A starting point

As I progress through this course (Creativity and Problem solving) I’m more and more impressed and enlightened. Through the readings and videos, I’m discovering a lot about myself and others, and how to achieve creativity. This video personally really touched me, because not only was I charmed by Tina Seelig’s, (the speaker) passion but I found what she said immensely relatable.
There are internal and external tools that aid our journey to creativity and they’re all related to each other. Internally, we have:
-our imagination
-our attitude and
And while schools kill imagination, we’re here to bring it back.
Think about a joke. The key to a good joke is rephrasing and playing with words, and this increments imagination levels. Also, combining haphazard ideas together and making connections between them creates interesting ideas, and although this comes across as challenging for me, the skill could grow with practice. And lastly challenging assumptions, meaning that surprising or unusual problems have a variety of correct answers. Being an engineering student, the idea of many correct answers wasn’t familiar, but with time I figured that approaching problems differently is a route to coming up with many correct answers. Of course we have to be passionately willing to explore a variety of answers and this is our attitude towards problems. You have to be wholehearted and dedicated, and things will surely come about.

Knowledge is well explained in this video , where it’s important to be thorough about something to be able to play with it, and this comes, unexpectedly, through scrutinizing the world around us. A writer has to have a rich background in vocabulary to be able to weave stories or describe scenes for example.

Externally, we’ve got:
– Habitat

And I’ve understood why we changed our class location when habitat came up because the new room is spacious and flexible allowing for more freedom, as compared to boring chairs and desks. Resources are important in the sense that we should make the best use of the potential we already have to come up with something new. Culture, like Seelig said, is the “background music” to all of this. A community has to have the right attitude to tackle problems and this is what links these two together. I’m hoping that after I’m done with this course, I can do anything to change the negative attitudes of Egyptian people. Because this would contribute greatly in development and social change. And also because, the right habitat stimulates imagination and vice versa and that is the beauty of it!

Start with whatever you have, but get started!



Ideas inspire, combine, and reproduce … just slowly.


I want to first credit the name of my blog, the liquid network, to a term coined by Steven Johnson as I heard it in his 2010 TED talk in Oxford, England.

Let’s start by looking at the words: innovation, invention, breakthrough, ground-breaking idea. All these closely related words reminds us of either our own achievements, or the lack of it.

But what does not differ from person to person is that it usually reminds them of these words too: eureka moment, lightbulb moment, “Aha!”, flash of insight.
It was always that we as individuals or as a society portrayed an idea as a single thing, something that just happens in a wonderful illuminating moment and if you had just been a second earlier or late you may not have been in the right moment to receive your dose of enlightenment.

Well, I argue the opposite, that ideas develop slowly through hard work. You see an…

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The common misconception

I must admit that I’ve always had this romantic idea of creativity in my mind. Reading this article, I realized that what I thought was a myth; that creativity is not this moment were everything magically pieces itself and comes into existence.

I thought creativity was a God-given gift, and that it was somehow not granted to the mass. I thought people like Mozart, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo had super powers or abilities that I, Ayah, could never attain.

But I was wrong. These people, yes, had talent, but it took them a lot of persistent hard work to get to where they were.

To come up with these amazing harmonies, Mozart worked – yes, worked – day and night, struggled and faced problems. Things weren’t always bright and sunny for him, and people of the time (including me before reading the article) certainly overlooked that.

This gives me hope too that – although it is challenging- coming up with something creative, is achievable, if one works hard enough without a fear of failure; because people we now call great, are human. They make mistakes, they’re flawed, we all are. But they used everything that they had, they set their goals clearly in front of them and made their way to the top, genuinely, with very little sparks of inspiration or outlandish moments of eureka.

And I think everyone should see creativity in this light, to have the motivation to accomplish anything in life.
If society keeps painting an image of creativity as sudden outbursts of novel and amazing ideas, the essence of creativity will be lost. Take people who were responsible for great leaps in technology, do you think they just dreamt it into existence? Probably not. These once so-called “crazy” ideas, are ones that we can’t live without now. It took a lot of perseverance and will to bring these ideas into the light.

We have to stop looking at one side of the story only. The people in this video are well-known to us as excellent and successful, yes, but on the other hand, we must keep in mind that they failed, got rejected and went through many difficulties in the process.


Pave your way to creativity: start from YOU!

A lot of times, people think you need to go through radical change to become creative, when in fact you have all what it takes to be creative, you just have to expose it!

As children, we often questioned everyone everything, we wanted to know how the world worked, and this is one of the things we ought to bring back in ourselves. It’s so important that we don’t suppress questioning anything that we are unaware of. Not only that, but we have to ask several people and employ different methods when it comes to answering the crazy questions in our mind. This way we’ll be able to see things from different angles, we’ll hear different opinions and experience different reactions. And once we have this, generation of creative ideas becomes more likely.

As we grow, we start developing ‘what-if’ scenarios, and this is actually very beneficial. Apart from theories and proven facts, we should and are capable of challenging the norms, and coming up with improved answers .

But keep in mind that for us to come with better solutions for problems, we have to be intrigued to do so. A part of being creative is having an itching desire to make complimentary changes. This should be accompanied by a positive spirit, so that it’s an experience to enjoy.

Speaking of positive spirits, do we know that approaching a problem with a certain mindset, can alter the way we come up with creative solutions? Do we realize that confidently tackling problems, knowing that one way or another, that problem could be solved, is actually a part of the solution? This could include viewing unusual, poor ideas or even problems in a way that enhances their potential, in a manner that is accepting and that looks for what is good about them, because many a times we can extract ideas that may grow to become spectacular and useful. And even if we do fall into errors, we mustn’t feel negatively about it. On the contrary, it’s a great opportunity to know how we’re progressing and what we’re lacking.

So let’s not fear problems! Let’s face them with an open heart and an open mind, with enthusiasm and optimism that through solving problems we are really making a positive change that will ripple, affect everyone around us and leave a mark in the world. Let’s take the idea of creativity to a whole new level!

To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.” – Osho