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Timeless Pieces of Wisdom to Awaken Your Inner Genius

Christopher Nolan

"What's the most resilient parasite? An idea. A single idea from the human mind can build cities. An idea can transform the world and rewrite all the rules."

Christopher Nolan

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Timeless Pieces of Wisdom to Awaken Your Inner Genius

Timeless Pieces of Wisdom to Awaken Your Inner Genius

https://www.inc.com/thomas-oppong/25-pieces-of-wisdom-to-unlock-your-inner-genius.html

inc.com

16

Key Ideas

Martha Graham

Martha Graham

"Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion."

Paul Rand

Paul Rand

"There are no formulas in creative work. I do many variations, which is a question of curiosity. I arrive at many different configurations ­- some just slight variations, others more radical - of an original idea. It is a game of evolution."

Christopher Nolan

Christopher Nolan

"What's the most resilient parasite? An idea. A single idea from the human mind can build cities. An idea can transform the world and rewrite all the rules."

Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman

"Go and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make. Good. Art."

Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury

"We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out."

Antoine De Saint Exupery

Antoine De Saint Exupery

"If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea."

Debbie Millman

Debbie Millman

"If you imagine less, less will be what you undoubtedly deserve. Do what you love, and don't stop until you get what you love. Work as hard as you can, imagine immensities, don't compromise, and don't waste time. Start now. Not 20 years from now, not two weeks from now. Now."

Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso

"Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist."

Saul Bass

Saul Bass

"Failure is built into creativity... the creative act involves this element of 'newness' and 'experimentalism,' then one must expect and accept the possibility of failure."

John Maynard Keynes

John Maynard Keynes

"The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones."

Scott Adams

Scott Adams

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep."

Elbert Hubbard

Elbert Hubbard

"The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one."

Ken Robinson

Ken Robinson

"Divergent thinking isn't the same as creativity. I define creativity as the process of having original ideas that have value. Divergent thinking isn't a synonym but is an essential capacity for creativity. It is the ability to see lots of possible answers to a question, lots of possible ways to interpret a question, to think laterally, to think not just in linear or convergent ways, to see multiple answers, not one."

William Faulkner

William Faulkner

"Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it's the only way you can do anything really good."

Leo Burnett

Leo Burnett

"Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people."

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

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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Pamela Slim
“We are made to create. We feel useful when we create. We release our ‘stuckness’ when we create. We reinvent our liv..."
Pamela Slim
Creativity is complex

It means producing something novel or original, evaluating, solving problems, whether on paper, on stage, in a laboratory or even in the shower.

Knowing how to think

Geniuses know “how” to think, instead of “what” to think.

People who are more creative can simultaneously engage brain networks that don’t typically work together.

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Restrict yourself

Research suggests placing self-imposed limitations can boost creativity. 

It forces your brain to come up with creative solutions to finish a project around the parameters you’ve ...

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.

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Consider what you consume

Idea generation is fueled by consumption, not creativity.

Creativity is just connecting things. The more things we have to connect, the better our ideas will become.

Consider the...

Output

To get the most value out of what you consume, it helps to have a mode of output: Talk about it, write about it or condense it into a tweet.

Expand your viewpoint

To improve your idea generation, zoom out your perspective to a macro level. 

For example, on a micro-level, a Billy Joel concert may just be a fun way to spend a night. On a macro level, it is packed with ideas about how to connect with an audience.

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Genius is not tied to age
Genius is not tied to age

Genius is tied up with precocity. We think brilliance requires youth and energy and freshness. Mozart wrote his breakthrough Piano Concerto No. 9 in E-Flat-Major at the age of twenty-one. T.S. ...

Late bloomers: the dilemma of personal worth

Late bloomers don't realize they're good at something until they're about fifty. It's not that they start late; It's that they simply aren't much good until late in their careers.

Young Cézanne had rare endowments, but he couldn't draw. Cézanne required decades of practicing before he could master his ability.

Early and late bloomers

Prodigies like Picasso, who created a masterpiece at age twenty, tend to be "conceptual" in the sense that they start with a clear idea of where they want to go, and then accomplish it. Picasso once said that he could hardly understand the importance given to the word 'research.'

But late bloomers tend to work the other way around. Their goals are imprecise and their procedure experimental. They build their skills gradually throughout their careers, improving slowly over long periods.

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Output comes from input

If you want to have a lot of good ideas, you need to expose yourself to good ideas.

This means reading books, having conversations with interesting people, seeking out new experiences,...

Have a capture mechanism

Creative ideas often come to you when you’re not deliberately trying to solve a problem, when your mind is relaxed.

That's why your creative process must include a system to capture ideas when you have them, so you can work on them later. The simplest mechanism is simply to have a list where you keep ideas.

Incubate your ideas

Regularly review your ideas lists. Incubation helps because just as a spontaneous connection can generate an idea, an incubated idea can spontaneously mature into a plan of action if you take care of it.

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Perfectionism: The Pursuit Of Constant Excellence
Perfectionism: The Pursuit Of Constant Excellence

There is a common trait among many high-achievers: Perfectionism. Celebrated geniuses like Leonardo Da Vinci, Beethoven, Steve Jobs and even Kanye West share an obsessive ...

Perfectionism: The Good

The good aspects of being perfect are intrinsic motivation, extreme focus, ambitious goals, strong work ethic and high personal standards. They are also highly coachable.

Elite performers are often perfectionists as their activity requires error-free performance.

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How we perceive philosophy
How we perceive philosophy

When most people think of philosophy, they believe philosophers simply argue about arguing. Philosophy is viewed as impractical and irrelevant to current issues.

In...

Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Russell

"Science is what you know. Philosophy is what you don’t know."

Defining philosophy

Philosophy is examining our understanding of reality and knowledge. Philosophy consists of three major branches:

  1. Metaphysics - What is true about existence.
  2. Epistemology - How we can know that it is true. Epistemology has given us science, logic/reason, economics, psychology, and other theories of knowledge.
  3. Ethics - What actions we should take as a result of this knowledge. Ethics contains concepts such as democracy, human rights, the treatment of animals, and the environment.

When you order your thoughts into a coherent belief system, you are engaging in philosophy. To criticize philosophy, you must rely on philosophy.

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Morning pages

Morning pages are 3 pages that record stream of consciousness thoughts, to help you untangle your mind.

The process is simple: you just have to sit down in the morning with paper and pen a...

Prime your brain the night before
  • Identify your most challenging assignment
  • Get through the tough assignment. Start working on the project at the end of the workday. But don't finish.
  • Sleep. Let the brain do his thing.
  • Wake up and dump your thoughts onto paper.
Stick to it

Writing morning pages is supposed to be simple.

To make sure you stick to your writing ritual, wake up and don’t do anything else. Grab a notebook and write the pages.

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The right side of the brain
The right side of the brain

Creativity isn’t the preserve of one side of the brain, and it isn’t a talent confined to people with a special kind of brain. If you’re human and you’ve got a brain, you’re capabl...

The “Eureka!” moment

This myth encourages the belief that creativity is a passive process. It suggests you have to wait and hope that you’ll make a breakthrough.

That Eureka moment is actually the last step in a long, involved process and not the only step. For this to happen, your unconscious mind needs material to work with. You have to put in the hard work of studying and mastering your field and exposing yourself to different perspectives.

The lone, eccentric geniuses

In reality, creativity is a team sport.

The lone genius myth is a stereotype and it’s unhelpful because it suggests the route to innovation is to cut oneself off from colleagues and collaboration. You need a modest amount of intelligence to be creative, but extremely high IQ is neither sufficient nor necessary for being an innovator.

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