Those nasty negative emotions. If only we could just do away with them, right? But they have value, and they show up more in creative (right-brained) thinkers. Here’s why they are both valuable and in larger quantity in creative types, according to Jordan Peterson:
A tragic turn of events unleashes new, unfamiliar superpowers that shock the wielder, eventually forcing him to face his moral obligation to reduce the suffering of those around him.
This week I started working on my new novel Super Human: Out of Time, the sequel to Super Human.
The idea for the sequel was born out of a recent tragedy. Anxiety is a theme in the first book, and it explores the reframing strategies I’ve used with some success in my life. A childhood classmate of mine read Super Human and told me she wanted her young adult son to read it because she thought he’d find those strategies helpful. Tragically, since that conversation, her son unexpectedly passed away.
I cannot pretend to understand what her family must be going through, but the news hit me hard. I wanted to extract some meaning and value from this horrible event; I hope I can facilitate something good coming from something very, very bad. So, Out of Time will examine human despair, hopefully in a way that sparks useful thinking.
If you haven’t yet checked out Super Human, treat yourself to some thought-provoking, inspirational science fiction today:
I’m proud to announce the release of Super Human on Amazon, eBook is free with Kindle Unlimited, otherwise just 99 cents (for a short time):
You can also find it on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/superhumanbook/
My editor worked nights and weekends to get this to the world as fast as possible:
He got it out so fast he missed that the cover needs a tagline. Until the new cover is out, here is a sneak peek at the tagline: The next stage in human evolution is what you think. I hope you check it out, I think you’ll like it.
I recently happened upon an interesting piece 1Acknowledging and Dealing with the Fear of PSI, Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 1984, vol 78, pp. 133-143. by Dr. Charles T. Tart over at the University of California. The article discusses the fear of ESP, but— ESP aside— contains remarkable insight into human nature.
In it, he discusses an interesting psychological theory called “social masking”. He explains it like this:
Briefly, the social masking theory recognizes the fact that our implicit social contract often calls for not really understanding other people.
It is as if we had contracted,
“I’ll support your illusions if you’ll support mine.”
By “illusions” I mean the incorrect perception of our true motivations and feelings because we attend to a more acceptable fantasy in order to avoid seeing unacceptable aspects of our true self.
Persons might consciously believe, for example, that they are sympathetic listeners, when they are actually driven by an unconscious, unacceptable fear of feeling inferior and being rejected: Thus identifying with the myth or illusion of being a sympathetic listener simultaneously avoids the unpleasant feelings of fear of rejection and subtly obligates others to accept the person because he or she acts like a sympathetic listener.
“…a man does need his rest, and Edison was not above the occasional catnap — provided it was not devoted solely to sleep. Like most people, he noticed that insights and brainstorms often occur at the edges of sleep — when the border guard of the prefrontal cortex is going off duty and the more bohemian precincts like the occipital lobe, where imagery is processed, are free to play. But those insights can be fleeting, lost forever if the sleep that allowed them to exist in the first place overtakes you before you can wake up and write them down. So Edison would nap sitting up in a chair, with his arms draped over the sides and a steel ball in each hand. On the floor on either side of the chair was a metal pan. If he fell too deeply asleep, the balls would fall with a clatter, awakening him in time for him to rescue any useful thought before it flashed back into the cognitive vapor.” 1Time Magazine, November 25, 2013, The Spark of Invention, Jeffrey Kluger
Want more? Here are some specifics on programming your dreams.
|↑1||Time Magazine, November 25, 2013, The Spark of Invention, Jeffrey Kluger|
Think of creativity more broadly. It applies to every goal we have. “Make wrongs” are contrary, they stifle creative thoughts.
If you can’t get enough John Cleese, here’s another talk where he talks about the value of sleeping on creative problems.
Leo Widrich shares many strategies to increasing our creativity in his article, Why we have our best ideas in the shower: The science of creativity (thanks, Titania Richard).
I have a lot of creative friends: writers, designers, artists. They can all attest to one simple fact: we have a lot of ideas that just aren’t that good.
This truth is not isolated to creativity. Or rather it is, but our definition of creativity is too limiting. We are creating thoughts all the time. “Creative types” are better at recognizing those low value ideas and refining them in private until they become good enough to share.
The presence of bad ideas is especially true around emotionally charged topics. When we are upset, our initial thoughts tend to not be that good.
Facebook has become our outlet for our low-value ideas. Social media can be a powerful catalyst for change, as long as we put some mental effort in to it.
Recognize that throwaway thought and resist the temptation to share it with the world. Yes, there is a terrific idea somewhere in there! Give your mind time to roll it over and look at it from many angles. Consider the truth in its opposite. Start a draft, revise it throughout the day, or even over several days. There is no urgency to post it now. Your friends will appreciate that you took the extra time to craft thoughts worth reading!