“The thinking on any object readily transports the mind to what is contiguous; but it is only the actual presence of an object, that transports it with a superior vivacity.” – David Hume
When you think of an object, of an action, of a friend, your mind automatically and instantly is reminded of similar and connected objects, events, and other thoughts. If you think about the face of a friend, or the comfort of your bed, or where you went on vacation last, then your mind instantly tries to connect the meaning of those thoughts to something else.
When you physically have something in your possession, however, the connection your mind makes is often stronger and acute.
If you simply try to think of a childhood memory you’re likely to come up with a few related thoughts – early birthdays, what your friends were like, how you spent your weekends – yet if you were showed a photo of your childhood you would have more vivid thoughts.
The brain reacts more powerfully to physical presence, things we can see and taste or smell or touch.
If you find yourself stuck thinking of new ideas for a problem or a project, or if you just want to jolt your creative thinking today, try finding a physical object you can play with to spur your mind into making bold connections. If you want to make thinking a bit easier, try drawing or writing your thoughts down on paper. Do what you can to make a physical object out of your thoughts and the rewards will surely show themselves.
When it comes to creativity, seeing really is believing.
Photo is copyright © Suren Manvelyan.