Could these findings be used to boost creativity?
One of the most important aspects of innovation is creativity. But the trait has been elusive. How on earth do you generate it? Stories of artists regale us with bizarre methods. For instance, Salvador Dali would nap in a chair with his keys dangling over a metal plate. Once he relaxed enough to let go of the keys, they’d go crashing down onto the plate, rousing him from his slumber, his dream still fresh in his mind. Dali would then rush to capture the memory of his dream.
The Germans have a lovely saying for the benefits of keeping an idle mind: ‘die Seele baumeln lassen’, meaning ‘let the soul dangle’.
The Renaissance painter Albrecht Dürer was regarded by his friends as a master in the art of mind-wandering. He could become ‘enwrapped’ in his own pleasant reflections, wrote the German humanist Willibald Pirckheimer, at which times Dürer ‘would seem the happiest person on Earth’.