Does Isolation Lead to Creativity?

During this time of extreme lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve discovered that isolation breeds creativity. My realization was that with being out in society for so long, I had picked up observations of how the human race functioned. Then going into isolation, naturally, I had taken that information to transform into a creative generating machine or to improve the prowess that I already had.

Albert Einstein Riding Bicycle, 1933 | Vintage News Daily

As I researched my realization, I found that many great thinkers discovered the same philosophy. Albert Einstein cherished his moments of isolation, as he once shared: “Although I have a regular work schedule, I take time to go for long walks on the beach so that I can listen to what is going on inside my head.” Or, as Tesla once said: “The mind is sharper and keener in seclusion and uninterrupted solitude. Originality thrives in seclusion free of outside influences beating upon us to cripple the creative mind.”

Isolation is a double-edged sword when it comes to creativity. If we want to obtain a unique idea, we must lock ourselves away with inspiration to achieve it. To harness this power, we must remember isolation is part of one stage of the creative process. If used unwisely, isolation can hinder, not help, and can stop creative thinking. But, if used correctly, it can be the most potent component of creativity.

Creativity is about individual expression and what we can come up with on our own, so it makes sense that we should isolate ourselves from the rest of the world if we’re to come up with any worthwhile ideas that can result in possible creative solutions.

Our best ideas stem from existing ideas outside ourselves, shaped by historical, cultural, and social exchanges.

Once in the isolation stage of the creative process, our ideas are best created by taking breaks in brief intervals that will allow us to synthesize what we’ve comprehended. In other words, plant a seed, water it, and walk away. Then, come back and check on it. You cannot just sit in a room and think about how you are going to create something or solve a problem by focusing on what the result will be for nine hours at a time. Creativity comes within intervals in isolation.

Isolation helps us to limit the noise of outside influences long enough to make sense of what we’ve ingested, allowing us to peel the petals of the flower to tune our mental abilities on the pieces that we can influence or cannot influence us.

Immerse yourself in the environments, communities, and spaces where you can be inspired most. Then implement what you know through isolating yourself. By only looking to temporarily isolate yourself once you’ve had enough time immersed in the world, the discovery will be worth the time alone.


“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

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