Árni Karlsson

jazz from the cold north

Getting Creative With Your Peripheral Vision

In my early twenties I learned a trick of creatively solving problems that is quite simple. It can be practiced almost any place at any time and after some practice you can do it entirely in your own mind. It can be used on solving mental or emotional problems when you seem stuck and it can also be used to help you come up with new ideas when you need to.

Almost all jobs today rely on creativity at some level. You can be in business, the arts, law practice, production, design, gardening, you name it, and you are required to be creative in problem solving, coming up with new solutions to problems. When we get stuck and have this feeling of giving up having used up our creativity on our challenge then there is a simple trick that can do all the difference. Often the problem lies in the way we see our problems. When we focus on solving things we, quite naturally, focus intensely on the very thing that we want to get ahead with. After focusing for some time we sometimes stop seeing anything that might help us. In that situation there is a great way to get back on track by doing this little exercise here below.

The Trick: Now, stand up and let your arms straight out in front of you as you were pushing someone, and then point your two index fingers up into the air (like you are making an important point). Then focus your vision on your two fingers while you think about a real problem that you have been focusing on for some time and not gotten any real traction with yet. Now, when you feel that you have a good grasp of the problem, continue thinking about it while you let your two fingers go apart to each side bringing your visual attention to the periphery of your visual field while keeping your mind on the problem at all all times. You might find this a bit difficult at first and naturally the “focus” will soften up because when your arms have moved into 180 degrees and if you do this correctly your feeling of the problem will also expand while your breathing deepens. Hold the 180 degree position as long as you can while thinking about your problem from this stance.

When you do this it is almost as lifting the potluck of a bot with boiling water because there is a relief and also a wealth of information that suddenly becomes available that was not there before, some of it might come to your attention right away while other might take more time.

Because this technique is relaxing it is immensely beneficial when you are under stress and have to be creative to get things done quickly in a new way. I have used this technique for expansion on many occasions both while developing songs, or getting ideas for a song, and also when nothing seems to be working in my life and I need ideas to do something new. What happens with continued practice of this method is that you get to place where this is your go-to thought pattern when you are under creative stress and you save both energy and time finding the next solution.

Try this trick out for yourself, note what happens and write me a comment below about your experience.