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8.6.3. How to Get Into a Creative Mental State


How To Invent (Almost) Anything > 8. The Motivating Fire > 8.6. How The Brain Does It > 8.6.3. How to Get Into a Creative Mental State

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Think of a time when you were being really creative, when ideas were just popping out of the top of your head so fast you hardly had time to explore them, write them down or tell other people. Remember the circumstances, the room you were in, who else was there (if anyone), what you were doing, and anything else that seems interesting, so you can see the full period of creativity like a section of a movie.

Now go back in that memory to just before you started getting creative: notice the detail of what was happening around you, what happened to start you down the track to that idea-full state. Was it something someone said? Was it something you thought? Was it a steady build-up or did the creative state arrive suddenly?

Remember what position you were in. Were you sitting or standing? How was your weight distributed? Were you moving or stationary? What were you doing with your hands? Step into that picture and put you body into the same position.

Notice what you felt in your body as you began to feel creative. Where did the feelings start? How did they feel? Was it a tingling, a buzzing, a numbness, or what? Slow the movie down so you can see, hear and feel every detail.

 Now notice how the feeling changed and moved to other parts of your body. Sometimes people start with a feeling in their chest and it moves to their head or hands, or moving from their nose to their ears, or maybe something else. There is no right or wrong: it is simply how you felt.

Follow the progression of sensations through your body and notice the change in your emotional state, how you felt more and more creative, how the stream of ideas or even just one really big idea came unbidden to mind.

After you have that movie mapped out in full detail, play it again, noticing where the feelings start and where they end. Now add the amplifier: loop back the feeling from the end point to the start, so it begins again with an already-powered-up energy level. And as you tingle up to the creative peak, create a physical trigger by doing something like pressing a finger and thumb together or squeezing a fist. And keep repeating this, time after time, looping around and firing the trigger until you are really buzzing.

Then start generating ideas, and watch them flow…

And in the future, when you want to get more creative, just fire off the trigger, pressing together the finger and thumb or squeezing the fist to stimulate the response of how you felt so creative.

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