Let’s try a simple exercise in imagination. Imagine you have a magic laptop in front of you. The magic laptop can give you an answer to any question you have in mind. It’s also voice activated so you can command it by just speaking. The screen is now blank and any answers the magic laptop gives will just appear on the screen.
Now give the magic laptop this command: “Show me how I can be richer than Bill Gates.” Imagine looking at the blank screen. What does the screen show? Does anything popup?
Well? Did the magic laptop show you the answer? Ha ha ha.
As far as I know, there’s no such thing in reality as a magic laptop that can give you all the answers. This type of exercise, however, is important in creative thinking. It forces you to think in a manner that your conscious logical mind isn’t used to.
Here are some questions that you need to ask when you first tried this exercise:
1. What did you feel / think when you first read the description of the exercise? Did you think along the lines of “What the heck? This doesn’t make any sense.” “What’s a magic laptop look like?”
2. When you were made to ask the magic laptop a question, how did you feel / think? Did it feel weird even in your imagination that you’re asking such a ludicrous question to a magic laptop?
3. What did you feel / think about the question itself? Did you feel the question was “too big”?
4. What did you see in the screen after you asked the question? What were you feeling / thinking then? Did anything pop up in the screen? Did you notice yourself thinking or asking yourself about what should appear in the screen?
There are no right or wrong answers to any of the above questions. The important thing is that you become aware of what you feel and think at the time. We will be doing more of these types of exercises later and don’t worry, there will be explanations to follow.
Author’s Note: Some of these articles in Creative Thinking were written years ago in another blog. I’m reposting them here as an intro for more posts in the creative thinking category.