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Principles of creativity > Exploration

Going with the flow | Following your nose | Letting the subconscious lead | See also


To find useful ideas, it can be a good strategy to explore without aim, just seeking whatever captures your interest. This 'letting go' can be scary, making exploration a practice that only the practiced tend to follow.

Going with the flow

Sometimes it helps to guide thinking around creative situations, directing the mind and forcing it to think differently. At other times, the other end of the spectrum is appropriate, just letting the mind and attention wander without fear or prejudice or direction, alighting like a butterfly on interesting flowers, pausing for as long as it seems useful and then flitting off to something else.

Following your nose

A part of exploration is to open the senses and feel the situation, letting it dictate to you where to go next. By connecting all of your senses into the area in which you are exploring, you gain a more visceral feeling for the whole terrain and hence acquire a greater ability to innovate.

Letting the subconscious lead

Just going with the flow, following your nose and being open and letting the world take you wherever it will eliminates conscious bias.

A common saying is 'Trust your subconscious: it knows more than you!' has a certain truth. Your conscious mind is only the tip of your cognitive iceberg. If you can actively engage the subconscious, then you can significantly enhance your creative potential.

See also

Art streaming, Doodling, Incubation, Modeling, Visioning

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