Patterns 'R Us
Making Sense Out of Nonsense
by Mitchell Ditkoff
C_n y__ r_ad th__ se_t_nc_ ?
And do you know why you can? Because you've been given just enough information to deduce a meaning. Your brain, drawing on past experiences of letters, words and sentences, recognizes a pattern - or at least thinks it does.
Human beings are masters at "filling in the blanks." We see something, compare it to our storehouse of past memories, reach a conclusion and then act on it. This pattern- recognizing ability of our brain is very useful tool. It saves us time, lets us to make decisions on the fly and helps us interpret our world. For example, when driving up a hill, your pattern recognition ability allows you to keep on driving rather than stop your car to make sure the road continues on the other side. Past experience has taught you that roads continue, even when you can't see where they're going.
Patterns are neither good nor bad. They're simply the raw material from which we interpret our world. Weathermen make their living interpreting patterns. So do stock market analysts, futurists, and astrologers. All of them infer a future based on past trends. Sometimes, however, they misinterpret the clues. Or even more insidiously, cannot detect new patterns inconsistent with their present worldview.
If you want to be more creative, start making a commitment to look for, learn from, and challenge existing patterns. It will help you see the world (and all your problems) in wonderful, new ways - the fertile ground from which all innovation springs.
WHAT PATTERNS OR TRENDS INTRIGUE YOU?
WHAT CAN YOU LEARN FROM THESE PATTERNS?
WHAT IDEAS FOR A NEW PRODUCT OR SERVICE CAN YOU CONCEIVE BY NOTICING AN EMERGING PATTERN?
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