Will vs Creativity

You're not as creative (or smart) as you think you are... and that's OK.

gk on February 11, 2013 in Misc About a 1 minute read.

Most people overestimate limited human resources like creativity and intelligence. Creativity for example, is a beautiful thing, and people like to wax poetic about it: “You can imagine anything.” Not true. In fact, cognitive psychology tells us that our capacity for imagination is actually incredibly limited. Our ability to understand much less actually originate true novelty is almost nil. At best, we can recombine the known into previously-unexperienced combinations.

Take 1000 people and ask them to imagine any kind of novel alien or creature or alternate life-form. Nearly all will come back with something that falls into 4 to 6 basic categories that are variants on animals we encounter on Earth (even worse if you ‘anchor them by asking them to imagine a fantastic animal, or show them a picture of a horse prior to the exercize). Our continual surprise at the results of very simple natural processes like evolution proves our limitations as well. Or, our inability to predict the future (even in only semi-chaotic deterministic systems like the weather).

Intelligence is even worse. The limitations of our minds for storing or processing large data or complex systems are well-documented.

Here are two human attributes that are boundless: will and passion. Focus on applying your will relentlessly to the small things you can imagine, and you will do great things.

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