Photo Source: Mr Kheng Huay
When the going gets tough, the tough write poetry
Before Steve Jobs, there was Thomas Edison. Of the “success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”. How quickly we’ve forgotten him.
One of Edison’s most surprising tools for creativity was poetry.
Apparently, he once said “Inventors must be poets so that they may have imagination.” Aristotle noted “The greatest thing by far is to be a master of metaphor. ”
Metaphors connect two different universe through similarity.
Life is like a box of chocolates.
Life is like a hand of cards. You play what you’ve been dealt with.
Those who approach life like a child playing a game, moving and pushing pieces, possess the power of kings. – Heraclitus
William Harvey looked at the heart not as an organ but as a pump. This led to his discovery of the circulation of blood.
Poetry fosters creativity because it makes connections that might not be made through theory driven process of scientific discovery.
Poetry also helps establish relationship between two previously unrelated objects – making connections.
Poetry helps us make sense of an increasingly fragmented world by allowing us to make connections between seemingly unrelated events.
Another tool Edison adopted, was writing your own biography. Process of reflecting on your life and writing it down will cause you to make connections between people and events that you might not have noticed before.
Edison started one although he left it to his official biographers. He even had an abandoned science fiction novel and detailed journals about his work activities. So did Benjamin Franklin, Henry Ford and Mary Kay Ash. Jack Ma of Alibaba even kept video documentaries of the beginnings of his company and its various mutations.
Have you had a new experience in the last 30 days? Look for new connections that you’ve not noticed before. Write a poem describing what happened.
At work with Thomas Edison, 10 Business Lessons from America’s Greatest Innovator by Blaine McCormick