Sunday, 22 September 2013

A Cluttered Mind; The Links Between Creativity and 'Mess'

Largely, having untidy surroundings or possessions is seen in a negative light. This is because we perceive it to be a lack of cleanliness and order to our lives. We are wrong. Messiness is an endearing trait that suggests our minds are focused on higher things. It has been proven that people in a disorganized setting have been more inclined to break out of their comfort zone and move past what is considered 'traditional' and/or accepted. 

Sunni Brown, an author and leader of the Doodle Revolution, says that, doodling is considered "anti-intellectual" and "counter productive" because "in our society we are so focused on verbal information that we are blinded to visual information", such as the doodle. Also people who doodle when exposed to information are 29% more likely to retain that information. Having messy school books or work notes is a good thing as it demonstrates you taking preemptive measures to stop yourself from loosing your focus.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron often grabs the headlines with tales of his absent-mindedness including leaving confidential documents unguarded on a train and forgetting his young daughter in a pub. Far from off-putting, this should be considered a sign of greater things occurring under the surface.

In conflict with this idea, the anthropologist Mary Douglas noted 50 years ago that there was a connection between cleanliness and moral righteousness. What does 'moral righteousness' mean? Is this not just what our society considers to be acceptable? Are creative geniuses not often shunned for their free thinking and wild ideas? Now I leave you with a quote: 

‘You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.’
Friedrich Nietzsche

Further Reading:

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