The amount of “noise” or automatic thoughts generated in mental patterns is such that it is said that we can have over 60,000 thoughts a day. Just take a moment to go into your mind and discover if you can have as many thoughts a day. Where do you think they come from? The reality is that the majority of these thoughts have a “time-based initial trigger”: our past experience generates thoughts in the form of memories in which we may spend hours revising their content; the fear of the future creates thoughts of hypothetical forthcoming situations and, in many occasions, of meaningless worry. The amount of energy, time and of space consumed within our mind is such, that they block any sort of potential creative thoughts based on the present moment.
Techniques such as meditation, implemented in many schools now since early age, help us perceive that we can become mere spectators of our thoughts. It is precisely that distance with respect of the thoughts where a free space of non-judgment is developed, leaving a door open for releasing potential creativity. For example, divergent thinking, which is the ability to give the greatest number of answers to a question.
For many years, it has been said that school kills creativity, and one of the greatest challenges in education today is to encourage it. The change in the paradigm of the educational system is already a reality in our society. Unfortunately, many educational systems still promote that all their students go through their “academic funnel” where everyone is judged through one single glass in the form of academic performance and ability, and from which very few lucky ones come out with bright grades. They do not make any distinction between the different potentials of all their students. In the following video, the British educationalist Ken Robinson brilliantly explains this necessary change in the paradigm of education. He suggests that standardization in education is the opposite way to opening up the potentials of humanity in the future:
Another example of a technique of promotion of creativity, which is mostly used in marketing and advertising companies, is that of brainstorming. It is not a coincidence that one of their few guidelines, but key, is to carry it out in an environment free of criticism. This technique promotes a context where basic brain functions such as analysis is cancelled or switched off. Ideas are not criticized or analyzed, but a space is created where they all have a place.
Learning to unlearn the thought patterns that are carried out in our brain in an unconscious and automatic way,and which ultimately leads to stress states, is essential to keep the flow of creativity alive and healthy, allowing for the world of ideas to become infinite in the space of our minds.
Written by Cristina González