Think like a creative genius

A few weeks ago I recommend a few books for helping you boost your creativity, one of those books was Cracking Creativity by Michael Michalko. For this weeks Motivation Monday I want to share a snippet from “Cracking Creativity” about how creative geniuses think differently than average thinkers.

On the third page of his book, Michalko states:

“Most people of average intelligence, given data or some problem, can figure out the expected conventional response to the problem. For example, when asked, ‘What is one-half of thirteen?’ most of us immediately answer six and one-half.”

Michalko continues, “Typically, we think reproductively, on the basis of similar problems encountered in the past. When confronted with problems, we fixate on something in our past that has worked before… . Then we analytically select the most promising approach based on past experiences, excluding all other approaches, and work in a clearly defined direction toward the solution of the problem.

In other words: average people solve problems based on what has worked in the past. We have been taught that half of thirteen is six and one-half, so we immediately give that response. Average people think reproductively. But - not surprisingly - creative geniuses think differently.

In contrast, geniuses think productively, not reproductively. When confronted with a problem, they ask themselves how many different ways you can look at the problem, how they can rethink it, and how many different ways they can solve it, instead of asking how they have been taught to solve it. They tend to come up with many different responses, some of which are unconventional, and possibly, unique. In response to the earlier question [of 'What is one-half of thirteen?’], a productive thinker would say taht there are many different ways to express 'thirdteen’ and many different ways to halve something.”

An example of how a creative genius would answer the question “What is one-half of thirteen” is: Thir and teen. “Thir” is approximately one half of the word “Thirdteen”, and “teen” is the other half. A creative genius sees a the original question differently.

If you want to think like a creative genius, you have to begin thinking productively - and start answering problems in unconventional, unique ways. And you don’t have to worry about being a creative genius, anyone can think productively. You just need to look at problems and ideas in unique ways.