The Weird Strategy Dr. Seuss Used to Create His Greatest Work (And Why You Should Use It Too) - Deepstash

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The Weird Strategy Dr. Seuss Used to Create His Greatest Work (And Why You Should Use It Too)

https://jamesclear.com/dr-seuss

jamesclear.com

The Weird Strategy Dr. Seuss Used to Create His Greatest Work (And Why You Should Use It Too)
In 1960, two men made a bet. There was only $50 on the line, but millions of people would feel the impact of this little wager. The first man, Bennett Cerf, was the founder of the publishing firm, Random House. The second man was named Theo Geisel, but you probably know him as Dr. Seuss.

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The challenge

The challenge

In 1960, Theo Geisel, known as Dr. Seuss, was challenged to write an entertaining children's book using only 50 different words. The result was the best-selling book, Green Eggs and Ham. It sold over 200 million copies.

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The Power of Constraints

Dr. Seuss discovered while writing his book "Green Eggs and Ham" the power of setting constraints.

Setting limits for yourself (time, money, words, etc.) often leads to better results than if you keep your options open.

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Constraints have benefits

  1. Limitations inspire you to find creative solutions. If you have a one-year-old child that requires all your time, you have to find creative ways to get some exercise.
  2. Constraints force you to get something done. Without constraints, we would postpone our tasks, sometimes indefinitely.

That is why professionals set a schedule for their production while amateurs wait for the perfect moment.

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Constraints are Not the Enemy

We often complain about our limitations. "I don't have enough time." or "I don't have enough money." Every artist has a limited set of tools to create with. Every entrepreneur has limited resources to work with.

Constraints don't hamper you. Once you know your constraints, you can find out how to work with them.

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Your limitations

  • You only have half an hour to exercise? That is your limitation. Put those 30 minutes to proper use.
  • Can you only spare 15 minutes each day to write? That is the size of your constraint. Your job is to make it a work of art.
  • You only have $100 to start your business? Great! Make each sales call work for you.

We can complain about our limits or use them. How you use that constraint is up to you.

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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.

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Restrict yourself

Research suggests placing self-imposed limitations can boost creativity. 

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Re-conceptualize the problem

Instead of thinking of a cut-and-dry end goal to certain situations, creative people sit back and examine the problem in different ways before beginning to work.

If you find yourself stagnating by focusing on generic problems, try to re-conceptualize the problem by focusing on a more meaningful angle.

For example: Instead of thinking “What would be something cool to paint?” rather ask, “What sort of painting evokes the feeling of loneliness that we all encounter after a break-up?”

Create psychological distance

Creating “psychological” distance may be useful for breaking through a creative block.

Try to imagine your creative task as being disconnected and distant from your current position/location - this may make the problem more accessible and can encourage higher level thinking.

Past Deciding The Future

We let our knowledge and experiences of the past project into our future, by making concrete predictions that this or that cannot happen due to what happened in the past.

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Learned Helplessness

This is a mental state where, as a result of a certain bad experience, we believe that we can’t do anything about a certain problem.

Negative Motivation

We can start to feel helpless when we see people fail in a certain plan, and this could start acting as a negative motivation in our minds.