# Habits and Creativity

English

Habits are a funny thing. We reach for them mindlessly, setting our brains on auto-pilot and relaxing into the unconsious comfort of familiar routine. "not choice, but habit rules the unreflecting hred." William Wordsworth said in the 19th century. In the ever-changing 21 century, even the word "habit" carries a negative implication.

中文

习惯是个有趣的现象。我们不假思索地按习惯行事,将大脑设定为自动导航,放松地进入由熟悉的套路所营造的无意识的舒适状态。19 世纪时,诗人威廉.华兹华斯曾说过:“是习惯——而非选择——支配着不会思考的羊群。”如今,在千变万化的 21 世纪,就连“习惯”这个词也带上了负面含义。

English

So it seems paradoxical to talk about habits in the same context as creativity and innovation. But brain researchers have discovered that when we consiously develop new habits, we create parallel paths, and even entirely new brain cells, that can jump our trains of thought onto new, innovative tracks.

中文

因此,把习惯放在和创造性以及创新能力相同的语境下予以讨论,就显得有点自相矛盾了。但是,大脑研究专家却发现,当人们有意识地养成新习惯的时候,就会在大脑中生成相应的通道,甚至还会形成全新的脑细胞,这些通道和全新的脑细胞能把我们的思路引入新的创新轨道。

English

Rather than dismissing ourselves as unchangeable creatures of habit, we can instead direct our own change by consciously developing new habits. In fact, the more new things we try -- the more we step outside our comfort zone -- the more inherently creative we become, both in the workplace and in our personal lives.

中文

与其将自己看作是一成不变的习惯性生物,我们其实可以通过有意识地养成新习惯来指导自己做出改变。事实上,我们尝试的新事物越多,即越是跨出我们的舒适区,我们就会变得约有内在的创造力,在工作和个人生活中都会如此。

English

But don't bother trying to kill off old habits; once those ruts of procedure are worn into the brain, they're there to stay. Instead, the new habits we deliberately press into ourselves create parallel path-ways that can bypass those old roads.

中文

但是,不必试图费力地把旧习惯统统消灭。因为,一旦那些程序路径被植入大脑,它们就会永远留在其中。然而,有意识形成的新习惯则可以生成相应的通道,它们会绕过旧的路径

English

"The first thing needed for innovation is a fascination with wonder" say Dawna Markova, author of The Open Mind. "But we are taught instead to 'decide', just as our president calls himself 'the Decider'." She adds, however, that "to decide is to kill off all possibilities but one. A good innovational thinker is always exploring the many other possibilities."

中文

《开发性思维》的作者达瓦纳.马克瓦说:“创新的首要条件是必须有强烈的好奇心。然而,我们却被教导去‘做决定’,就像我们的总统称自己为‘决策者’一样。”但是,她补充道:“做决定就意味着必须摒弃其他,只选其一,而一个擅长创新思维的人永远都在探索其他诸多的可能性。”

English

All of us work through problems in ways of which we're unaware,she says. Researchers in the late 1960s discoveredthat humans are born with the capacity to approach challenges in four primary ways: analytically, procedurally, relationally (or collaboratively) and innovatively. At the end of adolescence, however,the brain shuts down half of that capacity, preserving only those modes of thought that have seemed most valuableduring the first decade or so of life.

English

The current emphasis on standardized testing highlights analysis and procedure, meaning that few of us inherently use our innovative and collaborative modes of thought. "This breaks the major rule in the American belief system -that anyone can do anything," explains M. J. Ryan, author of the 2006 book This Year I Will... and Ms. Markova's business partner. "That's a lie that we have perpetuated, and it fosters commonness. Knowing what you're good at and doing even more of it creates excellence." This is where developing new habits comes in.