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Roadmap to Creative Thinking


If you want to solve a problem, the best way to do so is to immerse yourself in such a way as to become an item in the problem you want to solve. Here are some other creative thought processes for the workplace.

As someone who was educated in very traditional grade school and university models, I am envious of my 9-year-old daughter's learning opportunity in the third grade. Her new school emphasizes project-based learning,

(higher EQ and therefore fewer therapy bills later in life?), group collaboration and multiple path problem-solving, as opposed to the largely unquestioning rote learning I endured.

My latest mid-life crisis is manifesting as a quest to foster my own creativity and overcome the inhibitions of my earlier learning experience

reshape my neural pathways to be more curious, more open, more imaginative and more inventive.

Fortunately, I was recently generously sent the newest book by Michael Michalko to review. Michalko is the author of

(one of my required readings for the Creativity and Personal Mastery Course I am finishing) and

and his latest book

(yes, he created that word) add onto his earlier work in promoting a creative approach to life.

I was somewhat dubious when I noted "learn how to think like a genius" on the back cover, but inside, I discovered that we now understand something about how geniuses think

and this book sheds more light on that.

Creative Thinkering

I've distilled from the book five of the biggest lessons I took away from :

Conceptual Blending

social-emotional learningCracking CreativityThinkertoysCreative Thinkering1.

This creative thought process "blends two or more concepts in the same mental space to form new ideas." This blending of dissimilar subjects is the basis of almost all creativity

a combining of old ideas into new ones.

The example I love is one of pinecones and reading/writing. I'll let you ponder for a moment to imagine what that combination might have produced for a blind boy... You got it: the invention of Braille by a blind man,

Louis Braille, who once played with pinecones as a boy!

Or how about a conversation between a gastroenterologist and a guided-missile designer that led to the creation of the


Become the Problem

The secret is to immerse yourself in such a way as to become an item in the problem you want to solve.

Want to fix issues with your office medical records? Become a patient chart. Travel through your office as your chart does. Heed the bumps and blows. Feel your pages being turned and shuffled. See what is getting lost along the way.

Need to come up with a new therapy for cancer? Become an aggressively dividing cancer cell. See what your receptors are doing. Pay attention to your energy needs. Notice what is happening to your surrounding cells and their defenses.


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