Filling Holes Part III: Habit vs. Creativity

So your brain keeps filling in the holes, solving problems in the way it has learned over time. Because the brain reinforces itself and strengthens it's model with every affirmation, over time habits become stronger, intertwined. That's why you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Or as posted in a nearby designers cubicle:

"The force of habit is the enemy of creative power."

It is more than simple habits. It is thought itself, your perception of reality, and it changes what you think actually happened. This is partly to blame for why it is possible to get many different accounts of exactly the same situation.

“Thoughts and memories are associatively linked, and again, random thoughts never really occur. Inputs in the brain auto-associatively link to themselves, filling in the present, and auto-associatively link to what normally follows next. We call this chain of memories thought, and although its path is not deterministic, we are not fully in control of it either.” (On Intelligence, P75)

The repetitive programming of your brain starts determining the what next in more limited ways, even changing what you see (more on this in the next post). No wonder John Forbes Nash was so consumed by achieving mathematical greatness by 30. Is that when you grow up? Is it grow old? Maybe it is grow static.

I think that is why it is essential to live to continually challenge yourself in new ways. Find new adventures. Challenge your fears. Do something different everyday. Learn something out of your sweet spot. Challenge others.

Otherwise, you may be destined to perceive life as the same set of round holes, unable to see that you really posess a square peg.