The Unknown and Simplicity

Wednesday, 04 July 2012   |   Creative Thinking

PerspectivesOur perceptions of things play a large part in our ability to draw inspiration from them.  The problem is that what we see is not what we should ideally be seeing.  When something is unknown to us, we have a tendency to believe that it's functioning must be complex and scary.  This is the habit we need to break if we want to see more opportunity when we go looking for it.  Most of the time, the complete opposite is the case if we get the right perspective.

When we come across something which is unknown and we imagine it's inner workings must be complex, we deter ourselves from looking further. 

You see something interesting, instead of wanting to find out more and being inquisitive you instead say "No, it would probably go over my head.  Let's move on".

You have a brilliant idea for something. Instead of seeking out an elegant way to implement it you instead say "No, this would be way too complex and too much work. I think I'll leave it."

And we miss the opportunity.

If you want to be highly creative you change your mindset.  Instead of seeing unknowns as complex beasts, you have to realise that there is inherent simplicity and with the right approach you can uncover it and make use of it to its full creative potential.

Here is an example.

In a given card game the cards from one 1 - 9 of one suit are laid out on the table.  There are two players and they each take turns selecting one card from those on the table and putting them in their hand.  The winner is the first person who has 3 cards in their hand that add up to 15.

Now this game doesn't seem too hard but working out which cards you should aim for to both win yourself and block your opponent from winning can be a bit difficult.  However if we change our perspective slightly, all of a sudden it looks very different.  Let's put all the numbers into a grid like so.

Tic Tac Toe

Now player 1 takes numbers by placing an X over them and player 2 takes numbers by placing an O over them.  Does this look familiar to you.  And is that game not much simpler to play? (Remoe the numbers and you have Tic Tac Toe)

So both games represent the same concept.  One of them however is very easy and the other is a bit harder.  Human nature is to jump to the most obvious perspective or idea first,  see that it is complex, assume that it is the only one and to make do with that.  The most obvious is rarely the most elegant.  Highly creative people are those that don't make do with the initial and sub optimal perspective and are willing to keep looking at different perspectives until they find the one that makes it all fit into place cleanly and elegantly.


You're on your way to becoming a Highly Creative Person.