…or as George Felgate, a veteran of the nuclear navy and now with the World Association of Nuclear Operators says, “if, having made every provision for safety, you think for a minute that an accident is not possible, you put yourself at risk of being proved disastrously wrong.”

Nuclear power might be one of the places where complacency and lack of imagination can have the most dire consequences, think Fukashima, but it leads to problems and poor results in all kinds of places. Again and again we hear about disasters big and small that came about because “we didn’t think that could happen”, or “we never thought about it.”

Not thinking is not a good plan for avoiding disaster.

But it’s not only thinking that is required, but creative thinking, imaginative thinking, thinking about the unthinkable. Unfortunately such thinking is the opposite of what most of us do. We are stuck in our rut due to lack of variety. Our brains become rigid, our viewpoint narrowed by blinders or regularity, our universe shrunk to the same circle of people with the same ideas.

Our brains become tired.

Wake up your brain and those of your people.  It’s both harder and easier than you might believe. 

Harder since you need to change your behavior. Variety of experience leads to expansion of ideas. Venturing beyond your area of expertise and searching out those with divergent expertise leads to new ideas. Travel really does broaden the mind as does looking at things that you just don’t fully understand.  Maintain the perspective of the outsider.

Easier since all you need to do is to do something different, often. Vary the restaurants you visit.  for each vacation, visit a different place.  Regularly go places you never thought you’d go in a million years. And let your brain rest by doing frivolous things. Your subconscious mind works at its creative and imaginative best when you let it relax.

When was the last time you spent an hour playing pinball?


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