Why unrest is crucial to creativity and growth

As a creative or designer, it is not unusual to spend a lot of time in uncertainty… Creativity can be a complex and tangled process… The quicker we become comfortable with this and lean into the void , the more space we can create for innovation.

As in life the creative process teaches us far more in times of challenges… as it urges us to change grow and search for new answers and ways of doing things… the birth of innovation and origination is often found through dead ends and doorstoppers.

We as a species tend to shy away from the disorder and naturally lean in towards more positive times.  However ironically it is times of our unrest we grow the most.



A little neuroscience….

A discovery in cognitive neuroscience is that of the default network of the brain (or “imagination network” as its also called). The imagination network, which is responsible for self-generated thought, is involved in about half of our mental lives and forms the very core of human experience.

Fundamental to the core of our being… it makes up the essence of healthy development in allowing us to be able to create meaning from our experiences, understand ourselves, daydream, build compassion and empathy. It also helps us to form our most creative ideas.

However, imagination network works in conjunction with the executive network, which supports creative thinking by helping to sustain focus by planning future actions, use various creative strategies, and evaluate ideas. The executive attention network also helps focus imagination, blocking out external distractions and allowing us to tune into our inner experience.

Most people go between the imagination network and the executive attention network; when they are hyper focused on the world, their inner stream of consciousness is ignored, and when they tap into their inner self, their executive attention is suppressed.

It suggests that creative people have greater connectivity between brain networks that work in opposition than most people.

This uncertainty in cognitive creative terms mirrors its real-life complexity. Both at the level of personality—which tends to be riddled with paradoxes and contradictions—and process, which is often nonlinear, experimental and serpentine means that creativity can sometimes be a messy process indeed.

In other words:

Creativity arises from our contradictions. Which exist to some degree in everyone. So go ahead—be large, embrace your multitudes, and contradict yourself. Embrace new experiences. You might just find that creative inspiration comes to you from unexpected places and happens when you step outside your usual perspective.

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