- Daily Zen
Determinism is an important player in the story of life. But, so is randomness. There’s a reason why randomness rules the world, why it’s the most important catalyst to inducing your creativity. And, there’s a reason why routine-produced determinism is killing your creativity.
On a fine summer day in 1974, scientists in the Theoretical Division of the Los Angeles National Laboratory became aware that their brilliant colleague Mitchel Feigenbaum began living by a twenty-six-hour clock instead of the traditional twenty-four-hour one. It meant, he periodically woke up in the evening and has breakfast when everyone were having supper. He would take lonely walks in the starlight, which would sometimes distress the police. He had published only one article to his name, and at the age of 29, he had become a resident savant. His colleagues thought he was wasting his gifts.
Feigenbaum was studying chaos and wanted nothing but randomness in everyday life. He became responsible for what is known as the chaos theory, the study of randomness in a system that obeys laws. Only someone like him, who thought differently could have discovered chaos theory.
To act creatively you cannot live by the laws or the timetables. We live in a world where we’re bound by schedules and mundane routines. A mundane routine creates routine behavior and, routine behavior creates routine thinking. Isn’t mundane routine a mindless repetition?
A lot of us enjoy working in the night. We want to be surrounded by the darkness and stillness, so we can access a world that is silent to others. Did you know that writer Craig Clevenger would lock himself in his house for days at a time when starting a new novel? He would cover all clocks and windows with black duct tape and foil in order to create randomness – to lose a sense of time.
Nobel Prize-winning writer Toni Morrison would start writing before dawn, but that was rather by choice as her children would wake up by 5 a.m. Charles Dickens would take a midnight stroll in the docks, markets and the back alleys of London to surface strange characters in his novels.
Normal patterns and routine schedules is only going to produce normal and regular thinking. Why don’t you disrupt your routines? When you’re completely involved in your work, even fifteen hours of it can feel like a mere ten minutes. A lot of us are stuck in a job where ten minutes can feel like ten hours.
Why not create randomness to be totally involved in what we’re doing. Why not become lost in the moment and reach our creativity peak? Why let the clock define what we do?