Your Brain Doesn’t Want You To Be Creative



Your brain doesn’t want you to be creative. It prefers order, structure, and predictability. Don’t believe me? Try the following exercise (borrowed from The Eureka Factor by John Kounios and Mark Beeman):

In ten seconds, memorize the letters below, look away, and see how many you can remember.


How did you do? My guess is not great.

Now take that same group of letters, flip the order, and group them in threes.

Ten seconds starts now:


How’d you do this time? I’m guessing much better.

Creativity is unlike the experiment above. It requires divergent thinking, original ideation, looking past order and structure, and recognizing new opportunity.

If you’ve ever felt like you’re in a creative slump, it’s likely not because you are inherently uncreative. Your brain has simply constructed patterns to fit the world into its preexisting understanding.

To stoke the creative flame in your mind, change your routine. Eat somewhere new. Take a new class. Try a new hobby. Break your lived patterns and your mind will follow.

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