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9.3.4. Thinking: Multiple Personalities


How To Invent (Almost) Anything > 9. Managing in a Complex World > 9.3. Deep Thinking > 9.3.4. Thinking: Multiple Personalities

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When we have conversations with ourselves, it sometimes seems as if there is a range of very different personalities inhabiting our minds. Most dangerous of these for creative situations is the critical voice that tells us we are worthless, our ideas are no good and that other people will ridicule or reject us if we voice our thoughts. Left unchecked, these inner voices can wreak havoc on any inventive thought, but with careful control they can be put to good use, for example imagining what other people will say about our ideas so we can devise effective responses.

Walt Disney made deliberate use of inner personalities when creating his cartoons to build a wide range of options and then filter them down to find the best ideas. He would first become the dreamer, imagining all sorts of unconstrained possibilities. He then changed hats to become the realist, taking into account the constraints of the real world. Finally, he became the critic, nit-picking at the details until all that was left was perfection.

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