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Creative Thinking: 101

This is my 101st article that appears on “Arab News.” I have had books published, but writing for a newspaper is a different experience. When you write a book, you stay with it for a long time, you have to organize the topics and the chapters, arrange and rearrange them. Besides, it all revolves around one subject. With articles it is different because the inspiration is immediate, you simply see, hear or happen to think about “something” that you find interesting and feel the need to jot down your ideas about it “immediately.” Then, once it is printed in the paper, it is wonderful to receive feedback from readers willing to express what they got from your words. After all, the primary aim of article-writing is to present readers with an idea, tell your perspective on it, and hope that they, too, will reflect and come up with “their” personal opinion. Such opinion may or may not be in agreement with yours. It does not matter. What is important is the fact that you offer good “food” for thought.
The general title for this column is “Creative Thinking.” Why? Let us start with “Positive Thinking,” from which Creative Thinking derives. Positive Thinking, a topic that I have been studying and practicing for a long time, is a sort of “philosophy,” it is a way of reasoning according to which you start interpreting reality (people, things, situations) from a different point of view. You realize that many of your reactions are “negative” because your standpoint is the “I only” perspective. French King Louis XV is known for having said “Apres moi le deluge!” (After me, the flood!), meaning “As long as I am OK, who cares?” Here is the mistake. You should care. About what? About other people’s points of view. You are not alone on the planet, you live in the middle of and in relation with other human beings and you cannot afford to ignore or overlook their needs, feelings and aspirations. Therefore, Positive Thinking kindly guides you toward caring for others, but only after having convinced you of how precious, wonderful and capable you, yourself, are. It is a rewarding journey toward the discovery of your true values and of how you can establish better relationships with your fellow human beings.
“Creative Thinking” is the natural consequence of applying Positive Thinking in your life. Once you have established a more serene environment to live in, you start to deeply appreciate what surrounds you, you become able to see the wisdom hidden behind the simplest happenings, you realize that everybody and everything is a wonderful teacher that can make you progress more and more on your spiritual path. Many authors write about “spiritual progress” and express excellent ideas. But it might happen that their words, which are at times extremely elaborate and sort of metaphysical, can be understood by the intellect, but they may not be easily applicable in everyday life. My main goal here is to show how tiny experiences, such as walking in the street, seeing a signpost, reading a piece of news, having a discussion with a friend, can be highly enlightening — if you succeed in detecting what is the lesson that can be learnt from it. We all know the old saying “Life is a school.” Yes, it is indeed. You (I, everybody) are the always-learning pupil who never knows enough. Sometimes you believe you do, but you are wrong. And, in fact, when you believe you “know it all,” an unexpected “cold shower” materializes and dampens your pride. You are aware of your capabilities but ... be careful. Humility must accompany your belief in yourself. In a nutshell, Creative Thinking helps you to perceive a new world that can be brought to life by your own thoughts, if you are sincerely willing to follow the lead it offers you.
P.S. I admit that every now and then I also write about topics, such as Physics or Science Fiction, that seem quite far from this subject. But, as I find them highly enlightening, I wish to share my reflections because topics such as quantum physics, possible parallel Universes or mysterious stuff that might exist “out there,” provide healthy information which may encourage the mind to rise above the mere materiality and fly on the wings of imagination. After all, didn’t Einstein say something like “Imagination is more important than knowledge?” He must have known.

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