Where do good ideas come from? This is a question that perhaps many have asked themselves, at least once. What awakens that burst of inspiration which can become something new? And in particular, in which way do everyday decisions influence this process? Both in the media and academia, creativity’s study has turned into a recurrent topic. However, little has been delved into the bond between innovation and the strategic/project aspect.
When discussing this topic is rather common to dissociate the ideas from the rest of the daily occurrences of a person’s life, as if these existed in a dimension totally isolated from any cultural construction. But then, why shouldn’t be a close connection between how we feel since we get up till we lay down (and all that we choose in the middle) and what we can think and imagine? This apparent “conceptual divorce” it what enables the deceiving argument that deep inside it doesn’t matter how one lives or to what models one subscribes, in any case creation is that thing that happens who knows where or why…
Nevertheless, if the sight is sharpened one can appreciate that not all vital schemes have the same incidence, and that it is coherent that certain traditions inhibit or restrict invention, whilst others encourage it. Suffice it to pay attention, for instance, to the way in which learning strategies are designed nowadays and their effects on individual predisposition. In times when is getting easier to administrate knowledge on one’s own account (blurring the differences between “specialists” and “amateurs”), it is suitable to ponder on the consequences of certain formation which pays constant tribute to mono-orientation to the detriment of a more versatile attitude which takes advantage of current possibilities.
Some recent materials speak precisely of the drawbacks of a specialized mentality, referring to the progressive disappearance of the polymaths –those who were versed in varied study fields– as a sign of a regression in terms of integrality and inventiveness.
It’s strange that before a panorama where the diverse cultural shifts and the technological progress offer an ideal opportunity to build in an autonomous way, there’s such a reluctance to be without a corporative back up, or of any other class for that matter.
Aside this, it is notable the increasing association of creativity and disease. It’s not pure coincidence that when facing so much mental and emotional imbalance, discourses vindicating illness as an incentive for originality become visible. To support this pitiful concept several cases of artists and scientists who suffered from anxiety disorders, hypochondria and even psychosis fits are mentioned. The allegation is that the survival of these features throughout years of evolution is enough assurance of their utility.
Before this general aceptation that certain degree of disease can be benefitial ("Most theorists agree that it is not the full-blown illness itself, but the milder forms of psychosis that are at the root of the association between creativity and madness"), it would be appropriate to ask what kind of disastrous notions regarding human potential are being encouraged, and then, what are these premises concealing in a moment like this one?
To understand the prevailing mood perhaps it would be necessary to go deep into the conception of what it means to be a creative person, into the existing difficulty for visualizing that innovation doesn’t conclude in the “formal” spheres (science, art, etc.), but involves all aspects of the “self”, fundamentally the way in which one lives.
It’s very common to use expressions such as “genius” or "talent" to evaluate those who produce an art piece or create a product, even though their personal context is of little inspiration or censurable, excluding from the analysis all that’s not merely stylistic considerations. Every ingenious invention is greatly admired, independently of the culture these support and promote. In this context, saying something in “creative” seems to mean each day less.
It is possible that one of the greatest challenges is being able to detect the imperceptible bonds that tie daily moments and the deepest motivations which inspire remarkable ideas capable of revolutionizing the world… maybe the ones that make more sense to have.