Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Deliberate Creativity

This is the fourth and final post of this mini series on deliberate creativity.

  1. Creativity and Thinking
  2. Problem With Problem Thinking
  3. Useful Ideas Concept

Many of us have a preoccupation with being happy and seeking to  banish unhappiness in our lives. We will use this as an example of the deliberate creativity process.

We have a problem; unhappiness, and we use our problem solving tools (logic) to find the source and stop it. We try something and it doesn't work and look around to see if anyone else has a better problem solving routine and attempt to copy it with varying degrees of success.

But the problem keeps coming back and we once more start out to solve the problem thinking that we missed something in the last attempt. Something was not right in our logic. What if the issue is the way we create the problem to solve?

If instead of starting with the concept unhappiness is a problem we changed our perspective by starting with a different idea or a different question. For example: When is unhappiness a correct feeling? We might say when we do something without thinking and hurt someone. Or when reality does not match our expectations.

Then we might say to ourselves that we can reduce but not completely eliminate it as we are not perfect. We might decide that when it happens we will first check to see if it was something we had control over and correct our behavior or realize that expectations and actuality are rarely a match and accept it and let it go. And so on.

Could we say as a useful idea that an artist is someone who sees the world with a different perspective than we do. Creativity then is seeing the same things with a different perspective and perspective can be changed if we chose to.

Then we can use our usual problem solving tools to create actions based on this new perspective and use our resulting experiences to confirm our new perspective and develop a new belief that eventually replaces the old one if appropriate.  

If we always start with the same idea then we shouldn't be surprised when we always reach the same answer. To get different and better answers we need to change the idea we start with. All problems and ideas can be approached creatively by changing the initial idea we start with and then letting our logical solving routines go to work.

Creativity then is a skill and can be learnt and mastered by practice.

If our life is our ultimate creative endeavor then how skilful do we want to be?


Our Perceptions and Reality

Thinking About Beliefs Part 1

Value of Unpleasant Feelings

10 conversations:

Comedy + said...

Peter, this ties it up for me and now it makes perfect sense. I'm not saying this is going to be easy since old habits are tough to break, but at least knowing this is the first step in implementing creativity in our approaches.

Another excellent series of posts. This series was the deepest one for me. I will keep this in the forefront the next time a problem arises.

Now Sandee...remember to think outside the box. See you tomorrow.

Peter Haslam said...

it can be surprising what a difference a little change in perspective can make Sandee. See you tomorrow

pearl said...

yeah - I agree Peter...;) change in perspectives makes a huge difference.. i replied to your comment on maile's blog ... will be reading your blog, seems like oceanfull of great stuff... tc and kit

Peter Haslam said...

Pleasure to have you join the conversation pearl. Look forward to your comments

Maile said...


This was a big one for me. "When is unhappiness a correct feeling?"

I just asked myself this question, and all I can say is it really shook things up. I'm going to have to think about this and keep trying it and see what happens.

Thanks, as always, for your insights.

Peter Haslam said...

It doesn't take an earth shattering vision to change just a different approach. Glad you found it interesting as it awakens our curiousity Maile.

Ray Dotson said...

Great post, Peter! I've just gotten around to writing another post on the responses to the happiness posts and I've linked to this one.

Peter Haslam said...

Ray over at freshblogger has a continuaton on the issue of happiness

Smooking said...

I agree, nice article. Thanks.

pacific grove homes said...

This is very true some people look at another person who is successful and try to copy exactly what they did. More often than not this may end up backfiring on them. It is good to be creative and create our own new and unique ideas.