Sudden flashes of inspiration have triggered many discoveries and inventions throughout history. Are such aha! moments merely random, or is there a way to train the brain to harness these seemingly unpredictable creative insights? This fascinating overview of the latest neuroscience findings on spontaneous thought processes, or "snaps," describes how everyone—not just geniuses—can learn to improve the likelihood of their own "eureka" moments by adopting certain rewarding attitudes and habits.
As the author explains, snaps are much more than new ideas. Snaps are insights plus momentum—they instantly compel or snap us toward action. They often occur after ordinary problem solving hits an impasse. We may feel stuck, but while we’re in a quandary, the brain is rebooting. Then, when we least expect it, the solution pops into our heads. She describes the results of numerous scientific experiments studying this phenomenon. She also recounts intriguing stories of people in diverse disciplines who have had a snap experience. Both the research and the stories illustrate that it’s possible to enhance our facility for snap moments by training ourselves to scan, sift, and solve.
In the emerging economy, businesses and individuals need new strategies, and it’s clear that just thinking harder no longer works. People who can snap are often a step ahead: they have a vigilance advantage from exercising brain cells that build mental agility. While snapping is rewarding, fun, and good for improving our mental skills, it’s also much more: people who snap life-changing ideas that affect many others will redirect our future.
Written in an accessible, jargon-free narrative that weaves together the latest research with illuminating stories of innovative people, this book teaches us how to cultivate our own inner epiphanies to gain an edge in our imaginations, our careers, our goals—indeed, in every aspect of our lives.
From the Hardcover edition.