3 June, 2013  |   1 Comment

The Tough Get Ready, Absorption and Envision

This is post 4 of 6 from a talk I gave at the Big Traveling Potluck about taking care of your internet creativity through the artistic stylings of Billy Ocean.

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Ready

I assume you’re all highly creative. This is because creativity is the juice that runs this business of digital publishing. The creative stuff is what has that amplification – what you just have to share.

Thankfully, brain science is steadily helping us develop our creativity.

In studying the brains of highly creative people, some scientists theorize that there are 7 different brain activation processes based on the different phase of creativity you’re in. By identifying these processes, and maximizing your environment for each of them, you can blow up your creativity at each level (for more on this, find the book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck)

We can do this. We can amp up our own creativity.
And here’s 2 of the 7.

The first, is acknowledging and getting into the Absorb brainset.
(Getting into the Absorb brainset is much more successful than what passes for inspiration these days – the cursory Pinterest romp.)

When we open our minds to new experiences and uncritically take in ideas, we can take in more knowledge that we can combine in different ways thereby increasing our creativity.

Let’s get in the Absorb mindset right now.
Seriously, you and me.
Let’s get more creative.

First, take in a deep breath.
Close your eyes (it’s cool, I promise).
Let go some of that unconscious tension and start to recognize what’s going on through all your senses.

Feel your feet touching the floor – your shoes. Feel how your body is touching the furniture, how your clothing feels in a nonjudgmental way. What are you smelling? What’s the temperature like? Move through each of your senses. Quiet your censors, wake up your sensors.

Open your eyes and continue this feeling of absorption. See how colors have become brighter, you can notice angles and shadows and all of a sudden you’re aware of more stimuli coming in from your senses.

Basically, you’ve just primed your brain to accept better and more information. As soon as you’re not filtering out this information, you have more available to you to recombine in creative and original ways.

This is superior to “taking a spin through Pinterest” because it’s relying on your own creativity — your own lens, which is what the internet was made for.

Another brainset to maximize your creativity is the Envision brainset.

To get into the Envision brainset, think visually rather than verbally. See and manipulate objects with your minds’ eye. Prime your brain to see comparisons between 2 things that seem far removed from them originally (Shutterbean is great at this).


Look around you in your environment and think about the consequences if something were changed.
What if – avocados grew hair? What if you had six arms instead of 2? What if you took a bath in mayonnaise?

How would the world change?

Once you see these consequences, you’re actually forging pathways in the brain that allow you to activate this Envision brainset in the future. Let’s give these synapses a workout! Your internet web site depends on it.

And kids do this all day long.

Kids aren’t filtering out what we adults need to filter out — our prefrontal cortex helps us plan for the future and it does this by judging the rest of what’s coming in.

This helps us increase the signal to noise ration. We grown ups have goals, and our goals keep our brains on track.

Therefore we only notice what’s in line with our goals or what we need to survive.

Kids don’t have this level of prefrontal cortex development — they’re still getting this information and they wonder about it – they have the freedom to play WHAT IF all day long, because their brains are built for it.

But to be creative — we need to turn down that prefrontal activator so we can have better ideas, combinations, new creative thoughts. Right now, things are changing so rapidly, we need to be able to adapt and take the next step rather than following an already delimited pathway.

Absorption, envision.
You got this one.

Billy Ocean

One thought on “The Tough Get Ready, Absorption and Envision

  1. 1
    Ally Bean says:

    I love this. Thanks for explaining in detail what I sort of knew was going on in general. Focusing on the WHAT IF can only help me. And heaven knows, I can use all the help I can get.

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