Play is the essence of learning and creativity. The phenomenon of censoring and thresholding – sensible when one has attained a level of expertise in a subject – gets in the way of learning in a new domain. Why children learn faster is that going into a new activity, they have no threshold. They draw and write whatever they think of, while an adult throws away ten germs of ideas before they write a single word. Sometimes, the best way to get better is by doing lots.
I still feel there to be circular blockages. Are they really circular though? Firstly, I really want to Do Something New. By “want” I mean some combination of “desire,” “should,” “need to,” and “am afraid I won’t.” Firstly, my value system says that a little bit of something new is many times more valuable than just doing the same old. However, this leads to the same problem as the “myopic egotism problem.” The myopic x problem is the problem where I’m motivated by x, but I *cling* to x, and won’t do things that help me achieve x if they involve stepping outside of x for a moment. So being myopically x hinders my accomplishing x. I have the myopic egotism problem: when becoming a better person (ultimate goal is egotistic) means forgetting myself and being open and listening to other people (which involves temporarily suspending egotism), I have trouble. The myopic creativity problem is when I put myself in front of an empty screen and try to write, when coming up with something to write involves reading, watching, and studying books/movies/etc., talking to and doing things with people, and learning more about the world. Myopic egotism and myopic creativity together make me think everything I do should come from myself, and prevent me from “standing on the shoulders of giants.”