Just finished the book, too, by Richard Wiseman. He gives ways to spot the gorilla.. one way is to play more!
Another is to have the “problem” in your mind, work on it, and then let it sift to the background, do other things and let the subconscious mind make connections (When the old idea gets coupled up with something that has nothing to do with it, new ideas can be generated).
An exercise he gave… write a couple lines for a plot.
Then he threw out various words without any connection at all, and had the plot writer rewrite the plot, based on these unrelated words step by step… interesting.
When you see something new, don’t just let it go at that… for me, that might be about cameras (or the eye). Ok, so I know how to take a picture, but how does that thing — that machine body part) work?
Wiseman suggests making it a point to learn new things. “To help yourself become more curious, ask yourself a new question each week.”
On another note, I’m learning an amazing amount of stuff by playing a scrabble-like game with my daughter, via the cellphone… the last lesson i learned was at about 4 am this morning. I find that I’m picking up the game at odd times and just reshuffling cards, as a way to relax my mind, and in the process of this play (by the way, i used to hate games — now I’m loving them), i figured out how to use all my little chips (you get huge bonus points when you do that) — the word I “found” (by accident) was “nitwits…”
The funny thing is, I’m beginning to see that I can approach lots of other situations with the same game-playing mentality and maybe i can take something that’s been a pain and make it fun!