Einstein was an Artist: How Creativity Actually Works

1. Don’t Wait for Inspiration to Get Moving

There are many misconceptions about how breakthroughs are made. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that they’re suddenly inspired — like the often told story of the moment the fall of an apple led Newton to discover gravity.

“Although the experience of insight is sudden and can seem disconnected from the immediately preceding thought, these studies show that insight is the culmination of a series of brain states and processes operating at different time scales.”

Simply put, eureka moments occur because of the work leading up to them. Action stimulates inspiration more often than inspiration stimulates action.

2. Treat It Like an Unsexy Job

Doing creative work isn’t sexy. It’s about setting a schedule and just doing it.

3. Seek Relationships Between Existing Ideas

At its core, creativity is just a new and useful way of combining old ideas. It isn’t imagined out of thin air, and it isn’t completely abstract. It’s a fresh way of making sense of the existing components of reality that have yet to merge.

“The words or the language, as they are written or spoken, do not seem to play any role in my mechanism of thought.The psychical entities which seem to serve as elements in thought are certain signs and more or less clear images which can be ‘voluntarily’ reproduced and combined.

It is also clear that the desire to arrive finally at logically connected concepts is the emotional basis of this rather vague play with the above-mentioned elements. But taken from a psychological viewpoint, this combinatory playseems to be the essential feature in productive thought — before there is any connection with logical construction in words or other kinds of signs which can be communicated to others.”

If you think about creativity as the ability to develop meaningful connections between existing parts of your reality, you can start to realize that creativity isn’t just reserved for the likes of Mozart and Picasso. It’s something that impacts all of our lives, and it’s something we all practice.

4. Be Willing to Produce Subpar Work

Like anything else in life, the only way to master creativity is to put in work.

5. Compromise Today for Tomorrow

Extraordinary results require extraordinary commitment. That’s the secret.

All You Need to Know

If an artist is someone who produces something new and novel, then few people in history fit the bill like Einstein. Artistry was the source of his genius.

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