Change of Perspective

Musings on Writing, Reading, and Life Narratives

Fiction writers and literary critics speak of point of view. Social scientists are more likely to discuss perspective. But both of these terms refer to essentially the same construct: the consciousness behind the perception and narration of experience. Each individual’s point of view is unique, and point of view shapes the stories people tell to themselves and to others about themselves and their relationships with their environment. The same event narrated from two different perspectives will produce two different stories.

A change of perspective can expand our perception and reframe our thinking about our experiences. We can all benefit from an occasional change of perspective.

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Napping for Creativity

Prototype - We’ll Fill This Space, but First a Nap -

Creativity, in general, involves the ability to see associations or relationships between disparate objects, items, or concepts. In the mysterious process of creativity, the brain forges new neural pathways between previously unrelated things. Research now suggests that sleep may aid in the creative process, just as it improves performance, learning, and memory: "While traditional stories about sleep and creativity emphasize vivid dreams hastily transcribed upon waking, recent research highlights the importance of letting ideas marinate and percolate."

"Letting ideas marinate and percolate" refers to the characteristic step in creativity known as incubation. Traditional advice to sleep on a problem refers to allowing time for the incubation of ideas. One deterrent to creativity, paradoxically, can be thinking about something too much. Once you stop thinking about it and move on to something else, the solution or answer may come to you in one of those "Aha!" moments. New research, discussed in this article, suggests that sleep may aid in the incubation of creative ideas.

To allow employees to nurture the creative process, several companies--including Google, Cisco Systems, and Procter & Gamble--are installing Energy Pods, "leather recliners with egglike hoods that block noise and light, for employees to take naps at work."

Apparently the creative minds that thought up the notion of the Power Nap had the right idea after all.



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