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07 July 2015

RVO:Creativity Mental Block #5: Play is frivolous

This post is a continuation of THIS POST. Please read it before you read this post 

The attitude of many people is 'Stop playing / fooling around and get down to business'. However, a playful attitude is fundamental to creative thinking.

One way of playing with a problem is to add a few constraints. Constraints force us to think beyond conventional solutions and find answers that otherwise might not have been discovered.

Another approach is to pause a bit. By pausing, three beneficial things happen. One, you put the problem in perspective. Second benefit is that by pausing we are allowing our sub-conscious to work on the problem. And finally, when we approach the problem after a pause, we approach the problem with a different set of assumptions.

Another advantage of pausing a bit is that sometimes delaying actions will give you more information. The author (Mr.Von Oech) mentions the story of an architect who created a cluster of buildings without laying the pathways that connected the buildings. After about four months, the new lawn was laces with pathways of trodden grass, connecting building to building. The path thus formed the most efficient line between points of connections and turned in easy curves rather than right angles and were sized according to traffic flow. Thus by waiting the architect got the most optimum pathways between the buildings.

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