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Creative and Lateral Thinking (continued)

  

There are many simple things you can do to help improve your creative thinking ability. For example, you could try listening to classical music. Studies have found that the corpus callosum of musicians is thicker and more developed than in non-musicians, suggesting that listening to music, particularly classical, enlarges neural pathways and stimulates learning and creativity. Furthermore, scientific research has shown that the brain does not stop rewiring and adapting itself after the age of five, as was once believed, but remains plastic and malleable throughout life. It is actually very similar to a muscle in that the more it is used the more it grows and the stronger it becomes. Also, the more you challenge your brain the more neural pathways are forged and the more you can understand the world around you. Neurologists call this “use dependent plasticity”. So even in old age there is considerable potential for cognitive improvement. Interestingly, Charles Darwin wrote in his autobiography, “If I had to live my life again I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once a week; for perhaps the parts of my brain now atrophied could thus have been kept active through use.” Here is a list of suggestions to help you get started. You might like to try using your creativity to come up with some ideas of your own.

 

 

- take regular physical exercise;

- eat a varied and balanced diet;

- practice relaxation and meditation techniques;

- improve your self-confidence;

- keep a journal, doodle and write poems, short stories and songs;

- read imaginative fiction;

- practice thinking of alternative uses for everyday objects;

- practice finding similarities between dissimilar things;

- take up artistic pursuits like painting or sculpting;

- visit inspirational places;

- take up activities you wouldn’t normally think of doing;

- try being more spontaneous and outgoing;

- watch comedy and try developing your own particular style of humour;

- listen to classical music;

- regularly look for ways to break out of your comfort zone;

- do everyday things and routines in a different way;

- make new friends and expand your social circle;

 - think of yourself as a creative person;

- think of creativity as a way of life;

- model yourself on a famous creative person you admire;

- develop a rebellious streak;

- get into the habit of what-if-ing;

- don’t watch too much TV;

- allow yourself to daydream;

- don’t be afraid to be wrong or make mistakes;

- don’t be too hasty in making judgements;

- be curious about everything.

 

 

Tackling lateral puzzles is also a great way to stretch and improve your creative thinking skills. But before diving straight into the puzzle section, you may find it helpful to try the two following warm-up puzzles to put you in the right frame of mind. As with the rest of the puzzles on this site, though, don’t be too eager to look up the answers. If you really want to enjoy the “Aha!” moments and learn something about creative thinking, be sure to give your subconscious enough incubation time to come up with the solutions before giving up. For while you may find that you are completely clueless one moment, the next you may just “get it”. OK now in the words of Mrs. Doubtfire, played by the very creative actor and comedian Robin Williams, “Go pump some neurons.”

 

 

 

 

Canine Conundrum

 

© Lloyd King

 

1) Move two matches so that this dog sounds like a dog. Answer

 

 

Matchstick Dog Puzzle

 

 

 

 

Plus Four

 

© Lloyd King

 

2) Add four more toothpicks to make this equation correct. Answer

 

 

Toothpick Puzzle

 

 

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