The reticular activating system (RAS) is the part of your brain that processes most of the incoming information we receive. It’s pretty damn interesting. It’s also responsible for noticing the new and novel things around us. Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) talks about the RAS quite a bit. As I understand it, the RAS helped us not get eaten by sabre-tooth tigers back in the day. Not a bad piece of equipment to have on your side.
The recognition and processing of new and novel information is something that’s been front-of-mind for me lately. I seem to notice the same stuff over and over again. I know I’m not the only one. You do it to, right? Like when you want to buy a new car, and all you see on the roads is that car, in the colour you want. It’s pattern recognition. We humans are good at it. It used to keep us alive.
So, lately, I’ve been noticing discussions about creativity. They’re happening all around me. A lot of the time the discussions encompass points about the flow state, the dangers of hyper-analysis, and doing stuff you really want to do.
I often catch myself wondering why the hell I’m thinking about this stuff? Why is creativity all of a sudden important to me? Have I been missing it? Is my work now demanding more creativity than it was, say, last month?
Well, I’ve discovered that I haven’t really been all that creative this year. In fact, if I’m brutally honest, I have to say my creativity has been stifled. I’ve been focusing on a lot of dull business stuff. It’s paid off financially but it hasn’t been rewarding in the deeper sense. So, perhaps now I am seeking some balance between the creative and the less creative.
Re-activating this here blog, starting to write more often, and exploring the creative outlets that I’ve dabbled in previously are all attempts to get more creative. I’ve started taking photos. I’ve picked up my guitar. I’m paying closer attention to musical composition. I’m listening to creative masters explain their processes. I’m learning that creativity is important. Very important.
All the stuff we generally dig is made by creative people. The art, the music, the films, the books. It’s all creative. And I really want to encompass that creativity in my work.
Outside of my work time, I want to start being more creative. I sense this will have a two-fold benefit: firstly, it will help me relax, and secondly, it will help me be more creative in my work.
All this thinking about creativity got me thinking about my childhood. I recall a recent podcast interview that mentioned most people are truly content when they choose the vocation they wanted to pursue as a child. It struck home. But I had to really, really think about what it was that I wanted to do as a youngster. I couldn’t recall immediately.
It turns out, that I wanted to be creative. If I had followed my heart I would have pursued photography and graphic design. But, alas, stupid conservativeness got the better of me and I chose to study IT.
So, my reticular activating system has been working overtime lately. And I’ve been listening. The universe is trying to tell me something… Be more creative. Get your flow on. Be childlike.
What are you discovering right now?
What is the universe trying to tell you?
Are you listening?