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Divergent Thinking: The Mental Muscle Behind Consistent Creativity | Nick Wignall

https://nickwignall.com/divergent-thinking/

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Divergent Thinking: The Mental Muscle Behind Consistent Creativity | Nick Wignall
3 simple ways to boost your creativity by practicing Divergent Thinking, the psychological art of expansive and flexible thinking.

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Divergent Thinking

Is the ability to generate many ideas or solutions from a single idea or piece of information. 

It’s thought to be one of, if not the most, important factor in creativity.

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Convergent Thinking

Is the ability to take many pieces of information or data and generate one solution. 

It is largely taught and encouraged in schools and workplaces.

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Exercising Divergent Thinking

Exercising Divergent Thinking
  1. The Many Uses Exercise: Pick an ordinary object, set a timer for 5 minutes and try to come up with as many alternative uses for a paperclip as you can.
  2. 10 New Ideas: Every day for a week, try to come up with 10 new ideas within a specific topic or category.
  3. Daily Headlines: Imagine that your day was a news story in the New York Times. What would the headline be? 
  4. Articles on Trial: Challenge the conclusion of articles you read by coming up with one question you’d like to ask the author.
  5. Start to notice your automatic thoughts and generate alternatives to them.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Adaptive Thinking

It involves the ability to recognize unexpected situations, quickly consider various possible responses, and decide on the best one.

It means performing well at the highest levels...

Primary components of Adaptive Thinking

  • Effective planning
  • Careful monitoring of progress
  • The ability to flexibly shift thinking and behavior to accommodate circumstantial changes.

Establish a Negative Visualization Routine

Positive visualization exercises are undoubtedly powerful (they solidify and clarify your mental representations of your desired skill, to keep you on track), but there may also be a place for Negative Visualization - visualizing potential obstacles or setback that might arise during a performance.

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Convergent and divergent thinking

Convergent  and divergent thinking
  • Convergent thinking. When we want to solve a problem, we tend to look for useful facts to guide us to the correct answer. This type of thinking works well when the problem i...

Divergent thinking and playfulness

Research found that divergent thinking is linked to playfulness and creativity.

Children who play more tend to display curiosity, persistence, nonconformity, and a willingness to take risks. These are important characteristics for innovative solutions.

Divergent thinking can be practiced

  • Mind mapping helps your brain work by association. Start in the centre and add notes, connecting branches together.
  • Brainstorming. Generate as many ideas as possible.
  • Free writing. Focus on the question and write without stopping for a specified time.
  • Journaling. It helps to clarify your thinking while producing new ideas.
  • Art. Doodling, painting, creating graphs and illustrations will help you think outside the box.
  • Role playing. Putting yourself in the shoes of a different character is a good way to practice divergent thinking.

Creativity

The creative process is the act of making new connections between old ideas or recognizing relationships between concepts.

While being creative isn't easy, nearly all great ideas follow a sim...

The 5 Step Creative Process

  1. Gather new material directly related to your task as well as learning general material by becoming fascinated with a wide range of concepts.
  2. Thoroughly work over the materials in your mind.  Examine what you have learned by looking at the facts from different angles and experimenting with fitting various ideas together.
  3. Step away from the problem. Next, you put the problem completely out of your mind and go do something else that excites you and energizes you.
  4. Let your idea return to you. After you have stopped thinking about it, your idea will come back to you with a flash of insight and renewed energy.
  5. Shape and develop your idea based on feedback. For any idea to succeed, you must release it out into the world, submit it to criticism, and adapt it as needed.

Creativity is learned

Some people are primed to be more creative than others.

However, nearly every person is born with some level of creative skill and the majority of our creative thinking abilities are trainable.