Creativity, Luck and Probability

Wednesday, 12 December 2012   |   Creative Thinking

4 Leaf CloverThe day I released this article is the 12th of December 2012.  Right now you're probably in one of two camps.  You're either thinking "hey that's kinda funky" or alternatively your saying "yeah, so what".  I'd like you to consider this question:  Do you consider yourself lucky?  If you said YES then you are more likely to have considered my opening statement funky.  If NO then you're hopefully starting to wander what you've just missed.  Read on to find out what all this has to do with creativity.

Some of you would have realised straight away that the date in my opening statement converted into short form becomes 12/12/12.  We won't get a repeating date like that until the 1st of January 2101.  Psychologists believe that lucky people do posess something that unlucky people don't, but it's not some supernatural blessing.  It's nothing more than an open mind and a postive outlook.  You can read more about this here

The personality of a lucky person is more tuned to spotting the interesting date than the unlucky person. (By the way.  It would be great if you could leave a comment below and tell us if you consider yourself lucky or not and if you saw the pattern in the date or not.)

When luck is expressed in this way, it bears a striking resemblance to creativity.  If you consider creativity to be the creation of something new that has value and that this is largely done by combining existing things in novel ways, the personality of the lucky person is the one that is more likely to stumble upon it. 

Often the combination of things comes as quite a surprise.  Often, too, the value that is obtained is not an obvious one either.  Take for example the discovery of Viagra.  It was initially developed as a treatment for high blood pressure.  A closed minded person would have stuck to seeking that value but the open minded person saw other values.

The lucky person also tends to be rather outgoing.  They put themselves in front of much opportunity and so have a higher probability that some of that will translate into positive outcomes.  Again this bodes well for creativity.  The more you expose yourself to the more resources you have at your disposal for combining.

So now some food for thought:

  • Is creative thinking just another personality trait that leads to luck?
  • Or is creativity and luck really just the same thing viewed from different perspectives?
  • If they are separate traits,  could a team of people consisting of creative people and lucky people amplify their respective traits?

We'd love to hear your views and opinions so join in and leave a comment below.


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