Creative Limitations

Restrictions breed creativity. (Mark Rosewater)

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What do you think about the practice of expressing Gratitude for three things?”

“Our brain is not good at open-ended choices. Whenever it’s faced with such a choice, it retreats to known pathways.

If you set as the goal to think of three things you’re grateful for, it’s likely that you’ll always think of the same handful of things.

By adding constraints, you force your brain to explore new pathways. This is a fundamental principle of creativity. I call it the creative limitations principle.

In practical terms, that means making each of the three things you want to express Gratitude for thematic. Something like:
– ‘people who care about me’
– ‘resources’
– ‘experiences’

The theme can vary from more general to more specific. I like to think of it as the specificity spectrum. The more general the theme, so the lower the specificity, the wider the possibility-space.

If you do your Gratitude practice in writing, you can play with exploring different themes every session.”



About Dani Trusca

Playfully seeking wisdom

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