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About the power of intuition

Considering that, in the movie ‘Innsaei’ Professor Iris Bohnet from Harvard Kennedy School investigate intuition and its reliability as a tool for accuracy. She explains that intuition guides all of our decisions and judgments, therefore, it is not reliable all the time. Sometimes, the first instincts or intuition might be to reach conclusions that are not right, to judge the situation or person based on certain stereotypes that we already have in our mind. What we observe is really what we believe in. That is why understanding the situation, rather than thinking through it, is more important. For many years it is debated how the ‘left brain'(left hemisphere) and the ‘right brain'(right hemisphere) function differently. To exist in this world we need two approaches which are the ‘narrow-focused one'(the left hemispheres) and ‘the broad, open, sustained vigilant one'( the right hemisphere) (Innsaei, 2016). The left brain is connected more with logic and organisation. It is also called ‘digital brain’. While the right brain is considered to be the seat of creative thinking and intuition. When one of the brains dominates, which is usually the left one, the balance is lost and we lose awareness of our own deficits. Developing our right brain and to know how to use it plays a crucial part in our lives (Healthline, n.d.). Letting all the creative parts of the brain to flow, we will be able to think creatively and put together different thoughts in one place. 2.3. Cognitive Flexibility There are some complications that may appear when we are using more of our logical and analytical part of the brain. By trying to solve a problem or when we are facing a challenge, and we keep going through the same ways of analysing the situation, we will just keep failing. A recent report from Nov 2018, examine research that was done between 183 participants from 2 different backgrounds(54 American undergraduates and 129 members of the Himba tribe.) The participants were asked to solve a problem on a touch screen device without given any further instructions. As a result, the research showed that approximately 40 percent of the Himba tribe solved the problem by discovering and applying the simpler way rather than/compared to 94 percent of the American undergraduates that used the original solution (White, 2018). Psychologists who focus on investigating the reasons behind the way we solve problems have discovered that people who use more efficient ways to find solutions are likely to be more open-minded and cognitively flexible. On the other hand, people who prefer to use the known, safe solution, are being less versatile or ‘cognitively rigid’ (White, 2018). Cognitive flexibility is the ability to adapt to new ideas and strategies, in order to solve a problem, which will lead to a more suitable and more effective solution. In neuroscience, it is also recognised as ‘cognitive shifting’, ‘attention switching’, ‘set shifting’, ‘mental flexibility’ and ‘task switching’. Being cognitively flexible is very important when it comes to creativity. In order to be able to explore and develop more ideas, we need to be aware of all available opportunities and know how to connect completely disparate thoughts (Mental Health Daily, 2016) Chapter 3. Intuitive Creativity 3.1. The benefits of intuition in the creative process Creativity cannot be explained in a rational way. The process of creative thinking links with finding a solution to problems by combining abilities, actions and environment. Complications which require creative solutions need to be interpreted in many different ways in order to meet a certain goal. Creativity is a substantial part of developing ideas, but on its own, it demands a lot of perspiration. However, the inspiration that we get for a certain concept is based on intuition. When intuition and creativity are combined together, they become mutual, identical and fundamental. ‘They reflect the highest forms of applicable intelligence for any and every ability’ (Pétervári, 2016). In a world full of diversity, each person has the potential to own unique abilities. That is why developing our creative side is important in order to gain new skills and improve the ones that we already have. The influence of intuition on our creativity can demonstrate a lot of advantages that can be beneficial for the growth of our abilities. Precisely, intuition is the base of creativity. Relying on intuition means to be aware of the world around us and to understand how all of our thoughts and ideas tend to have the role of small dots that are in constant connection to help us to develop our cognitive flexibility. Sometimes, it may happen that we let our awareness slip from the world around us and we become conscious only of the world that we have made in our heads. For example, ‘the world of strategy’, ‘the world of milestones’, ‘deadlines’ or ‘endpoints’. In moments like this, we forget to live in the present and that there are many other dimensions that we have not explored yet (Innsaei, 2016). To be acquainted with our extensive capacity and to let ourselves learn and use intuition, can lead us to progress faster in challenging situations and improve ourselves as creative thinkers/designers. A great example of someone who uses intuition as a tool in the creative process is Michael Bierut. He describes the moments of working on design projects to be successful because his sense helped him develop an appropriate concept that would fit his client’s request. On one hand, some of his ideas were based on similar experiences that he had in the past, on the other hand, ‘an idea for the design pops into my head from out of the blue. I can’t really explain that part; it’s like magic’ (Bierut, 2006). But nothing really comes out of nowhere. If an idea flashes through our mind, it is because it is a sum of many other ideas. 3.2. Combinatorial Creativity Creativity never happens by accident. When existent bits of ideas, motivation, memories and afflatus integrate into new formations, they become a combinatorial force, or more precisely called combinatorial creativity. Combinatorial Creativity means to have a full understanding of all the little bits that we have stored in our brain from previous experiences. These pieces build some kind of integrative hole where all of our mental resources come from. Accordingly, when we combine all these resources, we can create new ideas that are more powerful, bolder, prolific, extensive and more impressive (Popova, n.d.). In 1952, famous designer Alvin Lustig stated: ‘I have found that all positions men take in their beliefs are profoundly influenced by thousands of small, often imperceptible experiences that slowly accumulate to form a sum total of choices and decisions’ (Popova, 2011). Sometimes, as designers, we refuse the idea of accepting creativity as combinatorial. But the truth is that everything we create at the moment comes from what was done in the past and basically nothing appear from scratch. An online article that takes a closer look at combinatorial creativity, gives examples with famous individuals that embody the idea of combinatorial (Popova, 2011). In an interview, graphic designer Paula Scher talks about how believing in her instincts and intuition get her inspired in the first two seconds. How can it be that you talk to someone and it’s done in a second? But it IS done in a second — it’s done in a second and 34 years. It’s done in a second and every experience, and every movie, and everything in my life that’s in my head (Popova, 2011). There is a tale of Pablo Picasso and the way he evaluated his work. Picasso was sketching in a park when a woman reached him and asked him to draw a portrait of her. He agrees and for a short time, only using one pencil, he passed her the sketch. After seeing the amazing work, she inquired the price of it. Without a doubt, Picasso declares that the portrait costs five thousand dollars. Shocked, the woman questions his abilities and how is it possible to ask for so much money for a work that was done in seconds. But again, without any hesitation, Picasso answers her that it took him his whole life to do it (Airey, 2017). These examples give us a clear idea of how in order to create and inspire new concepts, we combine innumerable pieces. Whenever we create work, it is based on the first few seconds and all the rest years of experience. 3.3 Intuition as a powerful tool for designers When it comes to design, intuition might be an essential tool for creativity. As said before, intuition is the base of creativity rather than the actual methods that we use to create work (Carson, 2017). Nowadays, the easy access to different design tools and software makes it possible for almost everyone to create a design (Mondor, 2016). But what distinguishes an amateur from a professional? Design skills cannot be learned or obtained at the moment. It takes much more than that to produce a successful work. Of course, the actual design process includes going through a typical procedure of brainstorming, visualising a concept in many ways, transferring ideas into paper or writing down whenever we think of something. But all of these actions that we take are prompted by our inner senses. Sometimes we can come up with solutions without any conscious reasoning and this can be explained with the appearance of intuition to the surface. Designers are intuitive thinkers. We learn from previous experiences of failure and success, and this helps us in our future interactions that would involve creating work for someone (Mondor, 2016). Usually, when we create something new, it is not completely original. Everything that is being produced is based on tiny bits of distinct experiences that we somehow connect in our mind and convert into a solution for the problem that we are facing. Designers are artists and they do not create art while waiting for an idea to just pop out of nowhere. It is not necessary to go through a complicated procedure or to be closed in one room until we do not reach a solution (Carson, 2017). Sometimes, great ideas might come to our mind while we are doing something completely unrelated than the usual process of thinking about it. Albert Einstein once said ‘I thought of it while riding my bicycle’ (Bergland, 2015). It is not important how many hours we would spend brainstorming, sketching or testing out different concepts, when we can get inspiration by literally anything around us. The ability to develop and use our intuition in the creative process helps us to stand out from everyone else. Trusting our unconsciousness allows us to head to unexpected directions and explore different corners of our imagination. The strive to always learn, experience and create makes us even more curious, inspired and creative. This is proof that sometimes it does not matter how hard we work when we can generate a concept only for a couple of seconds, only because we trusted our intuition Conclusion The present study conducted a detailed research regarding the power of intuition and the impact it has over our final decisions. From the collected data, a conclusion has been made that intuition has a crucial role in the development of our thinking and the progress we make when we use it as a potential tool to solve problems. A further research was done in order to investigate the possible complications that may arise when we tend to over-think or over-analyze a particular problem (Bergland, 2015). On the other hand, the advantages of intuition were indicated by giving examples of its use in real life situations (Morenas, n.d.). The aim of this dissertation was to indicate clearly the consequences of falling into the process of over-thinking which leads to failure. In contrast, another objective was to investigate and prove that intuition helps us to gain better success by making split-second decisions. Attention was paid on the development of human behavior over the past years and how this contributes to the changes regarding our emotional state (Innsaei, 2016). It was observed the way we respond in different situations and what leads to stasis when we fail to perform an action. Utilising examples of real life situations gives the opportunity to show the necessity of developing our intellectuality and the importance of having a better understanding of the problem rather than trying to jump into numerous conclusions. The research continues further and explores the role of intuition in greater depth. It is explained what exactly the term means and how it works without any logical reasoning. Furthermore, it is predicted the factors that determine intuition are based on experiences which are collected in the brain from before. Other findings reveal the domination and significance of the left brain and the right brain (Healthline, n.d.). Evidence was provided by using studies held by experts within the appropriate area (Innsaei, 2016). Following that, intuition was researched also as a powerful tool in the creative process. Attention was paid on the importance of developing our creative thinking by using intuition. As a result, it is shown that the combination of intuition and creativity leads to faster progress in challenging situations. Moreover, it was emphasised on the application of intuition within the design sector of the working industry. To summarise, the abundant collection of research prove that when we rely on our intuition we establish better connection with our inner and outside world. To let our intuition to build new connections and to discover unknown paths, means to be aware of the world around us.

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