The Next Time You're In A Slump, Remember Bob Dylan In 1965

Bob Dylan, 1965

Photo: AP

If creativity were easy, we’d have already solved some of the most complicated problems out there.But people aren’t willing to put in the time and deep thinking in order to get to a point of high creativity.

Jonah Lehrer, a best-selling author who wrote Proust Was A Neuroscientist and How We Decide, spoke with Time’s Andrea Sachs about his recent revelations about creativity: 

“I’m a long-time fan of Bob Dylan and have always been fascinated by the moment in 1965 when he comes back from his UK tour and he decides to quit singing and songwriting. He has already published some pretty epic albums…but he feels stuck. His crowd still wants him to be a folk artist. They won’t fully embrace his changes. And so he’s just so fed up with it. He’s so sick of being labelled that he decides to quit and go to upstate New York to be a novelist and a painter. It’s there in a remote rural cabin that he starts scribbling again after just two days — and those are the lyrics of “Like a Rolling Stone,” one of the most influential songs in the history of rock ‘n’ roll. …

“I think most people assume that when you feel stumped, you should just give up, that that’s a sign the problem is just too hard for you. But it’s also a sign that your standard method of trying to solve the problem just isn’t working so it’s also a cut to your brain to really start searching for much more remote associations for far-fetched ideas, for real speculation. In order to benefit from that kind of thinking, it helps to get relaxed — to take a shower, go for a walk — so you can turn the spotlight inward and  finally hear that quiet voice, which is trying to give you different insight.”

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