Unlocking Your Creative Brain
September 16, 2021
Artists are not the only stewards of creativity. Leaders exercise it regularly to solve challenging problems, develop new technology, and find better ways to communicate. The old explanation of “right-brain thinkers” versus “left-brain thinkers” has been debunked as an oversimplified view of the relationship between the brain and creativity.

We now know that creativity is the result of the complex interaction of several parts of the brain.

Memory and imagination work together to recombine details of past events in innovative and meaningful ways that are especially useful for creative thinking. Specific brain regions involved in that process trigger the hippocampus and overlaps with the “default mode network.” The default mode network is the areas of your brain that are activated when no cognitive task is being completed, an experience known as mind wandering.

If we want to unlock our creative brains, we can strengthen three areas.

1) Memory: taking notes or keeping a journal help reinforce memories to make them more accessible in the future.

2) Imagination: brainstorming and mind mapping are creative visualization exercises that strengthen the imagination.

3) Mind Wandering: doing nothing or simple activities that don’t require much focus are excellent ways to make space for mind wandering.

Eureka moments are not conjured out of thin air. We can create new ideas by recounting past experiences, connecting dots through visualization, and letting it all flow together when we let our minds wander.



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