No matter what you do in your career or vocation, every one of us has had multiple instances of being stuck. Searching for ideas or solutions, or facing a problem with hands on hips as if a snow white dove will miraculously appear and drop the solution into your empty head. If you go to Google and type in the words “creative, juices, flowing”, you get will close to two million results that tell you the same things: everything from “take a walk” to “read a book” to “clean your desk” to “”take a shower”… all wonderful suggestions yielding short term results.
Scientists have recently discovered where human imagination comes from, and how we have the ability to think creatively. Researchers say our skill to create, invent and think scientifically comes from a neural network which spreads across a large area of the brain. The findings describe the network as ‘the brain’s ‘mental workspace’” where a person is able to manipulate images, ideas or theories which allows them to focus and come up with even more new ideas.
Lead author of the study Alex Schlegel, a graduate student at the Dartmouth College Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, said, “Our findings move us closer to understanding how the organization of our brains sets us apart from other species and provides such a rich internal playground for us to think freely and creatively.”
This is the point that I interject that I am not a scientist. And I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night either.
But it seems like a pretty easy leap. If something as simple as a single human thought thrives in a larger space with multiple options and environments, wouldn’t a complicated individual such as myself achieve clarity in similar conditions? Easy answer…
I sometimes joke during the winter months that because I start work early and leave late, I have to take other people’s word that the sun came up that day. But I’m fortunate to work for a company that encourages getting out of my windowless office for conferences and educational opportunities. Even if the content of that opportunity disappoints I get to venture beyond the walls and move freely. Maybe I get to interact with creative professionals, or simply breathe the fresh air. Any break from the “same old, same old” invigorates the mind.
However you do it, a change of atmosphere is good. Get out of your old space… play on the swings.
Source for quote: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130916162003.htm
About the Author: John Langan is currently Business Services Manager of the ImprintsUSA division of Penn Emblem Company, but has worn many hats in his thirty plus years in the corporate identification business… from screen printer to graphic artist to customer service to marketing director.