Apr 22, 2012

So How Does Creativity Really Works?

"Angst leads to better art. There is striking correlation between creativity and depressive disorders. Bipolar disorder is closely related with creativity. When people are manic, they are driven by an intense, overwhelming need to express themselves."

"Time steals ingenuity. 'Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up,'"

"The most creative ideas don't occur when we're alone. Rather, they emerge from our social circles, from collection of acquaintances who inspire novel thoughts. Sometimes, the most important people in life are the people we barely know."

"It is the human friction that creates the sparks."

"You can't have creativity without chutzpah (Yiddish word for audacity). It takes enormous chutzpah to believe that you have an idea that will change the world and make a lot of money. But unless you believe that, you will never become an entrepreneur."

Those are just some of the quotes coming from the book of Jonah Lehrer, author of Imagine: How Creativity Works. That being said, this isn't a book that directly gives you guidelines on how to improve your creativity, but it helps you understand it so you can discover how to improve it. Lehrer traces back the biological origin of creativity to how we use it in our everyday lives and ends with how time and our society influence it. Creativity is not just a single gift confined to the lucky few. With the right knowledge, determination, circumstances and exposure, one can utilize the gift which immortalized the likes of Bob Dylan, Pixar and Shakespeare.


Ever wondered why most artists act peculiar or "weird"? By reading this book, I was able to understand the diverse people that we work with. It gave me an explanation why I was never really that interested in what they mechanically teach in school, and why we experience bursts of Eureka moments in the face of daunting problems.

A few years back, representatives from Singapore's Department of Education were sent to the Philippines to study how our students think. You hear that right! Singaporean students may be getting the highest ratings in international standardized tests in Math and Science, but when it comes to thinking outside the box, they scored very low.

On the other hand, we Filipinos are known to be madiskarte. Strategy is more of an art than a science, and Filipinos are very good at it. We are naturally creative and it would be a waste if we cannot capitalize on it. So if you wanna know more how creativity really works and if you want to optimize the use of this gift, don't hesitate to buy Jonah Lehrer's book.

Photo credits: muckrack.com

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