch and do need the doors to be closed (again, unless some psychological malfunction is on to us).
Creativity works pretty much the same way. There are creativity principles which enable us to come up with new solutions to challenges. But we need to master them well enough in order for us to use them almost automatically. What is the irony behind this affirmation? Ladies and gentlemen, I´ll tell you a secret. We already do use them automatically. Let me prove it to you.
Remember the day you wanted to give a relative or close friend a present. But you didn´t have enough money to do so. What did you do? (most probably) You thought about buying something for that person which was not expensive, but special. For instance with a touching letter with a more affordable present. When you did that you eventually applied the principle of “counterweight”. You compensated for the lack of money.
That´s creativity folks, that´s all it is.