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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Why We Keep Getting the Same Old Ideas | Michael Michalko, The Creativity Post

When you change your thinking patterns, your brain makes new connections which give you different things to focus on and different ways to interpret what you are focusing on.
That's the synopsis of this article by Michael Michalko.

After providing a couple of useful analogies on this problem, Michalko writes:
[W]e tend to keep coming up with the same-old, same-old ideas. Information is flowing down the same ruts and grooves making the same-old connections producing the same old ideas over and over again. Even tiny bits of information are enough to activate the same patterns over and over again.
He explains that such routine thinking helps us cope with a complex world. They're especially useful when we perform repetitive tasks rapidly and accurately.

But such habits also reduce our awareness of other possibilities for doing things.

Fortunately, if we make the effort, we can overcome those habits by looking at things from different angles. Michalko writes:
These new connections give you different ways to focus your attention and different ways to interpret whatever you are focusing on. ... Creative thinkers get variation by conceptually combining dissimilar subjects which changes our thinking patterns and provides us with a variety of alternatives and conjectures.
He concludes with a stimulating example of trying to improve the common flashlight by combining it with a garage door opener:
You cannot get this kind of idea using your conventional way of thinking.
This article is featured today (Aug. 23) at Garbl's Creativity Connections--available at the Creativity tab above and by free email subscription.

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