Creating, Innovation, Robert Fritz, workplace

Feed the Brain

Today’s Globe and Mail business section is filled with suggestions as to how to add good thinking to the workplace. One my own favorites is Robert Fritz who always provides hard nosed suggestions about creating. Here is a recent one:

“Here are a few ideas about feeding our mind so we can build our brain:

  • Don’t look for the answers to life.
  • Don’t buy other peoples’ answers.
  • Don’t believe things just because all your friends do.
  • Rid your mind of all concepts (we have stressed this idea for a long time now.)
  • Rethink everything you think you know, and leave your past experience and past conclusions at the door.
  • Create something more useful for the mind to do, so it has a better job than simply running around the same track.

This last point is essential. The mind will work to resolve any tension that it considers. By tension, we are not talking about stress, pressure, or anxiety. We are talking about discrepancy between and amongst competing thoughts.

For example, the mind is subjected to hundreds-of-thousands of data points every day. We are not conscious of most of the input, because if we were, we wouldn’t be able to function. We have useful filters that sort what we want to pay attention to, and what we do not want to spend any time on. Nonetheless, all of that input goes into the mind. The mind, left to its own devices, will try to sort out all of the information into a type of unified field theory, making it all fit into a large comprehensive puzzle. But mostly the bits do not fit together. The mind creates dream states that help it get a little leg up in its job of trying to create equilibrium. Dreams sort out some of the discrepancies by generating fanciful fictional films that function, from a structural point of view, to bring a little peace and quiet. Even nightmares, awful as they might be, can make the dreamer feel better in the morning.

The best thing to do is this: give the mind a job that feeds the brain. That best job is to create. Assign your mind structural tension, which is formed by knowing the end result you want to create, and the current reality you have in relationship to this result. Of course, there are actions to take, strategies to employ, tactics to use, insights to learn on the road from here to there, but, because of structural tension, the mind becomes the best ally in this process, and the brain is thankful for the nourishment. ”

Good advice as always.