Creativity potential of the brain
How to increase the creativity of the human brain
Definition of Creativity:
“Creativity is…seeing something that doesn’t exist already. You need to find out how you can bring it into being, and that way be a playmate with God.” – Michele Shea
According to Webster’s Dictionary, the definition of creativity is artistic or intellectual inventiveness. Creativity is marked by the ability or power to create or bring into existence, to invest with a new form, to produce through imaginative skill, to make or bring into existence something new. When you create something, you are actually bringing it into being, making it from nothing. But how do you make something from nothing? How do you achieve creativity? What is the essence of creativity?
Perhaps only magic can explain creativity, that sudden “aha!” moment when it all comes together. Some have said that it’s something mysterious and puzzling, perhaps impossible to figure out. Some have said it must be divine inspiration. Creativity is simply thinking the impossible, and then doing what no one else has done before, sometimes developing completely new worlds. If you’ve taken a new approach to a problem and it works, then you’re using your creativity.
Creativity comes in many forms. It can be scientific creativity, resulting in inventions or medical cures. It can be artistic or musical, resulting in beautiful paintings, sculptures or operas and songs. It can be creative writing, resulting in novels, short stories and poems. Creativity can even be as simple as arts and crafts, such as needle arts, yarn crafts, and wood crafts – things you create with your own two hands.
The important thing to remember is that creativity includes generating the idea or concept, as well as applying that idea and producing or manifesting the end product or result. Creativity or imagination is an integral part of being human and separates us from the animal world. Carl R. Rogers said, “The very essence of the creative is its novelty, and hence we have no standard by which to judge it.”
Left Brain, Right Brain:
“The chief function of your body is to carry your brain around.” – Thomas Edison
There is an old joke that says if the left half of the brain is dominant in right-handed people and the right half is dominant in left-handed people, then left-handed people are the only ones in their right minds.
In the late 1960s, Roger Sperry published the theory that the left half of the brain was the analytical, verbal side and the right half of the brain was the creative, visual side. Between the two halves is the corpus callosum, the connector. Simply put, the two halves communicate with each other through this connector. It’s the corpus callosum that quite literally keeps the right hand informed of what the left hand is doing.
Each half of the brain receives information in a completely different way. The left half of the brain is the speech center, where you get the ability to form thoughts and put them into words. This is also where things are put into certain sequential or logical order.
The right half of the brain controls motor skills, intuition, and emotion. It also enables you to be able to recognize and identify images. While the left side thinks in words, the right side sees pictures.
Creative individuals such as artists, writers, or musicians often refer to this as dual nature.
It is possible however to shift from one side to another, making use of both sides. A human being will make the shift depending on the situation in which he finds himself to be in. Picture an accountant, who makes his living working with numbers: rows and rows, column after column of numbers. Obviously, his livelihood depends on his utilization of the left side of his brain to good effect. However, if he wants to go dancing in the evening with his wife, he must shift over to the right side of the brain – to the creative side – the side that makes it possible for him to know how to dance.
Creativity and Change:
“Change in all things is sweet.” – Aristotle
As life progresses, you will discover certain inescapable changes occurring. These include social changes all around you and involving you, as well as personal changes in your own life.
Creativity and change are closely related, and in fact, depend on one another. When change happens in your life, it takes creativity sometimes to get through it. Creativity then causes another change in how you respond to a given situation. Both the new change and the creativity to handle it have certain risks involved and will move you in a new direction. You may experience fear and anxiety; and at the same time, there may be joy and excitement.
Sometimes, these changes can occur too rapidly in a short span of time. The loss of much tradition in one’s life and too much newness can cause a person to suffer, and can even lead to a nervous breakdown. There are certain limits to our ability to bounce back and recover from sudden changes. These things take time.
While we may experience strong motivation to certain changes and a determination to be accepting, there are also equally strong inhibitions against those same changes. Humans are contrary by nature.
Here are a few examples of the social changes that occurred between the years 1950 and 1980:
• The percentage of married women who were wage earners, with children under the age of six, went from 12% to 45%.
• In 1950, only one child in ten did not live with both parents. By 1980, it was one child in four.
• Between 1950 and 1980, the divorce rate doubled.
• The proportion of men in the labor force over the age of sixty-five fell by more than half.
You can easily see where changes of this magnitude would require some very creative solutions for all those involved, as well as their families. But change happens; it’s just a part of living. Life is just one change after another, but that’s what helps us to grow and develop as humans. It only makes it harder for you if you fight change.
There are also personal changes that require a great deal of creativity to make it through. Marriage is a change that demands a certain amount of creativity. Adjustments of all kinds are needed here, starting with where to live, money issues, family issues (hers and his), and schedules.
Having children is another huge change that must be dealt with every day by many people. The need for creativity here is equally huge. Caring for another human being requires real inspiration. Then once again, there are adjustments needed, such as providing for a family, aside from money issues, schedules, and family issues.
Women especially have to be highly creative to deal with the problems these life changes bring about, since they are often in charge of most of the above-mentioned issues. Of course, single motherhood brings with it a whole new set of problems to be solved as creatively as possible for everyone involved.
Re-invention of self on a daily basis is essential:
Whether it’s getting married, starting a family, losing a job, finding a new job, starting your own business, or any other change wreaking havoc in your life, creativity is the key to success. Go back to the creative problem solving we’ve discussed earlier, take a deep breath, and plunge right in. We’ve all been there, or will be eventually. It’s not what happens to you in life that’s important. It’s how you handle those events that matter; it’s how you allow your creative side to deal with the problems that count.
Adam R. Gwizdala said, “Everything in life changes you in some way. Even the smallest things. If you do not accept these changes, you do not accept yourself. For through these changes brings new and greater things to you, making you wiser, as time progresses. To avoid these changes is a loss. You only live your life once. Do not waste a minute of it avoiding things. Let them come to you, and learn from them. There is always tomorrow.” In addition, George Bernard Shaw said, “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
Creativity in the Work Place:
“Creative minds have always been known to survive any kind of bad training.” – Anna Freud
In today’s competitive world, it is more important than ever for businesses to attract and keep highly talented people. In order to do that, they must provide a work place environment that is challenging, creative, and fun. Since creativity is at the root of innovation and invention, it would behoove all companies – large, small, or in between – to help promote a creative atmosphere in which this talent may flourish. What better way to get a huge return on their investment?
A two-year in-house creativity course offered at General Electric resulted in a sixty percent increase in concepts available for patents, according to the Wall Street Journal.
In 1999, after investing over two million dollars in research and development, Hewlett Packard generated more than 1,300 applications for patents.
When the Sylvania Company offered several thousand employees a forty-hour creative problem-solving course, their return on investment came to $20 for every $1 they spent.
So how can your company keep its employees happily coming up with great, innovative ideas?
· Look for these creative people. Recognize them for the intelligent innovators that they are.
· Create an atmosphere that’s conducive to creativity. You need to let the ideas come forth and thrive. Be tolerant about ideas that don’t work out initially. There’s always a next time when more fresh ideas can be implemented.
· Acknowledge the people in the company who generate new ideas. It’s important to foster that creativity and show visible support. Champion those innovators!
· Reward the creators with public recognition, monetary rewards, or both.
The workers and the managers should bring about creative changes in the company together, shaping a fellowship that allows for a feeling of safety for those creative ideas. It should provide an environment where people can feel secure about expressing those ideas, without being fearful of criticism or ridicule.
The feelings of respect and trust for one another will foster inspiration, and dismiss any negativity or critical judgments. The perfect atmosphere would be one of encouragement, motivation, good training, and lots of opportunities to be creative. This would provide the necessary creativity to the organizational level.
Often times, going on about your usual business, getting ready for work, showering, and shaving will break the dam and the brilliant ideas just pop to the surface of your brain. A long walk or a drive in the country will make all the difference. You just need to relax and let those ideas simmer in your brain until they’re done. Maybe it’s time to play!
Try to take a break often during your day and let your mind rest a bit. Our world is encroaching on our thinking time, all during the day. Your boss, associates, teachers, students, even television, all want to tell you what you should be doing, every minute of the day. Sometimes, you just need a break from all the mind controlling going on and think your own thoughts.
Whether it’s on the job or at home with your family, the creativity you possess is a vital tool in your life. Have faith in your own creativity. Don’t be so hard on yourself if things don’t work the first time. Be an observant human, watch everything, learn, and don’t be afraid to ask the dumb questions. You know what they say – the only dumb question is the one you didn’t ask.
However difficult it may seems, it is possible for anyone to increase brain creativity. Try the techniques and it may just have amazing results!
It is all about brain training!
See this video slideshow about brain creativity:
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