Everybody needs creativity – writers, painters, choreographers, managers… well, maybe not accountants. It’s a rare individual who hasn’t run dry of clever, creative ideas at some point - usually just when they are needed most - and creativity is a whimsical creature that simply will not be tamed.
Enter Javy Wong Galindo, a “creative consultant,” to teach us The Power of Thinking Differently. Galindo recognizes that the real world demands that we apply ourselves in logical, proven ways to ordinary problems, but too much of that sensible behavior and linear thinking can rob us of the ability to let loose with a string of wild and wacky thoughts. Our creative muscles stiffen and atrophy from disuse, and before we know it, we’re dull, plodding, rusty cogs in the wheel.
Galindo swears that “reason and creativity are not mutually exclusive.” This is great news for all of us who aren’t free to wander about in a stream-of-consciousness haze all day, but how are we supposed to balance scribbling poems and paying bills? According to Galindo, it’s all about being “less like someone else and more yourself.”
Throughout The Power of Thinking Differently, Galindo takes us on a tour of the Island of Pickles and Doughnuts. Snippets of this allegorical tale show us a culture in which people identify and relate to everything –everything! — as either a pickle or a doughnut. They simply can’t conceive of olives and tarts, much less coleslaw and slushies. Reading about the inhabitants is at first amusing, then frustrating, and finally alarming as we come to realize that they are we.
Galindo’s first objective, then, is to show us our creative blocks as seen by an outsider. He asks us to consider habitual perceptions that keep us trapped in the pickle factory. From there he calls on science to help us understand why we keep making doughnuts – we actually have a biological propensity that pushes us toward the familiar, non-challenging and ordinary and holds us back whenever we attempt to break out of the doughnut hole.
As the story of the Island of Pickles and Doughnuts reaches its climax, Galindo lays out some positive motivation for embracing creative thought that aren’t threats to our bio-demands and that actually reassure the logic process that ‘different’ can enhance our health and safety.
The Power of Thinking Differently takes readers down several paths at once, introducing different landscapes that sometimes overlap. This approach might cause disorientation, denial, or even fear; it definitely changes our view of how the creative process flows.
The how-to rules for thinking differently fill only a few pages, and that’s as it should be. After all, following a list of Ways to Be Creative is really just making another doughnut, isn’t it? Instead of spelling out a hackneyed formula that’s just like all those others you’ve seen, Javy Galindo takes readers on a journey through foreign and exotic terrain, opening our eyes to the possibility of more than pickles and pastries, and transcending all known mental food groups.