for Business Professionals
Einstein Inspires Creative Thinking
Would you like to be a creative thinker like Albert Einstein? You might not discover the theory for relativity but you can learn from Einstein's creative thinking techniques and apply them to your creative problem solving challenges.
Albert Einstein has been called the most creative genius of the last century. He started his career as a patent office clerk. That means he spent a lot of time studying other people's ideas and thinking about them. Einstein learned how to analyze creative ideas and examine them in his mind because he didn't have a laboratory to test the ideas.
You might not be an Einstein but you can use his thinking techniques in your creative problem solving. Enjoy the following quotes from Einstein and my thoughts on each.
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."
Making things simple is true genius. Anyone can complicate things. But it takes patience, probing questions and creative thinking to simplify. Whatever problem you are facing it's probably not as complicated as you think - but we often make it so. If you want to solve more problems, simplify them. The real genius is turning complexity into simplicity.
"The important thing is to not stop questioning."
This is a powerful statement. Creative problem solving is a process of asking advancing questions. Yet too many people stop when they don't hear an answer that they like. Or they stop when they are frustrated. But, the only way to learn is to ask probing questions. You might ask those questions of others or yourself.
The more questions you ask the better you will become at it. Not all questions are good questions and often it is a matter of the right question at the right time. Listen to the answers especially when you don't like them.
"Curiosity has its own reason for existing."
Curious people learn more, discover more and change things. If you want to hire creative people - look for curious people. They ask the questions about things that others ignore. If you want to be more creative - be more curious.
"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity."
This statement could be a book by itself. Einstein was pointing out that real opportunity is the result of great difficulty. The opportunity will require you to wade through the doubts and challenges that dissuade the weaker minds.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."
Einstein was not disrespecting knowledge. He was pointing out that knowledge is based on our beliefs from yesterday. The way to move into the unknown is based more on imagination than it is on knowledge. Too often knowledge will tell you that "it can't be done." Only imagination will find and open doors that you had ignored. Just imagine.
"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."
Mistakes are fundamental to exploring new territory. If you're not making mistakes you are not growing. Make mistakes, make them quickly and move on. Remember Edison who made hundreds or thousands of mistakes before he invented the light bulb. Mistakes are experiments that eliminate an option.
"Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds."
Any dummy can defend the status quo. Perhaps they spout "We have always done it this way". Change always comes from a visionary challenging the status quo with disturbing ideas.
"The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them."
Let's be clear. We created our problems. Nations and companies scramble to create quick and temporary fixes to old problems. Those quick fixes lay the seeds to future problems. Organizations make short term solutions that lead to long term threats. The problems that we face today - we created yesterday. The future depends on you thinking differently than you thought yesterday.
Use these words from Albert Einstein to inspire your creative thinking and problem solving. The next time that you're wrestling with a challenging problem or searching for creative ideas put yourself in Einstein's mind by repeating an appropriate quote or posing an Einstein type question.
© George Torok is a Creativity Catalyst. He facilitates Creative Problem Solving workshops and seminars. Find more creative thinking ideas at www.Creative-Problem-Solving.org Arrange for George to speak to, or train your team at www.Torok.com For media interviews call 905-335-1997