On our minds working on problems even when we're not consciously thinking about them (John Cleese)

πŸ’Ž On our minds working on problems even when we’re not consciously thinking about them (John Cleese)

Graham and I thought it was rather a good sketch. It was therefore terribly embarrassing when I found I’d lost it. I knew Graham was going to be cross, so when I’d given up looking for it, I sat down and rewrote the whole thing from memory. It actually turned out to be easier than I’d expected.

Then I found the original sketch and, out of curiosity, checked to see how well I’d recalled it when rewriting. Weirdly, I discovered that the remembered version was actually an improvement on the one that Graham and I had written. This puzzled the hell out of me.

Again I was forced to the conclusion that my mind must have continued to think about the sketch after Graham and I had finished it. And that my mind had been improving what we’d written, without my making any conscious attempt to do so. So when I remembered it, it was already better.

Chewing this over, I realised it was like the tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon: when you can’t remember a name, and you chase after it in your mind

Excerpt from: Creativity: A Short and Cheerful Guide by John Cleese

Facebook Comments

Product Geek?

Join over 5,000 product geeks and get one email every Monday containing the best excerpts I've read over the previous week.

See some of what you're missing...