Small Changes Release Creativity

17th Oct 2014

Over the last couple of days for some reason I decided to use earphones rather than my usual headphones when I needed to concentrate and wanted to listen to some music.

It is such a small subtle change but I've been amazed at how it has released more creativity and free thinking. Why is that?

I've been discussing this with Stuart Harris who works from my office as a health, wellness and performance coach. An interesting guy to have these kinds of discussions with.

He suggested that our attention capability is activated by a change. The brain picks up on things that are unexpected or different visually, auditory or in the temperature around us. When we get used to the norm we end up paying attention to what is different instead.

This simple change has probably brought out different aspects of the music I listen to regularly. This on one level could be distracting because it could be too stimulating. However it seems that instead it is just stimulating enough that it has improved my "awakeness" and in turn given me focus.

Throughout my life I have naturally tended to make small changes regularly, maybe this was instilled at an early age when I moved about so much, and between different cultures when I lived in rural Philippines and then in Manilla and in an American boarding school. So although I have put down more roots as I have grown older it seems that subconsciously I have noticed benefits from small changes and naturally I enjoy making them.

In my article Five key principles for better web development in .net online magazine I touched on the lifecycle of creativity. I was exploring the idea that creations have to die for creativity to survive. It feels like at an even more micro level life-cycles in behaviours are also really beneficial.

This article on Why do small changes have a big impact has some reasons which resonate with me and they are:

  • You're used to doing so many things without any attention in the first place
  • You haven't taken the time to compare what is working verses what isn't
  • Because everyting in your life is connected!

Making these small changes, seeing a life-cycle in many areas of your life means that you are analysing without really knowing it, you realise what things need your attention when you stop doing them.

Everything is connected.