On my desk sits a Rubik’s cube.
I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for a clean desk. A cup of coffee, my laptop, and a notebook full of ideas are all I need. But, as much as I love the minimalist feel, I won’t remove this colored cube from my workplace.
Every time I’m stumped, I twist and turn the block until it resembles a mishmash of colors presented in irregular patterns across all sides. Then, I’ll take a few minutes to put them all back in their place. I won’t continue to work until I’ve solved the cube entirely.
When I first picked up a Rubik’s cube, I was perplexed. The cube came with each side all one color. Then, I mixed it up and stared. Each side was now a rainbow of colors. Still, I knew it had to be able to return to original form – it came that way after all. I watched YouTube videos of experts solving the cube in a matter of seconds. I read tutorials on how to work the cube back to its original form. Eventually, I got the hang of it.
It now takes me a few minutes to solve a Rubik’s cube, but I can do it no matter how messed up it seems to be.
The cube comes in particularly handy when I’m trying to be creative. When I first watched cubists (as I call them) complete the challenge in a matter of seconds, I was in awe. It was like something out of A Beautiful Mind. They were always thinking 10 steps ahead of their current move. Being able to process all of that information was a gift of sorts.
Here’s the thing: although twisting the blocks into their respective places may seem like an act of genius, it’s really just a matter of memorization.
There are patterns, tricks, and memorized sequences that help to get the job done. It’s not so much a gift of sheer intelligence but rather a game of memorization and application.
Continue reading “Systematizing Creativity for the Seemingly Unimaginative”