The key to genius may be learning to ignore something your brain wants to tell you

A new study suggests that when brilliant people are thinking creatively, they all do this weird thing: They basically switch off a big part of their brain.

Performance philosopher Jason Silva is speaking.

Creativity is one of the most fascinating things about people.

We have this incredible ability to remix everything we take in and combine it all into something new and amazing.


We can somehow transform the way the world feels.

We tiptoe up to the edge of the possible, look over the edge and jump, redefining the starting point for the next person.

"Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn't really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That's because they were able to connect experiences they've had and synthesize new things." — Steve Jobs

Silva refers to this inspired thinking as being in a "flow state."

Scientists in their eureka moments, athletes in the zone, musicians, technicians, anyone who has a sudden creative breakthrough that takes them to a place they — and sometimes nobody else — has ever been. They're all in the flow state.

Neuroscience has been revealing what's going on.

There's a part of the brain, the lateral pre-frontal cortex, that's responsible for self-editing.

When neuroscientists observe the brains of creative thinkers as they do their thing, they see this normally lit-up part of the brain go dim. Go silent. Shut off. What it suggests is that creative thinkers have learned to shut off their self-editing when it's time to imagine. Wow.

So perfection's not just about control. It's also about letting go.

When self-judgement and self-criticism are suspended, the magic begins.

Here's Jason Silva.

Heroes
via Twitter / Soraya

There is a strange right-wing logic that suggests when minorities fight for equal rights it's somehow a threat to the rights already held by those in the majority or who hold power.

Like when the Black Lives Matter movement started, many on the right claimed that fighting for black people to be treated equally somehow meant that other people's lives were not as valuable, leading to the short-lived All Lives Matter movement.

This same "oppressed majority" logic is behind the new Straight Pride movement which made headlines in August after its march through the streets of Boston.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

For most of us, the hypothetical question of whether we would stick with a boyfriend or girlfriend through the trials of cancer and the treatments is just that – a hypothetical question. We would like to think we would do the right thing, but when Max Allegretti got the chance to put his money where mouth is, he didn't hesitate for a second.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via bfmamatalk / facebook

Where did we go wrong as a society to make women feel uncomfortable about breastfeeding in public?

No one should feel they have the right to tell a woman when, where, and how she can breastfeed. The stigma should be placed on those who have the nerve to tell a woman feeding her child to "Cover up" or to ask "Where's your modesty?"

Breasts were made to feed babies. Yes, they also have a sexual function but anyone who has the maturity of a sixth grader knows the difference between a sexual act and feeding a child.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Instagram / JLo

The Me Too movement has shed light on just how many actresses have been placed in positions that make them feel uncomfortable. Abuse of power has been all too commonplace. Some actresses have been coerced into doing something that made them uncomfortable because they felt they couldn't say no to the director. And it's not always as flagrant as Louis C.K. masturbating in front of an up-and-coming comedian, or Harvey Weinstein forcing himself on actresses in hotel rooms.

But it's important to remember that you can always firmly put your foot down and say no. While speaking at The Hollywood Reporter's annual Actress Roundtable, Jennifer Lopez opened up about her experiences with a director who behaved inappropriately. Laura Dern, Awkwafina, Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong'o, and Renee Zellweger were also at the roundtable.

Keep Reading Show less
popular