Saturday, October 2, 2010

Thoughts From Head First by Tony Buzan

Tony Buzan wrote Head First, a book that comes many years after his first book. He is called "the biggest name in memory." He is the world-renowned inventor of Mind Maps and the best-selling author of Use Both Sides of Your Brain, Use Your Memory, and The Mind Map Book, among many others. He appears on television and does lectures all over the world. His work has been published in 100 countries and 30 languages. And he advises companies, governments, businesses, and Olympic athletes.

I don't remember how I discovered Tony Buzan, but I think it was because I read about him in Michael Gelb's How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci. I enjoy mind mapping, and so I'm going to make a start on some of the ideas in this particular book: Head Start. These ideas are taken out of a box on the page and are not actually part of the information Buzan is giving for you to use...more for you to know. My goal is always to make you think!
Buzan says: Creativity is by definition AWARENESS:

  1. If Alexander the Great had fought his battles in the way that all the people before had fought them, he would neither have survived nor would we have ever heard of him.
  2. If Beethoven had composed music in exactly the same style as Haydn, he would now be noted as a minor composer, not a giant among giants.
  3. If Elizabeth I of England had accepted the normal restrictions society placed upon women at that time, she would never have become one of the greatest rulers England has ever seen.
  4. If Picasso had only painted like van Gogh, he would have been considered simply as a copyist and irrelevant to the history of art, rather than a towering presence in the pantheon of artistic genius. 
  5. If the greatest athlete of the 20th century, Mohammed Ali, had boxed like the average boxer, he would, literally, have been knocked out of our consciousness! 
So what is Buzan saying here? He's telling you that these people became famous because they thought in different ways--what you might describe as "thinking outside the box"--using all of their intelligences to make their lives successful. You probably think that's what you're doing--and maybe you are--but could you improve on the way you do it and increase your success rate?

Buzan says: It is important to emphasize that creativity is not simply painting a picture or playing a musical instrument. Yes, it is those things, but it is also cooking your evening meal, coming up with an answer to a problem at work, planning your vacation, re-arranging or designing your yard, fixing up your home, or figuring out ways in which your baseball team can beat the opposition. He says that you can develop your creative senses.

Leonardo da Vinci said that there are four main things he had done, and that others needed to do, in order to create a truly creative brain:

a. Develop your senses: Leonardo was recognizing 500 years ahead of his time that Sensory Intelligence was a singular and significant element in a developed, creative brain.
b. Study the art of science: Meaning that science is more than a dull includes Spatial Intelligence, Imagination, Rhythm, Color and Form.
c. Study the Science of Art: Leonardo was correct in realizing that art is not just personal expression or psychoanalysis, it is a very exact and precise science.
d. Realize that, in Some Way, Everything Connects with Everything Else: Leonardo discovered that your brain is an association machine with infinite capacity.

Also, one other principle is that creativity implies getting away from the norm. Normal is that to which your brain has become accustomed; no surprises; the same; no shocks, startles, surprises or that provokes you; and does not stretch your imagination. To create means the opposite: to bring into existence something NEW; to give rise to; to establish an association that has never been established before.

Something to think about, for sure. And Buzan tells you how to do all of these things in his book. I just wanted to give you something to chew on and see if you are as intrigued as I am.

Have a great weekend!

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