If you haven't read my other articles in the series, read them before continuing:
- Creative Thinking Tip #1 - Take The Day Off
- Creative Thinking Tip #2 - Make A Friend
- Creative Thinking Tip #3 - Small Is The New Big
TIP #4 LEARN TO MEDITATE
An interesting study was released by psychologist Lorenza Colzato & al from Leiden University in the April 19th issue of Frontiers in Cognition. You probably haven’t read the article but it explains how certain meditation techniques can help the creative thinking process.
When I speak to executives about mediation, they often think it is for relation and stress management but it does so much more. The study clearly shows that the right meditation can help substantially change your life experience by positively impacting cognition and perception of world events (aka how you experience the world).
Convergent and divergent thinking
Convergent thinking is the process of finding one possible solution to a problem using many different inputs. (many to one)
Divergent thinking is the process of finding multiple solutions to problem using one input. (one to many).
Open Monitoring or Focused attention meditation
Open Monitoring is where the meditator is asked to think about all thoughts and sensations experienced (not focusing on anything in particular).
Focused Attention is the exact opposite and the meditator is asked to think about one thought, sensation or object.
The research shows that Open Monitoring improved divergent thinking and was a multiplier for new ideas.
Focused Attention on the other hand did not improve convergent thinking
My 2 cents
Beyond the clinical research, I am a meditator and find that when I do it consistently, it helps tremendously. The life of an executive is chaotic at best and I find mindful meditation helps by creating new focus and allowing me to channel my mental energy towards creative productivity.
I believe the subconscious mind (or as some call it, the other than conscious mind) is a wondrous and powerful tool if you know how to use it. It is faster than the fastest supercomputer and more detailed than the strongest electron microscope. By meditating, I feel my mind becoming more sensitive to the subtle message of my subconscious mind. These subtle messages, if help and acted on, can be incredibly powerful catalyst.
I previously wrote an article entitles "How To Deal With Stress - Tips And Tricks". In it I talk about meditation and how it can be helpful. I also cover 2 meditation tools that non-meditators can use to get started. I write:
"If you want a fast food type method for quick mediation, take a look at Paraliminal audio technology from Learning Strategies corporation or the Holosync mediation program from Centerpointe Research (the granddaddy of audio aided meditation.)"