Art For Thinking
The other day, I was watching John Cleese deliver a speech on creativity. As usual, he was funny, but he also made some exceptional points, and I believe you would be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t check it out. It’s on YouTube, and titled, “John Cleese on Creativity.” It’s 36 minutes, and well worth the time.
The one thing I noticed was every time he lost track of what he was going to say, he would break into light bulb jokes; you know the kind, “how many socialists does it take to screw in a light bulb?” (to find out the answer, watch the video) This tells me two very important things; one is that John Cleese has A.D.D. which is apparent with his random, sporadic, style of comedy, and two that he uses jokes, instead of drugs, to help him through the distraction.
Have you ever noticed, when you start talking to someone, and they start doodling, or writing something, that they seem distracted? What most people don’t realize is that they aren’t distracted, they are thinking through what you’re saying. When my stepfather used to get ready for one of his ridiculously long lectures, he would tell me to just sit, and listen (for 6 hours) while he just rambled on and on about the so called crime I committed, (like not folding the laundry). Here’s just a tip for those types of parents, give it up. You’re not getting their attention, you’re just giving them a reason to fall asleep, mentally.
The best way to keep the attention of someone, especially a creative person is to give them something to keep their mind active. If their proclivity is for writing, give them a notepad, and pencil; it they are into visual arts, try a sketch pad. When you give them something to keep their mind busy, you are helping them to better process what you are saying, and helping them to work on a solution.
Don’t forget, even though it seems like it, you aren’t talking to a brick wall. The human mind is a very powerful tool, and it works best when you keep it active. The active mind is also the only way to work through a problem to reach a solution.
The next time you have to talk to someone about a problem, don’t give them a reason to fall mentally asleep, give them something to keep their mind active, and help them to think about their own solutions.