Research shows that 90 percent of five-year olds are creative, but only 2 percent of adults are. – Lee Lilber
A professor once hit upon a great discovery while buttoning up his vest. Or rather, he hit upon the discovery because his vest wouldn’t button up. His little daughter had sewn up some of the buttonholes by mistake. His fingers were going along as usual in their most intricate operations of buttoning a button, when something happened. A button wouldn’t button.
His fingers fumbled helplessly for a moment, then sent out a call for help. His mind woke up. The eyes looked down………a new idea was born, or rather a new understanding of an old idea. What the professor had discovered was that fingers can remember. You know how automatic things can become, riding a bicycle, using a keyboard, or even driving home from the office.
Then the professor began playing pranks on his classes, and he found that the answer was always the same. As long as they could keep on doing the things they had always done, their minds wouldn’t work. It was only when he figuratively sewed up their buttonholes, stole their notebooks, locked the doors, upset their routine, that any thinking was done.
So he came to the great, and now generally accepted, conclusion that the mind of man is “an emergency organ.” That it relegates everything possible to automatic functions as long as it is able, and that it is only when the old order of things won’t work any longer that it gets on the job and starts working.
Sew up some buttonholes in your life this week. Drive a different route home from work. Read a book you would not normally read. Write your name with the hand opposite your normal dominance to see how it wakes up your brain. Take time to stop to help a stranded motorist. Volunteer to help on a community project. And welcome the unexpected “closed buttonholes” this week. You may be surprised at having your brain turn on. Who knows what creative ideas or solutions you may discover.
Source: The Rudder Of The Day, Dan Miller
This reinforced a thought I’ve tried to remind myself of throughout my career… Just because something has always been done a certain way doesn’t mean that is still the best way. It’s always good to step back and reevaluate methods and processes to see if there is any room for improvement. If nothing else, you prove to yourself that your current ways are still valid!