Today, as it is Sunday, I wanted to share the importance of just chilling for the creative mind. It is often mentioned that the best ideas come in dreams, the bath or shower. It is at these points when you are not consciously thinking about a problem that a solution jumps up into your conscious mind. That famous “Eureka!” moment of Archimedes is one such moment.
Look at the grid of 12 black squares in this image, note how the shadowy grey spots mysteriously appear at the intersections of the grid. However, if you concentrate on any specific intersection, the spot disappears. Sometimes ideas are like these grey spots, they only appear when you are not concentrating on them.
This is the period called incubation, and it is possible to set up your brain to start to process a problem by following the 5 steps below, in sequence.
1. IDENTIFY: Identify a challenge worth working on and think of the consequences of solving it. If you can envision a world in which your challenge is solved, you will be pulled subconsciously towards a constructive, creative answer.
2. PREPARE: Collect and gather all available information about your challenge. Read, talk to others, ask questions, research everywhere – consciously work on the challenge intensely until you are satisfied you have done as much research as possible.
3. INSTRUCT: Instruct your brain to find the solution to the problem. Close by saying “OK, find the solution to this problem – Let me know when you work it out.”
4. INCUBATE: Let go of the problem, Don’t work on it. Forget it for a while. This period may be long or short. Take a walk, have a shower, or sleep on it. Incubation has to occur and it will. This is why we all need days off work.
5. EUREKA! It may take 3 minutes, 3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months or more, but insight will occur.
Incubation helps you put your challenge in perspective. When you leave a problem and come back to it fresh, you will likely develop a different perceptive on it. So when you are feeling a creative block creeping up on you, incubate the problem. Put it to a side, and start on something else. The answer will come when it is ready.
~ Creative Clinic 23