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INSPIRATIONAL: Boost Your Creativity. Stephen Hawking's Story
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Boost Your Creativity
Stephen Hawking's Story
By Fanny Bates

BT 201804 Inspiration 01 3月,一则消息震惊了物理学界甚至普通大众:被誉为现代最伟大的物理学家之一、1942年1月8日出生于英国牛津的斯蒂芬•威廉•霍金于3月14与世长辞,享年76岁。全世界各地的人都在为失去这样一位天才感到惋惜,并纷纷举行了追悼仪式。


3月31日,霍金的葬礼在剑桥大学的大圣玛丽教堂举行。大圣玛丽教堂位于剑桥大学的冈维尔与凯斯学院附近,霍金50多年来就是在这个学院致力解开宇宙之谜。而他的骨灰今年稍后将安放在伦敦西敏寺中,与牛顿及达尔文葬在一起。正如西敏寺教堂牧师霍尔(John Hall)说的那样:“霍金教授的骨灰完全适合安放在教堂内,和其他杰出的科学家为邻。”

BT 201804 Inspiration 03We all know Stephen Hawking, one of the most brilliant scientists, the man who introduced us to the unexplored world of quantum psychics, black holes, and cosmology. However, Stephen Hawking is much more than a scientist; he is a living inspiration to all those people around the world who combat life problems and disabilities.

Hawking’s Recipe for Creativity

Creativity and creative activities are at the heart of every success story in the 21st century. Once considered as a gift from God, creativity has been democratized over time, and it seems that today everyone wants to be "creative". Creativity is, in fact, a much more complex and demanding process than simply thinking about smart ideas, "inspiration" or spontaneous invention. It is neither inherited nor selected to some individuals, but rather depends on combining seemingly contradictory processes and personality traits.

BT 201804 Inspiration 04During one of his inspirational lectures at the prestigious Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Canada, Hawking offered his genuine recipe for boosting creativity. He stated: “The recipe is simple: Put willing people together in an inspiring and creative intellectual environment where they are encouraged to pursue ambitious and timely research.”

So what does it mean to pursue ambitious and timely research? What is considered to be the ideal, inspiring environment? While pursuing his own career Hawking strived to fulfill his lifelong dream to revolutionize our understanding of the universe. He said: “One of the basic rules of the universe is that nothing is perfect. Perfection simply doesn't exist... Without imperfection, neither you nor I would exist.” By accepting the fact that neither the universe is perfect nor are we, he embraced his own weakness and made the best out of it.

BT 201804 Inspiration 02Creativity and Imagination

When we talk about creativity, we should emphasize its correlation with two other productive processes. The first is imagination that we can define as a process of invoking thoughts and hearing things that are not present. Imagination follows creativity that we perceive as a process of developing and creating original ideas that have certain value. Hawking explained this by saying that we should “Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don't just give up.“

He advises us to look at the laws of nature and try to find something that we can relate to. So go to the park or visit some inspirational locations. Look around and start thinking about things that trouble you the most. You will be surprised to find that an inspiring environment can make you more productive. Likewise, you can visit an art exhibition or museum, or any other environment that can help boost your creative ideas.

Some people are more productive in quiet places where their mind can relax. Try not to worry about problems, people or places, but concentrate on the quiet moment you've created. Listen to your thoughts, which come to you while you enjoy the silence. If you can’t find the perfect environment, create one. “Quiet people have the loudest minds!” Hawking had once said.

shutterstock 600266120Creativity and Innovation

The other concept that is closely related to creativity is the concept of innovation. It is an indisputable fact that creativity comes from individuals and groups of people who have a unique perspective in solving everyday problems. Creating valuable contributions or benefits for your company or organization, as well as for other people, is one of the basic elements of creativity. Therefore, innovation cannot be viewed separately from creativity, because creativity turns out to be an initial and indispensable step in the process of innovation.

Innovative entrepreneurs have something called creative intelligence. So it’s not about rationalization or logical analysis of ideas, but rather allowing your creative process to change without restrictions. Writing down your thoughts on a piece of paper could be really helpful. Even Hawking wrote down his ideas, but he had an unusual habit. When he couldn’t find paper, he would write on wood, furniture, glass, window etc. It took him a long time to come up with a topic for his Ph.D. thesis. His mentor gave him a list of questions, and that morning, he spilled coffee on this paper. While no other student was even near to resolving the mathematical tasks, he wrote his answer on a train schedule template.

The last message is that we should allow ourselves to be different, to think differently, and to act differently, even if society doesn’t accept it. Be playful, let your mind wander, and embrace the world that lives within you. And love yourself just the way you are.

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