By: Chuck Frey
A new book is the perfect antidote for those times when your brain gets stuck in rutted thinking.
Everyone at one time or another has had occasions when their mind gets stuck. You can’t think of any new creative ideas and you don’t know what to do next.
Tanner Christensen’s new book, Think Unstuck, is a great antidote for those times. This marvelous little book contains over 100 ways to stimulate your creativity, each one only a single page in length. In fact, the author urges you not to read it cover to cover but to open it to random pages for creative stimulation. Examples of the creative stimuli included in this book include “set an unrealistic goal,” “think of a solution that fails” (and then consider its opposite) and “pretend you’re a cartoon” (where the laws of the real world don’t apply).
Each page gives a short summary of the stimulus, and always closes with an action statement to spur you into action. The book is well-written and is small enough that you can slip it into a computer bag or larger purse. In other words, you can treat it like a go-anywhere creative catalyst.
At the beginning of the book Christensen shares an interesting analogy that sheds light on how we tend to get caught in the trap of rutted thinking. He compares our typical thinking to pouring a teaspoon of hot water over a bowl of ice cream. The water tends to form grooves in the ice cream, channeling the rest of the water. If you continue to pour more water on the ice cream, the grooves get even deeper.
In much the same way our minds tend to get deeply rutted in existing patterns of thought. Christensen points out that it’s a very useful characteristic of the human brain, because it helps us to function without having to think about everything. But it gets in the way when we want to think creatively.
“Getting unstuck means that we need to find new paths in our mind for the information that we come across every day. We need to create different ways to focus our attention, translate new information, and interpret everything in our day-to-day lives,” Christensen explains.
That is what Think Unstuck was written to do, and it does it very well.