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Letting Your Intuition or Unconscious Do the Work for You

I'm currently reading a book about some tools for smarter thinking: Mindware by Richard Nisbett. In my last post (or two), I wrote about the second chapter where the main takeaway for me was you should consider the situation when evaluating why people act the way they do. Just relying on the "dispositional" characters of people won't do because people's behavior change according to the situation. So in an interview process, you should consider that some people are likely to be nervous and thus you should provide some time to put them at ease in order to get a better interview. Just a thought here.

Today I am going to write about

how to be more creative.

Every business wants their employees to be more creative or innovative. Some employees are probably looking to do the same. There are a lot of books out there around the topic of creativity, art and entrepreneurialism. This book suggests one way of accessing your creativity:

let your unconscious do the work.

Famous creatives - probably mainly mathematicians and scientists - say their breakthrough ideas just appear out of the blue.

The author suggests that the unconscious mind needs for the conscious to first do the preliminary work of deciding on the parameters of the problem and probing some possible solutions. The conscious needs to spend a lot of time generating working on the problem and coming up with possible approaches. Then, if no good solutions appear, let it go and do something else, giving your unconscious the time or freedom to tackle the problem. Even sleep on it.

I've used this approach a few times. Sometimes I have to let a couple of weeks or months go by. Then when I'm ready to go back to the problem, a possible solution magically appears. I admit that I generally attribute the solution to either 1) I got out of the rut of the same way of thinking about the problem or 2) my unconscious worked on the problem and clarified the approach.

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