Friday, December 08, 2006
Finding Your Genius
If you asked me where to find big thinkers, I might point you toward Silicon Valley, where some of the Internet's biggest companies have their headquarters. Or, I might tell you to begin your search in Cambridge, Massachusetts, home to MIT and Harvard.

Francestown, New Hampshire, is not known for producing beautiful minds, but that's where we caught up with Matt Savage, a 14-year-old piano playing savant. We profiled Matt for an hour-long special report on genius.

Matt lives on a small farm along a picturesque country road, with his parents, a sister, seven cats and a few head of Belted Galway cattle. The farm is about an hour's drive from Manchester, New Hampshire, the nearest city.

Not only does Matt possess prodigious piano playing skills, he composes beautiful jazz melodies that have won national awards. What's more, the home-schooled teenager has an encyclopedic knowledge of geography and, of all things, roller coasters.

With the encouragement of his parents, Diane and Larry, Matt is thriving some distance from any intellectual mecca.

By the same token, creativity can be found in unlikely places. Eureka moments tend to come not at work but when we're relaxing. People who study creativity calls this phenomenon the three B's: bed, bath and bus. Shift the mind into idle while riding the bus, lying in bed or relaxing in the bath, and big ideas will come.

The ideas don't come from nowhere, though. You're much more likely have a creative burst if you've been working hard, according to the experts.

Have you had creative ideas in unusual places? Tell us about them, and don't forget to watch House Call this weekend to hear more about Matt and other geniuses. That's Saturday and Sunday at 830 AM Eastern.
Hi David,
As far back as I can remember, music was my brain booster. Anytime I hear music it's as if a switch in my mind goes on. Instrumental music works best, but all music seems to produce the same results. Take Care
Creativity comes at unusual moments for me, as well. And, I have always respected my creative process.

When I was young, I wrote short stories and poetry. As I entered the workforce I went into designing technical and procedural materials, and policy manuals,and project related documentation. (I also manage projects.) I do so many various things at work- that my title is simply "Special Projects Manager".

I agree with your post when it states that creativity comes from hard work. Often I will read as much as possible about a subject and then I will let the idea/knowledge "cook" in my brain.

Like you said, when the thoughts finally take form it is usually overnight or in the shower or driving home or at work doing clerical type tasks.

However, the busier I get the harder it is to find that "thinking time". So often I set aside Fridays as my "thinking days". I do clerical work, and tidy up my office or return calls, and just give myself a mind rest.

Well, my mind isn't really resting because it usually results in an afternoon burst of energy. The ideas take shape and I write them down.

My boss understands this, but my coworkers don't. They think you need to be task driven constantly. And when I tell them I am having a "thinking day" they look at me suspiciously. They think it is just an excuse for not getting the work done.

But as I said, I respect the process. (And it never fails, I always meet my deadlines.)
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