"Genius is in-born, may it never be still-born."

"Oysters, irritated by grains of sand, give birth to pearls. Brains, irritated by curiosity, give birth to ideas."

"Brainpower is the bridge to the future; it is what transports you from wishful thinking to willful doing."

"Unless you keep learning & growing, the status quo has no status."

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Look closely at the ‘imagery’ below; note down, or draw, at least ten different items that catch your eye.

Tip: Relax. Do not be judgmental. Just look at the square with “soft focus” and let your imagination drift into the surreal imagery of the scene. The answers will soon become obvious.

The mind is easily able to fabricate anything out of anything, whether conceptually or perceptually. When something is set before it, the mind responds to the creative potential of unconscious imagery, often with electrifying brilliance.

Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519), “universal man,” and arguably the greatest genius of all time, hit upon the potential for creative magic when he stated:

“When you look at a wall spotted with stains, or with a mixture of stones, if you have to devise some scene, you may discover a resemblance to various landscapes, beautified with mountains, rivers, rocks, trees, plains, wide valleys, and hills in various arrangement; or again you may see battles and figures in action; or strange faces and costumes, and an endless variety of objects, which you could reduce to complete and well-drawn forms.”

~ Patrice Boussel;

Leonardo’s ideas equate somewhat with the modern-day Rorschach test, and provide a method for tapping into and exploiting the subconscious for creative accomplishments.

Leonardo often signed himself “disciple of experience” and acquired “experience” via the formidable use of his senses. His astonishing powers of observation led him to uncover many of nature’s secrets.

In “knowing how to see,” which he called sapere vedere, he understood and related to whatever it was that happened to be the object of his scrutiny. He believed that the only way to learn something by heart was by first learning how to draw it accurately.

Subconscious creative processes are propagated by starting with unformed stimuli. These could be random shapes on any surface, features on a person’s face, cloud shapes, wall spots, or patterns cast by shadows.

One simple way of seeing such fuzzy imagery is by squinting your eyes at things. The obvious then becomes ambiguous and permits your mind to drift into making new connections.

Now look at the adjoining page and see what I have seen for the exercise that has been set for you. What you see may or may not be different. Know only that images do exist and that there is no limit to them.

Important points to consider are:

The images perceived need not always be complete. Ideas come ready to refine, not ready to use.

The main benefit of this device is to expose your senses to the “trigger effect” of seeing images on a surface that is otherwise perceived as simply an uneven expanse of rockscape.

Creativity is the new combination of existing elements. Look for what exists, then mix and match as you desire. Finally, convert your perception into reality.

Squint your eyes at the text on this page and see what you can make of it. Shapes are created not just by the text but also by the spaces between the text. I see an entire wonderland of life teeming with activity. What do you see?

Now look at the marketspace: innovation happens at the fuzzy edges, then becomes the core.

The fuzzy edge is where the action is - in terms of growth, innovation and value creation. Master the edge, and you become the puppetmaster!

Four Realms of Human Behaviour That Determine Our Creative Outcomes:

· Social: the dynamic, complex relationships where we establish our individual identities and the forms of social interaction we engage in to shape these identities.

· Enterprise: the ways in which we organize ourselves in order to create economic value and how we construct, and de-construct, the boundaries of these economic entities.

· Market: how we compete and collaborate on local and global scales to create, capture, and deliver economic value.

· Learning: how we learn, applied to what we need to learn, in terms of individual, as well as group, learning.

These four realms overlap and interact with one another. The biggest opportunities will emerge from the interplay at the edges of these realms where tensions will surface and need to be resolved.

[Excerpted from the 'Catalysing Creativity' edition of The Braindancer Series of bookazines by Dilip Mukerjea. All the images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.]

Say Keng's personal comments:

What Dilip Mukerjea has touched on in the foregoing essay is, to me, one of the most profound as well as most potent aspect of the creative process I have ever learned: enhancing perceptual sensivitiy.

It is the same point which the Renaissance genius Leonardo da vinci had put forward more than five centuries ago. He said:

"All our knowledge has its origins in our perceptions."

Likewise, creativity guru Edward de bono had argued about the perceptual aspect of thinking when he coined 'Lateral Thinking' in the late sixties. In fact, he once said:

"Everyone is surrounded by opportunities. But they only exist once they have been seen. And they will only be seen if they are looked for."

Other creativity experts like James Adams, Michael Michalko & Roger von oech, to name a few, have also done their individual part to drive home the same point in their respective great works.

Interestingly, even marketing & business innovation strategists have the same beliefs:

"You are surrounded by simple, obvious solutions that can dramatically increase your income, power, influence & success. The problem is, you just don't see them."

~ Jay Abraham, author of 'Getting Everything You Can Out of All You've Got';

"Successful opportunities for innovation & growth are right here, in front of us, & we often can't see them or don't act on them."

~ Erich Joachimsthaler, author of 'Hidden in Plain Sight: How to Find & Execute Your Company's Next Big Growth Strategy';

Most importantly, modern neuroscience research has also in fact substantiated this point, as argued brilliantly by Gregory Berns in his recent wonderful book, 'Iconoclast: A Nueroscientist Reveals How to Think Differently'. Please read my book review in the 'Optimum Performance Technologies' weblog. Here's the link to it.

I like to leave the following apt quote from internationally acclaimed peak performance & success coach Anthony Robbins as food for thought:

"The difference between those who succeed & those who fail isn't what they have - it's what they choose to see & do with their resources & experiences of life."

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