Creative Thinking

When the brain was first studied, it was believed that we only use about 10% of our brain’s capacity, leaving vast room to expand the operation of the brain.

Recent studies however have discredited this popular opinion. Experts have realized that we in fact use the whole of our brain, different parts of our brain just carry out different functions. We can see this in practice as we look at each hemisphere of the brain. The left side of our brain is the site for storage and analytical side. This side processes facts and figures and allows us to understand complex subjects like mathematics and statistics. The right side of our brain is the complete opposite it is creative and imaginative, it sees life’s vibrancy and responds to colours and images. Now imagine what we could do if we could effectively combine these two methods of thinking.

The use of Creative Thinking enhances the ability for these different parts of our brains to connect, resulting in “Whole Brain Thinking.”

Edward de Bono

considered to be the leading authority on Creative Thinking, is the person who keyed the phrase “lateral thinking”. His thinking methods have enabled all types of people to connect with their creative side and to “be creative on demand”.

Tony Buzan

is another developer of creative thinking methods and is the inventor of mind mapping. The introduction in his book Mind Mapping for Business, co-authored by Chris Griffiths, written by His Excellency Dr Abdul Hussein Ali Mirza, Minister for Oil & Gas, Bahrain. He says that Tony Buzan has an immense and amazing mission that aims to unlock the brains potential, to do this he has enacted a powerful tool that taps into people’s creative genius. This tool is the mind mapping.

What is Mind Mapping?

Mind Mapping is a method which allows the left and right side of your brain to interact. This is important because unlike a computer, our brains operate multilaterally. This means that we are capable of functioning on many different levels simultaneously.

How does Mind Mapping work?

Mind Mapping allows the brain to think how it was designed to. It allows our creative right brain to be imaginative while tapping into the facts stored in the left analytical brain. As Tony Buzan says, by linking the ideas on your mind maps, your brain is able to “make great leaps of understanding and imagination through association.” (P 15)

What are the elements of a “true” Mind Map?

A true Mind Map makes use of pictures, colours and single words. It normally starts with an image at the centre depicting the topic you are brainstorming. As you begin to imagine and create thoughts, these are shown as branches from the central image. These branches are your key thoughts and Basic Ordering Ideas or BOIs. As these triggers more thoughts, sub-branches are emanated from the BOI. These are called second-level branches. And so it continues.

For your thoughts to flow, it is important to harness the creative powers of the right side of your brain. The use of colours and pictures assist with this as does the avoidance of straight lines or lists; all branches should be curved lines. There is never a wrong way to do Mind Mapping, unless it stifles your Creativity!