Fast Food Etiquette: 101

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Introduction

It was afternoon and really a sunny day, not surprising, in Surabaya. February supposed to be a cold and rainy season but not for Surabaya. Hell never had those.

It was a casual meeting with my friend. I wanted to ask for help and talk about some my business stuff (no, it’s not actually casual at all). We made the appointment at the fast food restaurant, called McDose, or kids jaman now usually called Macca. Bunch of people also eating there. Again, not surprising.

I arrived early. I checked my phone and sent a text to him that I already arrive. I entered the restaurant and went to the counter for ordering french fries and cheeseburger. In 5 minutes, my order arrived. I then walked to sauce counter and go to the second floor where me and my friend had the appointment. Later, he arrived. We had chat about topics from my business thing to how the universe made. The meeting lasted for 2 hours and we left afterward.

I put my tray in the bin, followed by people looking at me like I’m doing something is not normal. Is it my face? My appearance? No, definitely not. It is about me putting the tray and trash into the bin. Some people don’t know this is an actual etiquette. Fast food etiquette. I mean, just because fast food is convenient, doesn’t mean there are no manners when you’re eating there.

And what’s fast food etiquette that people need to know and do this? Let me tell you

During your time on the counter,

-Unless there is a long line that gives you time to peruse the menu, if you do not know what you want to order, do not step up to the counter and cause a backup while you hem and haw. Even if there is no one else behind you, the counter person needs to stand there patiently waiting for you to make up your mind while they could be doing something else productive.

-Remember, this is a fast food establishment and people are there to get their food fast obviously. So, do not pay in pennies/coins or other small change. You can either use debit/credit card or other payments.

-If there is going to be a wait before you receive your order, step to the side and allow those behind you to order while you wait.

During eating the meal in the dining room,

If you spill something, tell the staff right away. Not only is it an eyesore in their restaurant, but it is a slipping hazard for the other customers.

-We know the atmosphere at a fast food restaurant is casual but doesn’t mean you can give your kids the license to run insanely around the dining room. If they’re in kids/play area, that is fine. Otherwise, keep control of your kids.

Don’t waste the napkins, tissues, and condiments. Even if you don’t care about the wasted money the restaurant spends on those unused ketchup packets and tissues you are throwing away, think about the environment. Only take what you need.

-At the completion of your meal, put your trash and tray in the bin and don’t leave it on your table. While the staff is there to keep the place neat, they are not there to bus your table, like at a normal restaurant.

The rule is simple, if you bring yourself the meal from the counter, you have to put the trash back in the bin by yourself. If the staff deliver the meal right to you, then you can leave the rest on the table.

Last,

Even though you probably have a big ranking job or being rich, you can’t just be impolite and rude to the fast food employees. No matter your situation or your mood, they’re also human beings. Treat them well.

If you receive your order and it is wrong, then politely bring the error the counter staff’s attention and they will remedy the issue. Be kind and nicer. You don’t want someone to spit in your meal, right?

 

Conclusion

Just because fast food is convenient, doesn’t mean you can forget your manners. Make sure that when you are grabbing a quick bite you are not committing a social faux pas.

Extra tip

Oh, and if you order the fast food with some delivery service such as GO-FOOD, Uber EAT, etc make sure you order one extra food for the driver. If you’re not sure what the driver likes, just buy him a common food like chicken.

Why? The purpose is to sharing happiness with others. You can usually eat the foods, but remember not everyone has the privilege to eat those. After you doing this, don’t forget to look at the driver’s face. Trust me, you’ll have a chance to see a piece of heaven 🙂

 

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Memorizing With Ebbinghaus Curve

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Brief introduction: One of the biggest challenge with learning as a student is how much of the material is retained at a later date. But, how do we keep memorizing things? This writing will explain the problem and the solution with Ebbinghaus’ experiment.

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Introduction

When you were at university, you have studied subjects with a varied range of concepts, topics, and theories. But how much do you remember? Very little I bet (or is it just me? Haha)

What about that your love story with your ex? Do you easily let go or move on from your past? Likely your answer is no.

Don’t worry, it’s completely normal. There’s even a name for it. Introducing “The Ebbinghaus Curve” or “The Forgetting Curve.”

The Ebbinghaus Curve In a “Nutshell”

The Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve is a theory about how our memory works, proposed in 1885 by a German psychologist named Hermann Ebbinghaus, obviously.

Ebbinghaus wanted to know how our memories work. So, he was doing experiment with himself (since back then there were no available college students to do the experiment), how faster he memorized with a long list of nonsense syllables to memorize. And he tested himself periodically to see how much he remembered at different points in time.

The shape of the curve is defined by the following equation (beware of math):

Retention = e^ -(time/strength of memory)

The average results from multiple experiments looked something like this:

ebbinghausretentionrategraph

The graph itself is pretty straightforward. You remember:

-100% of what you learn immediately after you study it

-58% after 20 minutes

-44% after an hour

-36% after 9 hours, and so forth.

According to the graph, if you go over everything in your textbook on Monday, you’ll only remember 1/4 of it by Sunday.

But what if we go over the textbook again on Tuesday? How much will I remember by the end of the week then?

Ebbinghaus asked himself the same thing, and that’s what his second graph told us:

forgetting_curve_retention

As you can see, the more you revisit what you’ve learned, the flatter your forgetting curve gets. If you go over the same textbook on Monday two times later that week, by the end of the week you’ll remember 80% which, according to the first graph, is pretty much the same amount you would’ve forgotten. In fact, if you go the extra mile and simply check your textbook again on Sunday, you’ll keep 90% of what you’ve learned stored in your head until the end of the month. Dude, that’ll hit you an A pretty much on any test.

Based on Ebbinghaus’ experiments, the level at which we retain information depends on the amount of how regular you revisit the materials and the time that has passed since initial learning.

Overcoming the Forgetting

Learning decay is a reality that you must deal with if you want to get the most out of learning. Through repetition, bite-sized learning, structured exercise, and make your learning more relevant, you can go some way to overcome the problem of forgetting.

The important thing is to revisit information or material at the correct intervals. For the best results, the first repetition should happen very soon after the initial learning, ideally within one day. Further reminders should be given periodically after a few days, a week, a month, and next few months later. This is also why reviewing for materials only before exams lead you to forget everything you had learned immediately after. And if you’ve got structured exercise to reinforce, engage, and embed your learning material, it’s going to have a much greater impact.

An extra approach for long term retention is to focus on the quality of the information. The more relevant, meaningful connections you can make with the new information in your mind with things you already know, the better your memory retention over time. In short, not only trying to memorize everything (referred to as the rote method of learning), you need to relate what you learn and draw connections.

If you learn something, and it is important to you, and you can connect it with many things you already know, your memory retention will be very high. Vice versa, if you learn something and it is not important to you, and you do not connect it with anything you already know, you will have poor retention and require regular repetition. That’s also worked if you want to know how to move on with your ex from your past relationship.

Conclusion

Here is a very helpful discovery about the way in which we forget and to overcome it. Ebbinghaus Curve showed that of the new material we have learned, we often forget the material if we didn’t do retention. It helped us understand a lot about how to gain and retain information.

The matter I think is how we exercise, how we follow up the exercise, and then how often we revisit and refresh our skills are the keys to maximizing long term retention.

“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” – Confucius

Recommended Reading:

http://www.historyofpsychology.net/2015/10/initially-not-psychologist-hermann.html

http://www.growthengineering.co.uk/what-is-the-forgetting-curve/

Debunking Hoax with Comedy

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Introduction: This writing is all about the way that comedy as communication can translate the truth message, even debunking hoax.

Story

I believe every act of communication is in some way an act of translation. Then, what’d you do if you encountered a hoax? Showing the logical explanation? That’s not how communication works.

Have you ever this experienced? When you comment on someone post to point out that “No, it’s not true.” You feel you think you are doing a public service. You think you are helping out. But then, they turns back on you. The crowd backlash against you. They will defend the falsehoods, because it simply resonated with them. Then it’s usually summed up by them saying “Well, I don’t care if it’s true or not, I just believe in it blah blah”. In this scenario the person doing the debunking can end up looking like a prude, a scold, a know-it-all.

But, the reality is that most debunk way and fact checking are not effectively working that way. You know why people share hoaxes? It simply is one of the ways they attempt to make sense of the world around them. They are not a mistake or something we can fully stamp out. They are core to the human experience. This is one of the reasons people get defensive when being confronted with debunking. It is seen as an attack not just on the details of what they posted, but on them personally and the way they view and communicate the world.

The hoax will still be alive. But, what if we debunk the hoax in a fun and light way? We could look to an example of my true story.

On the lovely Sunday morning, I read a post on Facebook showing that the Mother Earth is flat. The only problem is it’s stupid and fake. It’s undebatable. But, they keep believing the Earth is flat, not round. In the end, they’ve stopped arguing because someone posting one meme that describes and shows how the flat Earth during eclipse. Case closed.

While the meme obviously lends itself to a humorous approach, (most) people find humor stuff corrections all the time. Funny meme or jokes corrections go viral every now and again, driving more attention than the hoax. People usually try to debunk hoax with focusing on science and forcing on logic. But we don’t realize with snark and humor really meant to help make the correction more shareable. Placing a joke in dire circumstance that are outside your control is an effective coping mechanism. From my true story, we can see how having fun can actually make debunking more effective.

Comedy As Communication

Communication is a great weapon to express your language. You can’t force people to understand and okay with your opinion. Like,

“Hey, listen up, because I’m about to drop some serious knowledge and truth on you.”

The recipient may reply with some F words.

What I learned from this is if I was going to ever communicate well with other people the opinion that I was gaining, I’d better find a different way of going about it. And that’s when I discovered comedy.

Now comedy travels along a distinct wavelength from other forms of language. What I want to write is the unique ability that the comedy and satire has at circumventing our ingrained perspectives — comedy as the philosopher’s stone. It takes the base metal of our conventional wisdom and transforms it through ridicule into a different way of seeing the world. That it’s about communication that doesn’t just produce greater understanding within the individual, but leads to change. Comedy also can be an information delivery system that scores markedly higher in both credibility and retention than the news media.

Alchemy of Comedy

A great piece of comedy is a verbal magic trick, where you think it’s going over here and then all of a sudden you’re transported over there. And there’s mental delight that’s followed by the laughter, which is releases endorphins in the brain.

And just like that, you’ve been seduced into a different way of looking at something because the endorphins have brought down your defenses. This is the exact opposite of the way that anger and fear and forced, all of the flight-or-fight responses, operate. Flight-or-fight releases adrenalin, which throws our walls up sky-high. And the comedy comes along, dealing with a lot of the same areas where our defenses are the strongest. Only by approaching them through humor instead of adrenalin, we get endorphins and the alchemy of laughter turns our walls into windows, revealing a fresh and unexpected point of view.

Learn of My Story

From my true story, when people believe in the Earth is flat, you can’t just throw the fact or science but starts off by inserting the joke (Earth-during-eclipse meme). And this joke hits the bull’s eye.

This joke short circuits the logical wiring behind the debate and it leaves people with the opportunity, through the laughter, to question its message.

One powerful attribute that joke has as communication is that it’s inherently viral. People can’t wait to pass along that new great joke. And this isn’t some new phenomenon of our wired world. Jokes have been crossing our country with remarkable speed way with various types like memes, cartoons, stand up comedy, satirical writing (read Sokal affair), and more.

Now, you put all of these elements together, when you get the viral appeal of a great joke with a powerful message that’s crafted from honesty and truth, it can have a real world impact at changing and debunking something, even hoax.

Conclusion

My writing here is to suggest to those of you who are good people and seriously trying on creating a better world from fakes, frauds, and hoaxes is to take a little bit of time thinking funny things, because you might just find the solution that you’ve been looking for to debunk all of them.

Recommended reading:

http://towcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/LiesDamnLies_Silverman_TowCenter.pdf

http://theweek.com/articles/596338/11-funniest-new-york-times-corrections-2015

Anies Baswedan: Dragging The Overton Window Our Way

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Brief introduction: This is not tips or guide writing. In this post, I just want to share and introduce the concept of Overton Window. An interesting concept to show how public opinion works politically. Given an example of Anies Baswedan from the gubernatorial election.

Introduction

I came across a term I had never read before in reference to public policy and politics called the Overton Window. It was developed by Joe Overton while he served as senior vice president at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy from 1992-2003. Essentially, Overton believed that a given point in time, the number of public policy options that politicians are allowed to consider is rather limited.

The “window” of politically acceptable options is not defined by what politicians prefer (or what is even beneficial to society), but rather by what politicians believe they can support and still get elected or re-elected. The Overton Window shifts to include new options not when new ideas are presented by politicians but instead when the public (who elects them) accept the new ideas and demands they become policy. Policies inside the window are politically acceptable meaning they believe they can survive the next election. The degrees of acceptance of ideas can be described roughly as:

  • Unthinkable
  • Radical
  • Acceptable
  • Sensible
  • Popular
  • Policy

The concept of the Overton Window intrigues me, as I often struggle to believe the politicians. What I see about politicians is a group that constrained to the only advocate for ideas that fall within the window. While they may personally believe in better ideas, most don’t have the fortitude to fight public opinion because it makes re-election more difficult. As a result, their voting records tend to be reflections of voter demands rather than better ideas.

The Overton Window also means of visualizing which ideas define that range of acceptance by where they fall in it. Proponents of policies outside the window seek to persuade or educate the public so that the windows either moves or expands to encompass them. The opponents of current policies, or similar ones currently within the window, likewise seek to convince people that these should be considered unacceptable.

Anies Baswedan shifted the Overton Window.

For an example, just a few months ago, the idea of Anies Baswedan winning the Jakarta gubernatorial election was all but impossible to even conceive of. Imagine the man who allies with Islamic extremist with the history of violence could win the election. The man who creates DP 0% which is considered as a utopia but they did win it. At first, they were only a handful of radicals, unreasonable, and just plain crazy, but over time, the idea got support and they managed to gain acceptability among the masses. The example where the Overton Window has been moved so that the positions which were once viewed as unthinkably radical has become the accepted wisdom while those that were once considered mainstream are now outside the window.

So, how do you shift the Overton Window? How did Anies drag the window? The answer is simple: you have to stand outside it and pull. Social change always begins with a few brave and crazy people who dare to advocate something previously unthinkable. They’re perfectly honest, suffer scorn, ridicule, and opprobrium, and often underestimated. But by their mere existence, by their willingness to stand fast on their principles and refusal to compromise, they stretch the boundaries of what the majority considers possible and redefine what counts as the moderate position.

Any effective political communications strategy also needs these three things: a victim, a villain, and hope. Anies convinced the public (lower middle class as a victim) that they face a real danger (he brings religion and “keberpihakan” in this case). Then he identifies the people and the institutions behind the threat (the current government). Then he shows how the villain (who’s actually his opponent) can be defeated and security restored. The idea is to produce a cognitive and emotional itch that needs to be scratched by offering a sense of hope and shared a purpose.

So, it very much matters who wins that battle of intensity. That is how the Overton Windows is shifted and dragged, how views from outside the mainstream come to be inside. Anies gets this.

What I see about Anies is he’s the ultimate opportunist so he has drifted from a moderate and quick-witted intelligence to taking shots at the other opponents as the opportunity presented itself (he’s that low but still win it) and making allies with extremists. He is also the leverage candidate because he invests everything into the next deal he thinks he can win. The other thing is he’s a risk taker but he is might not foolish. He saw Habib Rizieq picked support after he used religion to gain support. Then a guy named Buni Yani came into the battle so Anies is about to drag the window a few clicks in the right direction. The beauty of Anies’ move is it’s not only shaping the public opinion but also shifting the window of acceptable discourse. From the window of Unthinkable-Radical into Acceptable-Sensible-Popular and could become Policy. But, all of his moves can be determined because of public opinion. Anies couldn’t drag the window without the people’s will. So, the one who needs to be blamed is us, the people.

“In a democracy people get the leaders they deserve” – Joseph De Maistre

Conclusion

The Overton Window is a concept that has helped me (and most people) make some sense of what seems to make no sense at all sometimes where politics is concerned.

Understanding this concept has helped when trying to understand people and identify leaders’ opinion in a more meaningful way. And it does provide a useful way to filter cognitive bias which may sometimes lead to perceptual distortion, inaccurate judgment, illogical interpretation, and sometimes just plain irrational behavior. This is also one way to help understand the bigger picture in public policy debate and uncover key trends which can be mystifying at times.

Recommended reading and watching:

http://noisyroom.net/blog/2012/04/20/whats-an-overton-window-again/

Asumsi Episode 15 – Persepsi Lo Bisa Diatur!

Learning with Feynman Technique

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Brief Introduction: In this post, I would like to share a learning technique I often use when I am exploring a new topic or subject. And yes, this technique can be applied to learn whatever you want.  

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Introduction

People resist learning hard things — be it a graduate student majoring fundamental physics or a YouTube artist taming a new editing tool — because learning is hard and requires significant amounts of deep work.

And when was the last time you really had to study a new topic or subject which was totally new to you? It’s actually strange, but this is not something that happens automatically if you’re not a genius nerd. I know this is how it works for me, I really have to put serious energy into putting myself towards new things.

I tend to learn things slowly and am incapable of explaining subjects once I intuitively understand something. I feel that like it frustrates me because I want to become a better speaker and use my knowledge to better decode and understand situations. In this current world that I live in, I need to be a learning machine but more importantly the machine that can apply learnings efficiently. Then, I find the Feynman Technique.

The Feynman Technique

Named after the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman who, in addition to being a brilliant scientist, was also called “The Great Explainer” for his ability to relay complex ideas to others in simple, intuitive ways. The Feynman Technique is a method for learning or reviewing a concept quickly by explaining it in plain, simple language. It gives you a quick, efficient way to shore up those areas using targeted learning. It’s a simple technique, but it’ll help you study much more efficiently once you put into action.

So, how do you actually use it?

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Feynman learned by trying to explain things simply. If he couldn’t explain it simply, he didn’t understand it well enough. This is how the Feynman Technique for learning emerged.

  1. Pick a subject. Take out a blank sheet of paper and write down the subject you want to learn at the top. Then, write out what you know about the subject.
  2. Pretend to teach it to a beginner. Explain the subject in your own words as if you were teaching it to a child. Not your smart adult friend but rather a 9-year-old who has just enough vocabulary and attention span to understand basic concepts and relationships. This way, you will force yourself to understand the concept at a deeper level and simplify connections between ideas with only the most common words. If you struggle, you have a clear understanding of where you have some gaps. You will pinpoint exactly your problem areas and can address them.
  3. Review. Once you inevitably found the gaps, problem areas, or failed to explain something, go back to the sources. This is where the learning starts. Now you know where you got stuck, go back to the notes or any examples and try to re-learn it until you can explain in basic terms. Identifying the boundaries of your understanding also limits the mistakes you’re liable to make and increases your chance of success when applying knowledge.
  4. Simplify and use analogies. Now you have a set of hand-crafted notes. Review them to make sure you didn’t mistakenly write any confusing or complex explanations again. Refine them into a simple story that flows or create an analogy through a metaphor to understand it better and then read them out loud. If the explanation isn’t simple or still sounds confusing, that’s a good signal that your understanding in that area still needs some work.

The Feynman Technique is perfect for learning a new subject, understanding an existing subject better, remembering a subject, or studying for a quiz. I wasn’t kidding when I said it could be applied to learn whatever you want.

Conclusion

Voila! The next time you come across a difficult subject you want to understand on a deeper level, you could try this simple technique to see if it makes a difference in your level of grasping the subject. I hope you found this post useful.

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Recommended reading:

https://www.scotthyoung.com/learnonsteroids/grab/TranscriptFeynman.pdf

http://calnewport.com/blog/2015/11/25/the-feynman-notebook-method/

https://curiosity.com/topics/learn-anything-in-four-steps-with-the-feynman-technique-curiosity/

Footnotes:

Thanks to Curiosity App (you can download it on App Store) who introduced me to the Feynman Technique. Get smarter every day!

Catching The Fish: Creativity

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Brief introduction: This is non-expert writing on neuroscience and physics of creativity. Just be aware that what is written here is personal thoughts, but is backed up by scientific sources. If you read any of my writing and this post also included the usual tips that might help you stimulate your creativity.

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Introduction

I drunk my water and got focus on the slide. Mbak Sarah and Mbak Gadis begun the workshop which called themselves as Rockstar Mentors, held by 1% LAB (they’re on Instagram @rockstarmentors). They started with the famous onomatopoeic phrase “Om Telolet Om” and discuss why on earth is this becoming famous? We once lived in the moment where the not-so-interesting thing can go viral in hours. And this was an introduction to the next slide. They spoke on the learning framework named conceptual thinking, where the intuition begins, what is self-consciousness, what is the connection to the conceptual thinking, and how creativity works.

I’m intrigued. Is creativity a skill I can beef up like a weak muscle? When can I enable the creativity? Then they answered my bewildering question. Creativity works in mysterious and often paradoxical ways. There’s no evidence that we could control the randomness of creativity. The key is “random”, something that happening without conscious decision. We need to wake up the most important part of our brain to understand the creativity, which Sigmund Freud stated as unconscious mind, where the creativity begin. It’s amazing to see that the vast majority of your brain activity is actually going out without you being aware of it. Ideas are generated when your brain takes existing knowledge and memories which stored in the unconscious mind.

I honestly don’t believe in randomness. I believe everything happens for a logical reason. Matthew Lieberman described how neuroscience is helping in understanding creativity in people. He underwent a brain computed tomography (CT) and positron emission tomography (PET) to mapping the brain’s activity during problem-solving and thinking which leads to a connection between basal ganglia function and frontal lobes function. The features of basal ganglia (which is also described in the workshop) could play specific roles in decision making and automatic evaluations. And the frontal lobes are responsible for motor skills and cognitive function. Make a sense. Whenever we generate an idea, both part “lights up”. But how to create an idea? How to accelerate it? Mbak Sarah answered my question by simply creating a work. But I was still stuck. How can I create a work when I have zero ideas? Maybe the answer is by digging the old problem in memories. That’s hard to do, but not impossible.

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I looked back to “light up” moment then I realized instead of looking for how to create ideas, I should focus on the networks that connect existing knowledge and memories to generate the ideas. Like, put a bait to entice the poisson (which means fish in French). The more bait you put, the more chance you catch the fish.

It’s not how you want to fish, it’s how the fish want to bite. Ideas are a lot like fish. If you want to catch little fish, you can stay in the shallow water. But if you want to catch the big fish, you’ve got to go deeper. In creativity, everything, anything that is a thing, also comes up from the deepest level. Freud mentioned as unconscious mind. You can have the best boat at the marina and the finest rod and reel in the world, but if you don’t know where the fish are, it doesn’t matter. Even with the best gear, without the knowledge on the boat,  you’d still be out there without catching a thing.

Scientifically speaking, we can observe the probability distribution for the counts of events that occur randomly in a given time (and space). Some events (in this case, ideas) are rather rare, they don’t happen that often. Then, I use Poisson Distribution to observe the probabilities of various numbers of “events” (I once used Poisson Distribution to forecast the occurrence of an earthquake).

The Poisson Distribution will tell how likely it is that event occurs. In order to apply the Poisson distribution, events must be independent, so that one event neither diminishes nor increase the chance of another. Given the formula of Poisson distribution, it will be noticed the only variable is the x. That variable is the only way in which one Poisson situation differs from another and it is the only determining variable of the Poisson equation. Specifically, the most the x, the more chance of the event is occurring (in the space of time and space).

screen-shot-2017-01-02-at-11-19-22-pm

The Poisson Distribution

In a sufficiently short length of time, only zero or one event can occur (simultaneous events are impossible). And what is the connection to catch the fish? I change the variable x as work(s). This work is not the result of an action, but this is action itself. The more you works, the more chance an idea comes. I think this is the closest response for me to get Mbak Sarah’s answer. And thanks to Mbak Gadis for introduced the personality type (Sensing-iNtuition) which leads to processing the answer. Yes, I still remember the discussion on the second day!

Jung also said all creativity is based on knowledge and context which someone has accumulated up until that point in their lives. The more works, the more knowledge. Hence, the ideas.

But, what kind of works?

In fact, creativity draws on so many different works that it can be hard for us to know where to start. “As we home in on the different cognitive systems that are involved in different aspects of creativity, it pulls in more and more systems until eventually the whole brain is involved,” Jung says.

One important thing to remember is that creativity is not a passive process. Creativity is more than just staring at the clouds. Simply sitting back and waiting for inspiration is a recipe for losing creativity. Instead, focus on seeking out the things that inspire you that help you focus your mind on creativity. I use Poisson Distribution and Neuroscience’s sources to figure out how we could improve our creativity. I find that there are five principles at work:

Maximize chance opportunities. Stay open to new experiences, knowledge from varied and diverse sources. The broader your knowledge base, the stronger your brain’s ability to form new neural connections and associations, leading to creative new ideas. Lieberman stated that more deliberative components to decision making, the better.

Ask questions. Creative people are insatiably curious. Generate a work environment where ambiguity results in further questions being explored, especially if you don’t have a correct answer. Remember that curiosity breeds creativity.

Take risks. One thing that prevents you from the ability to see what is new and different is that you are afraid to make mistakes. Bohm said if one will not try anything until he is assured that he will not make a mistake in whatever he does, he will never be able to learn anything new at all.

Just get your ideas out there. If you get that thought out there and externalize it, it frees you up to go onto the next idea. Don’t worry about whether the idea is good enough. Once it’s out there, then you can say, ‘oh that was terrible’ — and keep going.

Try to give enough time off. We tend to think of creativity as this flash of inspiration that comes unbidden and when we least expect it. Neuroscience is proving that’s true. But there are some things we can do to create more opportunities for these kinds of Eureka moments that lead to more creativity. Helie and Sun actually realized what happens in the brain during a moment of insight. They found that it required our brain in a diffuse mode: when we’re daydreaming, spacing out, or not thinking of anything in particular–letting our minds wander, so to speak. So there’s good neurological science behind why we tend to get our best ideas in the toilet or just as we’re falling asleep. However, insight problems are more likely to be solved by the implicit processes.

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Conclusion

Creativity rarely comes so easy, and tales like this might lead you to believe that some people are creative and some people just aren’t. Creativity isn’t a matter of mere talent. Fortunately, science shows all of those aren’t true. Everyone is creative regardless of age, gender, ethnic, and academic performance.

Creativity is might be predictable. There’s nothing random about it—and there are ways to make yourself creative.

But, creativity, in other words, is a slog. Sorry, no shortcuts. So, you’ll keep practicing. You can keep waiting around for the Eureka moment (or for the fish to come). Or you can get to work.

Acknowledgement

Clearly, much work and research are still needed in order to make sense of the solution of creativity. The views and conclusions contained in this post should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the scientific researchers.

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Recommended reading:

http://www.scn.ucla.edu/pdf/Intuition.pdf

http://ccn.psych.purdue.edu/papers/chap_3.pdf

http://journalpsyche.org/understanding-the-human-mind/

https://www.umass.edu/wsp/resources/poisson/

Footnote: 

Shout out to Mbak Sarah @sarahsoeprapto and Mbak Gadis @gadisazahra for giving shed light on idea and creativity with your fancy tips and ultimate knowledge. Because dumb is never cute!