Words of Wisdom:

"when your think your fooling them, their fooling you." - Uncivilbanks


  • Date Submitted: 03/14/2010 03:49 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 44.4 
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It’s all the rage nowadays, this thing called creativity. Along with innovation, it rides high in the list of character traits most desired by employers. Thus as students, and as eventual cog-turners in the global economy, it would do one a great deal of good to understand how to think (and subsequently apply) creatively.

It might be believed that creative ideas appear like ‘bolts from the blue’, or flashes of brilliance or genius that provide an uncommon alternative. However, creative thought stems from a far deeper source than random environmental stimuli. I am inclined to agree with the writing of Graham Wallas, who in The Art of Thought charted the stages of the creative process. Creativity then does not occur in a flash, without prior preparation. He asserts that creativity then follows the process of
Preparation → Incubation → Illumination → Verification
where the flash of brilliance is but the ‘illumination’ stage of entire four step process. As we begin to assess a problem, we begin the stage of preparation. If we then fail to solve the problem at hand, we put it aside for a while, and this is where the process of incubation occurs in the subconscious of our minds, outside our own awareness.

In the recesses of our subconscious, our brain continues to delve into the problem, drawing upon our own life experiences and emotions to open different avenues to address the problem. We must not underestimate the power of our subconscious minds, for it is in which we know more than we can remember. Illumination occurs then, upon certain stimuli, bringing the proposed solution from the depths of our subconscious to our conscious reality.
I had the personal experience of witnessing preparation, incubation and illumination at work in my head during one of Margaret Chan’s CT classes. We were asked to determine the creativity of a seemingly odd banana holder, and the class argued for and against its creativity on the premise of value (De Bono, 1997). I grappled...


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