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The Dreamer’s Engine and How to Train It

When we talk about creativity, realizing ideas and projects, we quickly come to the topic of convergent and divergent thinking.

Animated rotating coin with  FutureHabits icons on it

But what are these two mindsets?

They are like two sides of a coin. They contrast each other, yet both are enormously important in our everyday lives.

"Divergent thinking, everything is possible."

While there is only one possible solution in convergent thinking, divergent thinking strives to look at the problem differently and find multiple solutions for the same problem. Divergent thinking helps look at problems from different angles, leads to a more flexible mindset, and helps to think outside the box. It assumes that a problem has more than one solution. Therefore, it is where your Dreamer feels comfortable and can flourish.

"Convergent thinking, let's get realistic!"

Convergent thinking, on the other hand, helps you to break down a problem into small parts so that they are easily manageable. It has an analytical nature and strives for efficiencies. It assumes that a problem has one solution. This is the place where your Planner feels very comfortable.

FutureHabits Visualisation of divergent and convergent thinking

When you are faced with a problem, fire up the engine of your divergent thinking.

Look at the problem from different angles, and then close the diamond by applying your convergent thinking, analyzing and comparing the solutions, picking the best possible solution, and making it ready for your Doer to come into implementation and execution.

For the Dreamer and Planner to work in harmony and not overwhelm the Doer in the end, we need to balance and train these two ways of thinking. Due to society and growing up, it is unfortunate that most are stronger in convergent thinking.

Dreamers's Engine Animation showing a chair changing its purpose

Here is a little exercise on how to train your Dreamer in divergent thinking.

You can do it right now at the place where you are reading this article.

1. Find an object near you that you can look at.

Let's take a chair as an example. Maybe even the one you are sitting on right now.

Now, look at this chair and think about how else this chair can be used because it can be more than just a seat.

2. Try to come up with the strangest ideas.

Be it from a plant stool, table to a cat tree, a throwing projectile, a wall shelf, as a base for a pillow castle... The possibilities are endless, and the crazier, the better. If you think you're out of ideas, wait, and find three more uses. Use open questions to come up with more ideas.

What if... the chair is upside down? ....I disassemble it? And so on. Just like in the gym, when it gets tiring, you add another repetition.

3. Share your craziest idea of a different use of the chair.

What have you done to the regular chair? What ideas came you up with? You can share it with a friend or with us in the comments.


PS: This is also a great exercise if you are bored when train riding; it can be done alone or with more people.



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