habit zero #036

the challenge


I am still playing with words as my creative challenge today starts with finding something that rhymes with the random Seed I picked: Super Moon.

The next step after that would be to capture an Insight inspired by what I came up with.

Let’s give it a try!

my insight


In the playful spirit of The Cat in the Hat Prism, the rhyme I came up with is…

A Super Moon started to bloom…

I was thrilled with this rhyme because it instantly created a visual image in my mind — an image of a moon with huge flowers popping from its surface.

Translating this mental image to a real Insight I can share was slightly less trivial. Luckily, I still had in mind the Insight I had created yesterday.

Here’s a short “the making of” documentary about this Insight.

So, I had a flashback from the previous day — the light bulb I used can easily be used as the moon. It is perfectly round and has a white opaque color giving it a magical look.

I thought about pasting some flowers on its surface, but then I decided it would be easier to draw flowers on a piece of dark paper on which I will place the light bulb. This shortcut proved to generate an even better result. The contrast between the 3D round object, casting its shadow on the background, and the 2D flowers make this Insight look dreamy — like children-book art.

I used tipp-ex to draw the white flowers on the dark-blue background. This, by itself, creates a non-trivial visual as we are more used to strong colors on a white background.

But the final touch was playing with the lighting. I wanted the light bulb to glow like a magical moon. It was not connected to a power supply, so I took the flashlight of my bicycle and pointed it to the light bulb. the light was reflected from the light bulb’s surface, creating a cool, glowing effect.



Let’s reflect on two things. First, if someone told me to draw the moon or even fantasy related to it, chances are I wouldn’t have thought of drawing it blooming. It’s not a trivial path to go in, even if you are consciously thinking about a dreamy image. But then came the Prism and shuffled things in my brain to create this bizarre connection, and with it the unexpected Insight.

So, an arbitrary constraint (or task) — for example finding a rhyme to the phrase “Super Moon” — set my mind on a surprising path. And with it came a mental image and its realization.

Imagine how powerful this can be when applied to real-world problems. How about finding a rhyme to a challenge you are facing? Sounds strange? Think about it. If you are looking for non-trivial solutions, why not doing non-trivial things?

The second thing I would like to reflect upon is how a past Insight influenced today’s. You can say it’s a coincidence. Maybe it is. But at some level, anything we experience affects (at least potentially) any future insight. Anything we see, make, feel, or think of becomes raw material for our next creation. That’s why it is so important to practice creativity every day — it is a great way to gain unexpected new experiences. They will be safely stored until needed and will be restored without us even controlling it.

mental notes


  • Unexpected constraints or tasks can help you come up with unexpected insights.
  • The more you experience, the more raw material you have for creative insights.
  • Keep an Insight Journal. You never know when you might use a past insight.

now it is your turn… be creative!



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