Creative Spark

The patterns of creativity constitute one of the most important issues nowadays. It is necessary to examine strategies pursued by different creative thinkers. The selected video is “The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers” (2016) by Adam Grant. The author makes some insightful comments and observations regarding creative individuals. As the patterns demonstrated by the majority of creative individuals are similar, it is possible to reproduce them intentionally to increase one’s creative thinking abilities.

The author illuminates several stages of creativity. In the beginning, many creative thinkers see the problem but cannot find the proper solution. Then, they try to find the optimal solution. However, the majority of their ideas prove to be incorrect as they do not allow generating the expected results. Although the creative thinkers cannot find the optimal solution immediately, they continue generating new ideas and evaluating various alternatives. Finally, they are able to find the most innovative idea (even at the stage of procrastination). Therefore, they consider some temporary failures not as the indicator of their inability to deal with the most urgent and serious problems but as a motivation for a more productive performance in the future.

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Grant stresses that it is difficult to organize the optimal planning of creativity because it always involves dealing with uncertainty and risks. Therefore, one’s intuition and the sub-conscious understanding of events, processes, and the potential results are crucial for the ultimate success. It is not always possible to identify and recognize the optimal option in advance. For this reason, creative thinkers arrive at many (sometimes even contradictory ideas), and the future historical development allows determining the most successful and insightful ones. Thus, creativity may include numerous doubts regarding the ultimate results, but it should also result in innovative ideas and approaches.

In general, Grant suggests that while facing challenging situations, it is reasonable to maximize the number of attempts and ideas for solving them. Gradually, it will enable finding the optimal approach. Moreover, an individual will receive the valuable experience of creativity. It may allow arriving at the desired solution within a shorter period of time during similar situations in the future. Although the creative and brainstorming process does not guarantee the ultimate positive results, but it makes them more likely. It is crucial to become free of the existing stereotypes and typical solutions and methods used. Through adopting new approaches towards solving the same challenges, individuals may expand the application of the available techniques.

The topic of Grant’s talk relates directly to the concepts of imagination and curiosity. In fact, all innovative ideas require the effective use of imagination. As the solutions are non-evident, the thinker has to use his/her imagination to construct various potential models that address the identified problem or issue from different perspectives. Moreover, imagination enables economizing time and other resources and is much more effective than designing experiments in many cases. Moreover, it is often problematic to design the optimal experiment in the social realm due to the constantly changing social conditions and interactions among individuals. 

The situation with curiosity is more complicated. It seems that not all creative thinkers were motivated by their curiosity. In some cases, they just tried to optimize some organizational or technological processes. In other cases, they received the formulated problem from other individuals and had to consider various alternatives for solving it. However, it is also possible that a creative person can be interested in some events or issues only due to his/her curiosity. Such individuals are typically independent and can make their decisions according to their preferences and priorities. Thus, curiosity is not the necessary element for individuals while making their creative decisions and innovations. At the same time, curiosity may emerge at different stages of working on a specific problem. It is not necessarily present from the very beginning. It is possible that curiosity will emerge after fulfilling some part of the global project.

The points made in the talk seem to be highly relevant for all creative individuals, and they correspond to my personal experience. I agree with the speaker that it is almost impossible to develop the creative idea from the very beginning. It usually requires numerous attempts, and the majority of generated ideas are irrelevant. However, if I make the sufficient amount of hypotheses and generate the adequate number of ideas, I can improve the current state of affairs. Moreover, in the future, I can elaborate on my first idea and arrive at even more rational decisions. I believe that the creative process described by Grant is realistic and allows understanding the functioning of a human brain.

It seems that the understanding of the creative process can benefit the entire society. The reason is that creative solutions are necessary in different spheres of life. However, currently, only the limited number of individuals can generate them. Therefore, there is a lack of creative solutions and innovations in numerous areas. The systematic presentation of the creative process will contribute to developing such skills among all people interested in creativity. It does not mean that all of them will be able to make the radical inventions. However, their new skills may enable solving the most urgent problems associated with their direct obligations. Thus, the functioning of the entire society may improve.

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The analyzed talk also relates to the course as it is devoted to the creative thinking and the key qualities of character that should be demonstrated in this context. In particular, the talk demonstrates the direct implications of the course’s broad ideas about creative thinking to one specific sphere. Grant proves that creativity is not a spontaneous process but the result of the deliberate actions and a rational organization of one’s professional performance.

Moreover, the talk allows transforming one’s problems into useful professional skills. For example, many individuals experience fear while facing new problems or challenges. They may suggest that this quality of their character is highly negative as it does not allow realizing one’s full creative potential. However, Grant explains that fear may be helpful at least in the context of evaluating various alternatives and identifying the potential threats at earlier stages. Many creative people faced fear on a regular basis, but they realized that the fear of non-making the timely and needed decisions was much more dangerous than making some mistakes. Therefore, all individuals should become more active and be open to taking the reasonable risks if the potential benefits are high.

To summarize, the analyzed talk offers an innovative approach towards understanding the key stages and elements of the creative process. Numerous difficulties that arise during it should be viewed as a normal state of affairs. It is highly important to continue devoting one’s energy and strengths to generating new ideas and solutions. The sufficient number of attempts will increase seriously the likelihood of arriving at a creative idea. Then, it can be improved and adjusted to the constantly changing conditions. Imagination and curiosity may facilitate the creative process. My personal experience supports the assumptions and conclusions made by the speaker. It also helps to apply the course’s concepts to the real-world problems and concerns.

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