Two different looks at sparking creativity

A TED Talk a day keeps the shrink away! If you are not yet familiar with TED Talks, please go visit now and watch a few. TED stands for Technology Entertainment and Design and it features talks from many many inspiring people on a variety of subjects. 

Recently, I saw two very different talks that had one thing in common: they both spoke about ways to spark your creativity. One is a toy maker in Japan, one is a writer in America.

First, the talk by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of "Eat, Pray, Love" on "Your elusive creative genius":

At about 10 minutes and 10 seconds into it, she recalls a conversation she once had with poet Ruth Stone. She told Elizabeth how she would be working in the fields in rural Virginia and she would feel a great poem coming at her from the horizon. She would start running towards the house to be there when the poem would hit her at that moment she would hopefully be able to write down the poem. If she was not near paper and pencil in time, the poem would move on in search of another poet.

In other words, she was able to recognise the, apparently fairly rare, occasions great inspiration would happen to her. I guess that to her, inspiration or creativity is something external.

Then there is this talk by Shimpei Takahashi - "Play this game to come up with original ideas":

His approach is to "think of ideas as freely as if you were throwing darts with your eyes closed. If you do this, you surely will hit somewhere near the center. At least one will. That's the one you should choose"

A very different approach to the one in Elizabeth's talk. Personally, the somewhat methodical approach of Shimpei Takahashi speaks to me more. It stacks the odds of something great in your favor. 

What story is most appealing to you? 

Image credit: Ryan McGuire - Gratisography