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November 7, 2011

2

whack on the side of the head #1

by Andrea O'Connell

The Internet has gifts that inform, delight and definitely enlighten….There is so much to learn in its vastness!  (I wonder how big the Internet is now? I wonder can it be measured?)

It’s funny how often I’ll be reading something on the Internet, and click on somethings else that seems interesting, and then find something I never intended to look for, that I never knew I needed or wanted, but suddenly HAVE to have!   It’s kind of like going to the grocery store for milk and eggs and coming back with $200 worth of things I never realized I wanted!

That’s what occurred a couple of days ago when I was reading The Chronicle of Higher Education.  One article led to another that led somehow to an article about Roger von Oech, who developed the “The Creative Whack Pack,” a 64 card deck of inspirational and innovative ways to encourage creative thinking.

by Roger von Oech

I enjoy using brain teasers and fun games in the classroom when I teach – it breaks the monotony and livens things up.   This Creative Whack Pack is terrific!  There are interesting and provocative messages in the 64 cards. Oh, and the artwork is divine!  Fantastic stuff!

The intent of the 64 cards –  each containing a different message – serves to coax people out of old, habitual ways of thinking to see things with fresh eyes.

I’m going to share all 64 of them here.  I think everyone will find something thought provoking to use in daily life.

The first one is titled “Give Yourself a Whack on the Side of the Head.” Since it may be difficult to read the message on the card (pictured below), I’ve included it here for you:

The more often you do something in the same way, the more difficult it is to think about doing it in any other way.  Break out of this “prison of familiarity” by disrupting your habitual thought patterns.  Write a love poem in the middle of the night.  Eat ice cream for breakfast.  Wear red sox.  Visit a junk yard.  Work the weekend.  Take the slow way home.  Sleep on the other side of the bed.  Such jolts to your routines will lead to new ideas.  How can you whack your thinking?

Doing this kind of thing might be easier said than done – but it also makes perfect sense!

Aren’t we such creatures of habit?   There’s no doubt about the rituals and habits in our daily lives….routine things like brushing your teeth before bedtime, paying bills – mundane things that we need to repeat as part of our routine. (I don’t think you can make teeth-brushing very creative, do you?!)

I think the message of this card is about how freeing it is to do something totally different from the norm because it can be invigorating, eye opening, and definitely a learning experience.  And, learning is like air…  can’t live without it.

Using these cards in the workplace to encourage new ways of looking at old practices, is terrific.  This is a helpful tool for a project team to use as a tool to challenge people to think outside the box – get away from the tendency to relax in a “group-think” type of complacency – which is a dead-end and boring way to approach new challenges.

What will I do to whack my thinking?  Hmm….

I’m sure I could eat ice cream for breakfast!  How about you?!

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2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Nov 8 2011

    “The more often you do something in the same way, the more difficult it is to think about doing it in any other way.”

    This says to me that the more I surf, the harder it is for me to do what I used to do–focus on being creative. I need to whack my thinking, but not by eating ice cream for breakfast. Been there, done that, found it led to more surfing. 🙂

    Reply
  2. Nov 8 2011

    Oh my, Kathy – you got that right! And, if the truth be known, I can’t do ice cream for breakfast unless I sleep until noon! Now that’s an idea to try! 🙂

    Reply

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