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Be Spontaneous to Be Creative

Marc Chagall quote

“If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing.” Marc Chagall

But creative expression involves using and balancing both our “heart” and “head.”

Creative inspiration can benefit from intuition, dreaming, being spontaneous, and playing – but our intellect is needed to select, refine, and make real those creative ideas.

A professor of Creativity and Innovation, creativity researcher and author, KH Kim writes in an article of hers about this balancing:

“Ideas that are unique but not useful are considered irrelevant or crazy, thus they require critical thinking that consists of analysis and evaluation.

“However, generating and evaluating ideas at the same time is like driving with one foot on the brake and the other on the accelerator.

“Innovators balance spontaneity with persistence to generate and evaluate ideas. After spontaneously generating many ideas, they work on other simple work; take a break; relax; or daydream, which often leads to unique ideas.”

She adds, “Later when they return to the ideas they generated, they critically and persistently analyze and evaluate them for usefulness.”

She makes a number of suggestions for discovering “what is keeping you from living spontaneously” – such as:

“Finding predictable behavior by making a list of your daily routines to determine whether you:

* Do things in the same order
* Take the same route to work every day
* Talk to the same people every day
* Order the same drink or meal at a restaurant.”

She suggests you can shake up your routine by:

* Not over-planning or over-scheduling your life

* Making an immediate plan and going through with it, instead of talking about it

* Experimenting with new ways of doing things…

Read more in her article Want To Innovate? Science Says, “Be Spontaneous”, The Creativity Post Feb 21, 2017.

Her book: The Creativity Challenge: How We Can Recapture American Innovation.

Also see more of her perspectives in article: Emotional Intelligence for Innovation.


Heart vs intellect

The image of the quote by artist Marc Chagall is from the page for The Spontaneous Way painting course by the Studio of Spontaneous Creativity.

Jodie FosterIt reminds me of comments by actor Jodie Foster:

“I can basically put my emotions aside and go headfirst, but it’s something I have to watch, because sometimes I don’t know how I feel about things… Until years later.

“I am someone who experiences the world through my head, so my psyche’s fight, my whole life, has been the head against the heart.

“That’s what all my movies are about, too.”

Read more in my article The INTJ Personality and Being Creative.

Linda Kreger Silverman, Ph.D. of Institute for the Study of Advanced Development notes one source of this conflict:

“Individuals with higher intelligence are likely to be well educated. Higher education indoctrinates students to think logically and skeptically and to dismiss intuitive information.”

From my article Wrestling with our intuition.


A final quote:

“Being spontaneous at times is a must. Being spontaneous all the time is a crazy person.” Actor Ryan Hansen.


Be Spontaneous to Be Creative

Douglas Eby

Douglas EbyDouglas Eby, MA/Psychology, is a writer and researcher on psychology and personal development related to creativity; creator of the , and author of books including [link to book site with excerpts.]
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APA Reference
Eby, D. (2017). Be Spontaneous to Be Creative. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 22, 2020, from


Last updated: 7 Apr 2017
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