Mind over Matter: How to Organize Your Mind for Enhanced Creativity and Innovation

Let’s going to take a journey into the depths of our minds — well, not too deep, because let’s be real, I’m not a neuroscientist. But, I am here to share with you the incredible ways in which our minds organize information and how, if we’re not careful, it can stifle our creativity. But don’t worry, I’ll also be sharing some tips and tricks on how we can harness that organization to enhance our creativity and tap into our inner resources. And, because I like to practice what I preach, I’ll be sharing some examples of how I’ve done just that in my personal and professional life.

So, let’s talk about filing cabinets. Now, when I say that, I’m not talking about the physical ones in your office, I’m talking about the ones in your mind. See, our mind is an incredible machine, and one of the ways it makes us efficient is by organizing our experiences in a way that makes them easily accessible. Think of it like a library, where similar experiences are filed together, so that when you come across something similar, your mind can say “ah, I know this” and you don’t have to start from scratch.

Let me give you an example, imagine you’ve learned how to open a door. You’ve figured out that there’s a handle, you push or pull it, and voila, the door opens. Next time you see a door, you don’t have to go through the process of figuring out how to open it again. You just know how to do it.

Now, this filing system is great for efficiency, but it can be a hindrance when it comes to creativity. When we’re looking for something new, and all we see is the familiar, it can feel like we’re stuck in a rut. But here’s the thing, there are other filing cabinets out there, and they’re filled with different experiences, different perspectives, and different ways of thinking. All you have to do is access a different cabinet. And the best part? You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, there’s already an amazing system in place, you just have to tap into it.”

Are you ready to tap into the creative power of different filing cabinets? Here are my top tips to help you intentionally understand the essence of your challenge and access new resources for creativity and innovation:

  1. Start with the basics: Before you can tackle a challenge, you need to understand its core elements. Break it down to its simplest form and ask yourself what the real problem is.
  2. Get curious: Once you understand the basics, it’s time to start asking questions. The more curious you are, the more likely you are to find new and innovative solutions.
  3. Look outside your industry: Sometimes the best solutions come from industries or fields that are completely unrelated to yours. Keep an open mind and be willing to look outside your usual sources of inspiration.
  4. Collaborate: Collaborating with others can help you access new filing cabinets, and bring new perspectives and ideas to the table.
  5. Embrace failure: Failure is an inevitable part of the creative process. Embrace it, learn from it and keep moving forward.

When it comes to solving a challenge, sometimes the most unexpected solutions come from the most unexpected places. Take Speedo for example, they wanted to create a swimsuit that would help swimmers move through water quickly and change direction fast.

And where did they turn to for inspiration? Sharks. That’s right, the same creatures that inspired Jaws and countless nightmares, also inspired the creation of a swimsuit that was banned in the Olympics.

You see, Speedo’s team of engineers and designers looked at the way sharks move through the water, and noticed that their scales, called dermal denticles, were arranged in a specific way that reduced drag and increased speed. So, they borrowed this bio-mimicry concept and applied it to the design of their swimsuits. The result was a suit that was so effective, it was banned from the Olympics for giving swimmers an unfair advantage.

Now, that’s what I call an unexpected solution. And it just goes to show that sometimes, the most unconventional ideas can lead to groundbreaking innovations. So, the next time you’re facing a challenge, don’t be afraid to look to the most unlikely sources for inspiration. Who knows, you might just come up with a solution that’s so effective, it gets banned

Remember, the key to accessing different filing cabinets for creativity and innovation is to be curious, open-minded, and willing to experiment. So, go out there and explore the unknown, and you never know what kind of amazing solutions you might find!



Former Disney Innovation Catalyst I Founder of Unleash your Creativity Masterclass I Founder of HiHelloSura I Small Creativity Habits for Big Change

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Sura Al-Naimi

Former Disney Innovation Catalyst I Founder of Unleash your Creativity Masterclass I Founder of HiHelloSura I Small Creativity Habits for Big Change