I have some mind math for you. When it comes to working together, and particularly when it comes to creative thinking, mind math works like this:
1 + 1 = 3 (or more)
While this may look like I should have failed 1st grade math (I didn’t … just to make that clear), it will make sense in a minute. The basic idea is that when you get two minds together, the end result is more than just the combination of the two.
Chances are you’ve already experienced this yourself. You get together with a friend or colleague and start brainstorming. Each of you brings a unique set of skills and ideas to the table. But when you combine them, you come up with even more than if you had sat down separately to brainstorm a list of ideas and then combined the list.
You bounce ideas off each other and something one of you suggests sparks an idea in the other one. You keep bouncing back and forth and come up with all kinds of great thoughts and ideas that never would have seen the light of day if you hadn’t put your heads together.
In short when you collaborate, you are not only working with your mind, and that of the other person, but you also create a virtual third mind of sorts that’s a combination of the two of you working together. That is where the most creative thinking will happen.
It doesn’t stop at creative thinking. There’s also a lot of power in combining minds when it comes to positive thinking. Positive thoughts can be quite contagious. I’m sure you’ve experienced this as well. You can’t help but be in a better mood and start thinking positively when you’re around an optimist.
On the flip side, it can be tough to be upbeat and positive by yourself. It’s much easier in a crowd of like-minded people. Think about how you can surround yourself with more positive and creative thinkers, and you will start to become better and better at coming up with creative solutions.
You don’t have to do it all alone and in isolation. Quite the opposite is true. You’ll do better and make progress faster in all areas of your life when you surround yourself with people who have the same goals and ideas. It works even better when you can find people who are slightly ahead of you. Of course, a mix will also work well.
This is one of the big reasons why mastermind groups or study groups are so helpful whether at work, in business, or at school. Getting together with others and combining minds is a very powerful thing and something we should strive to do more often.