habit zero #012

the challenge


Do you ever get the feeling you are surrounded by arbitrary constraints limiting your moves, confining you to a solution space which does not look too promising?

Well, if you are into “the theory of creativity” you already know that although it sounds counter-intuitive, constraints boost creativity. When you are surrounded with boundaries, your brain finds its way to a creative solution — even if the constraints are artificial.

So, today I am playing with one such arbitrary constraint: I am going for a creative exploration in the boundaries of my home. This means I am also limiting the game play in time because I am not going to spend the entire day at home. The Prism I am using today is the Small World Prism.

The Seed I am playing with is the Zoom Seed.

my insight


Zoom is one of those enigmatic Seeds which can be taken to infinite directions. We will reflect on the interpretation I chose in a moment. But first, this strange visual requires some explanation.

So, this strange object is in fact a calendar, and the strange patterns on it are the names of the months and the day numbers. When you look at it with no additional aid, it looks pretty much meaningless. But when you place a simple rectangle somewhere on it, it is easy to see the name of a month or a number.




What does this cryptic calendar has to do with Zoom? Well, Here’s my line of thought. When you zoom-in on something, you are focusing on it — you are isolating it from its surrounding. You are taking it out of context. And that’s exactly the visual trick with this calendar: you must isolate a piece of it from the “noise” surrounding it to reveal the date.

This is merely one way to interpret the Zoom Seed, and obviously this interpretation was created simultaneously with finding the Insight — I didn’t think of it in advance. This feedback loop between interpretation and what I see is the mechanism that lies at the core of many creative sparks.

mental notes


  • Use constraints — even arbitrary ones — to boost creativity.
  • Let your mind loop between what you see and how you interpret it.

now it is your turn… be creative!



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