STEPS TO CREATIVITY #2
A recent study at Stanford University found creative thinking improves during and after a walk. While participants in the research were leisurely walking on a treadmill, they were instructed to come up with different uses for an object (like a button). The volunteers that were walking came up with four to six more uses for the object than those sitting down.
Steve Jobs, Obama and Mark Zuckerberg often have walking meetings. In fact, the idea for the study came from a walk!
It is estimated that William Wordsworth walked almost 200,000 miles in his lifetime.
Beethoven carried a notepad and composed while walking
Gustav Mahler insisted his wife Alma walk with him daily, with walks as long as five hours.
Tchaikovsky walked every morning for 45 minutes and took another walk for 2 hours in the afternoon
Charles Darwin took three walks a day
Woody Allen stopped walking around New York because people recognized him, now he often paces on his terrace
“I have walked myself into my best thoughts.” Kierkegaard
“An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.” Henry David Thoreau
“Walking is the best exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far.” Thomas Jefferson
“Now, shall I walk or shall I ride? ‘Ride’ said Pleasure. ‘Walk’ said Joy.” W.H. Davies
“If you seek creative ideas go walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk.” Raymond I. Myers
“If I could not walk far and fast, I think I would just explode and perish.” Charles Dickens
So, get up – take a walk!!!! But – don’t walk as a smartphone zombie! Remember the following to have a truly creative rush.
Have no fixed route
Do not text
Go Alone (or with someone that doesn’t talk)
Leave the soundtrack at home
Do you have a favorite walk or hike? Do you have any walking rituals? Can you tell a difference in the way your mind works after or during a walk.
And – what would you do with a button? Use it as a doorknob in a dollhouse? Make a bookmark, a hair ornament?