Seeing multiple possibilities, believe it or not, was what led Italian artist Alessandro Sanna to create the beloved Pinocchio character. Idly staring out the window during a train ride, he imagined that the tree branches he saw resembled a child he knew in a pediatric hospital, a fragile, delicate human being, whose body—in his imagination—was being cradled by an older person who loved him. He began sketching and soon, the wooden puppet with the growing nose was born. Five Ways to Flex Your Creative Muscles
The inspiration “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
If we take Einstein at his words, we can multiply the importance of imagination. Here are five ways for doing that. We cam examine the behaviors commonly associated with imaginative people, those who optimize their creative talents. As you read them, consider your own behaviors in light of them.
1. Is not thrown by chaos
If you really want to test your ability to tolerate confusion, try this. Find three other people: one person is the listener. The second person whispers non-stop in the listener’s ear, while the third person delivers a “speech” (e.g., views on a controversial topic, such as a Presidential election). The fourth person takes notes on the speech. Then ask the listener what he or she remembered. Compare what the speaker said and what the observer noted.
2. Likes to explore, to experiment
List a number of What If questions. Start with whimsical questions, such as this: what if women ruled the world? (One answer might be that toilet seats would always be down.) These “iffy” questions will help you keep an open mind and will help you remain receptive to the possibilities that abound in the world around you.
3. Welcomes new thoughts
There are places that do their hiring via a group project. To illustrate, they might gather a group of candidates, have them form teams, and then issue a challenge like this: “You have exactly five minutes to complete this task. List 25 ways to improve a stove.” To develop your own imaginative powers and even those of a group of friends, contemplate a challenge that requires speculation. Get those cerebral juices pumping with a question that demands new thoughts.
4. Can see what isn’t visible
An excellent way to “see the invisible” is to find new uses for old things. Example: What can be done with leftover flowers from a bouquet you’ve received, other than making potpourri? List 15 ways to use the flowers. Or, take another object and come up with 15 new ways to use it.
5. Sees value in problems
List the most serious problems you’ve had in the last ten years. What benefits or opportunities resulted from those difficulties? Ask your friends to share their insights as well. Five Ways to Flex Your Creative Muscles