Angles and Creativity

By: Rolando J. Vivas

We recently talked about minimalist musicians and that set of notes repeated endlessly, one part of the charm of those cacophonic symphonies is the shocking volume, another is the different “angles” that musicians usually approach, play the melodies at different speeds, sometimes accelerating to the maximum in a frantic way and other times very slowly, in an extremely focused and detailed way, that further increases the power and scope of the patterns repeated over and over again, they add dimensions, so through the analysis of these performances we can find an endless number of patterns that we can connect with endless activities, and obtain unique learning if we analyze and understand them.

In the gym we can build an effective training set with just one exercise, we can talk perhaps about barbell squats , the so-called “king of exercises”, a basic exercise, since many more are derived from it, and compound, since during Its execution involves large groups of muscles (otherwise it would be an isolation exercise, which seeks to involve only one muscle), of which we could perform up to 10 sets of the same exercise, someone might think “if the recommended is 3 to 4 series, why perform 10? What’s the point? “. The reason is found in the angles, which is precisely where we find the benefit and what gives us the opportunity to create new dimensions.

Muscles are made up of thousands of fibers, which are counted in a fragmented way along the muscle in question, when we work on a machine, the machine forces us to stay at the same rigid angle, so we could hardly work all the fibers existing, that is the great advantage of training with free weights (barbells and dumbbells), when doing a barbell squats, at no time will our movements be fixed, as when using a machine, we can vary the position of the barbell, the opening of our legs, the direction of the tips of the feet, and even the range of motion of the hips, the angles are what gives us the maximum benefit and variety, by recruiting in each series a different group of fibers, giving us the opportunity to further work the muscle, some call it “angle” training.

When we analyze creative thinking techniques, we can also find restrictions similar to exercise machines, and in turn, we can find alternatives to overcome those restrictions (sometimes it is precisely those restrictions that most cause the emergence of creative thinking), such as in the gym, we can find ways to work better by using different angles that allow us to obtain new analytical perspectives, relax our mind, and give us the opportunity to open ourselves to other ideas, thus, we can remember the work of Edward de Bono, psychologist and writer, and his theory of “lateral thinking” developed in the 70s, which is precisely based on the use of different “angles” to complement our way of thinking (the most popular tool, the use of the legendary “six hats ”).

Lateral thinking helps us to overcome restrictions, to break with fixed patterns, to use new angles to solve a situation, and it becomes a very important tool for creative thinking, it makes us more efficient since it allows us to use more than one approach. for problem solving, it helps us get creative despite scarce resources, so I could do thousands of exercises at home with just a couple of dumbbells, no need for fancy gym equipment, everything is in the “angles”, sometimes I imagine for example Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, using angles or lateral thinking to achieve his goals, I imagine him thinking “If we are not the most powerful nation in the world,“ How can we compete with the greatest and win? ”, instead of going to war in an obvious and direct way, which would surely make him lose, Putin thinks about dividing the enemy, and he has succeeded, he has divided the European Union, he has divided the United Kingdom, he has even divided North America, and although Putin remains a negative character, we cannot ignore the fact that he has been very creative in using angles to achieve his goals.

And with all this we return again to the “less is more” approach, the minimalist music that is repeated until it becomes a powerful mantra, the formidable training that we can achieve with a pair of dumbbells and just one exercise, the thousands of ideas that can arise from just a change of angle and restrictions as a catapult of the most creative approaches, “If you ran out of blue paint, what color would you use to paint the sky?”.