How the lack of knowledge can inspire you creatively
"THANK GOODNESS I WAS NEVER SENT TO SCHOOL; IT WOULD HAVE RUBBED OFF SOME OF THE ORIGINALITY."
Approaching a subject with a clean slated mind can help lead to new creative insights that an expert would have never thought about. Not knowing everything there is to know about it can help lead to fresh ideas about a subject. If you are having trouble “de-expertising” yourself, get another non expert to help you and see what creative gems you can come up with.
The art of not knowing
While being an expert at something may make you feel like a big shot, sometimes having a layman’s point of view can lead to more creative insights. A scene from the movie “Big” starring Tom Hanks (before he became the critically acclaimed Tom Hanks) best illustrates the point of not knowing. In the movie, Tom Hank’s character is a 12 year old boy trapped in the body of a 30 year old man who somehow lands a job at the corporate headquarters of a toy maker. During his first corporate board meeting as his foil is busy using his MBA to sell a new toy idea to the CEO, Tom’s character raises his hand and simply states with a childlike innocence that he doesn’t get it.
Tom Hank’s character sees new toy products through a completely different perspective than how an expert with a MBA from a prestigious school sees them. All the charts, graphs and reports mean nothing to him, allowing him to see ideas with a childlike intuition and to break them down to something as simple as being fun or not fun to play with. Allowing ourselves to see things with this same type of clean slated mind can help us making new creative leaps in a particular subject and maybe come up with new questions that we would have never asked as experts and then find new answers.
If you are having trouble seeing a subject like Tom Hank’s character in “Big” and just cannot get yourself not to get it, then listening to the views of other non experts could be what you need in order to gain inspiration. Find people with little knowledge about the subject and ask them questions, being sure to listen very carefully to their answers. Perhaps their lack of knowledge will lead to creative gems that your overly trained mind will be able to pick up.