You know I’m a big fan of Hugh MacLeod:
I started doing my “Cartoons drawn on the back of business cards” in December, 1997, it took me a few months to really get into it…
At first, I thought I should just do a few dozen of them for kicks and giggles, then move on to something else.
That I’d still be doing them 15 years later, didn’t even cross my tiny little mind. But then it took on a life of its own. Its meaning, purpose and scope snowballed slowly over time.
August last year I decided to Try something new for 30 days. I picked doodling. That was six months ago today. Like Hugh it didn’t even cross my tiny little mind that I’d keep it up this long and now have 182 dreadfuldailydoodles.
Amazing the body of work that accumulates over time. And how a quick glance at each doodle brings back a thought.
The project morphed into a kind of visual diary and I:
- Made some people laugh
- Became (a little bit) better at drawing
- Inspired someone to use more images in their presentations
- Encouraged others to take up a new daily habit
- Learned a bit about visual cues – what matters and what doesn’t
- Became better at noticing shape and form
It’s a long way to the “10,000 hours” required for mastery but I reckon I’ve formed a habit that will stick. We’ll see. Thanks Hugh.
Welcome to Part 2 in the series about cognitive biases. Critical thinking hats on…
- Confirmation bias: the tendency to gather or interpret information that confirms our existing lines of thinking.
For example, I enjoy travelling and collect quotes and arguments for travelling (previous post) that ignore the anti-travelling view. (Is there one?!) This is a blind spot for my critical thinking, albeit one that I recognise.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of cherry picking relevant information when time / resources are tight or when we have already settled on an answer. However, we may regret discarding information in the future, particularly if our decisions are held up to scrutiny.
What can we do to minimise this bias?
One way is to deliberately seek out opposing views. Abraham Lincoln famously countered confirmation bias by forming his cabinet with those that publicly disagreed with him. Bold!
Creativity expert Roger Von Oech goes further and suggests we ask a fool to provide a different perspective and challenge our assumptions to stimulate our thinking.
BTW – If you are tempted into thinking this is all a bit fluffy then you may have succumbed to a confirmation bias about creativity experts; Von Oech has a Ph.D. from Stanford University and has provided creativity consulting to Apple, Disney, Sony and Intel. Continue reading Confirmation Bias
Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten.
Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with books on algebra etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the creative bug is just a wee voice telling you, “Iʼd like my crayons back, please.”
~ Hugh MacLeod. HowToBeCreative
Continue reading Iʼd like my crayons back, please.