habit zero #002

the challenge


It’s 6AM and the challenge I got today is based on the Technicolor Prism. The guidelines are simple: I should capture an Insight based on the color of the Seed card while ignoring its text. That’s not the default play-mode with seempli, and that’s exactly why this is going to be interesting. In a sense, focusing on the color activates different areas in the brain than focusing on the text.

The Seed randomly selected along with the Prism is the Tension Seed, but that’s beside the point. It is its orange color that I should focus on…

my insight


Aiming to start the day with a strong espresso, the first thing I’ve noticed in my kitchen was a huge orange pot. Its existence wasn’t a surprise of course, but the coincidence made me smile. Taking a picture of the pot seemed not too interesting, so I decided to examine it more closely.

When you look at something from that close, it loses its context and even its original “identity” — it becomes a fragment with a life of its own. In this case, I just fell in love with the strong color, the hints of burnt areas and the random scratches. I can drown in such a detail and completely ignore what it is I am really looking at.

But that was just the beginning. Without really planning to, it took me only five more minutes to come across this beautiful plate. This was still in my own kitchen, so again I wasn’t surprised when I found it. What I was surprised with is that by some kind of brain-magic I immediately connected this plate with the orange color. This association didn’t occur to me any other day and as you can see it is not trivial as there is nothing orange on the plate.

So here’s the missing piece of information that makes the association pretty trivial in retrospect. We use this plate as a fruit plate in our kitchen. Most days it holds a seasonal selection of fruits. Back in winter you would have found it holding a few big juicy… oranges.

We’ll reflect on this Insight in a minute.

Just before I left home I came across this perfume bottle. Unlike the previous two Insights, its existence was a surprise. I am willing to bet I saw it many times before, but I didn’t really notice it. The gentle flowers decorating it combined with its light orange color are just perfect until that moment it was completely in my blind spot. Tuning into orange objects brought this beautiful bottle to the front of my consciousness. And I love it!


Before reflecting deeper into one insight, I should note I played with the Technicolor Prism as an exploration Prism. I took into account the constraint defined by the Prism, but essentially I played just like I played yesterday: looking around me for Insights.

Creative exploration is one of my favorite play modes. Some seempli Prisms define concrete instructions as for what you should create (for example write a short story). Prisms like the Technicolor Prism on the other hand are open for interpretation. While I used the default interpretation today, you will soon realize how fun it is to combine these Prisms with other ones. For example, using the Technicolor Prism together with a Prism based on writing.

Back to the fruit plate Insight.

This is a great example of things that can just happen when you are in a creative mindset when solving a challenge. I didn’t plan addressing the color constraint by looking for a compliment color or a memory of something which is now absent. I really didn’t. This line of thought is an attempt to explain the association I had in retrospect — to explain the leap my brain did unconsciously. You can call it magic, you can call creative thinking, or you can explain it logically — either way this connection in my brain wasn’t there a second before and it is now.

A minute after capturing this Insight I thought about the absent fruits. On top of their orange color which was the trigger for the Insight, I suddenly felt the photo sends a subtle sense of tension — tension between the empty plate and my memory of what used to be on it several months ago. And “Tension” was the title of the Seed which I was instructed to ignore.

Now, this again can be my mind reverse engineering what I found to match the title of the Seed. But even if it is, my mind just created a non-trivial association — a story which wasn’t there a minute ago. And such non-trivial connections between things which seems to be unrelated is the core ability we are aiming to develop in the context of creativity.

mental notes

  • Constraints unleash creativity
  • Take the constraint into account, but don’t necessarily literally
  • Be open to non-trivial interpretations of the constraint and of what you see in front of you

now it is your turn… be creative!


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