Day 3 – Free lateral thinking and creativity lesson

Understanding how creative thinking techniques work


Have you read my introduction to the lessons page? This course employs a strategy of building neural pathways of powerful habits. Please read the LATERAL THINKING LESSONS introduction page before proceeding.

Ok, if you have read my intro and also completed the first and second lesson, let’s proceed . . .

Lateral thinking, when we are referring to the broader understanding of creative thinking, is possibly better described as “original thinking”. The creativity of an artist or a musician is not the sort of creativity we’re concerned with here. However, just as in music or art, there are skills that can be learned.


Let’s go back for a moment to the Kim Jung-un random starting point example referred to in the previous lesson. The problem ( was to find a solution to the Kim Jong-un nuclear disarmament issue and the random starting point was “salary”.

What was it that we actually did?

It may not seem obvious at first, but what we did was that we put two very different ideas together; ideas that we hadn’t considered together before. The ideas being:

  1. Disarm Kim Jong-un of his nuclear arsenal; and
  2. Give North Korea/Kim Jong-un a salary.

It is the combining of these two separate ideas that eventually led to our highly original solution:

  • Give North Korea an income from an enterprise that protects their sovereignty and their leader’s position without the need of a nuclear arsenal;
  • Create an enormous space launch industry heavily invested in by major powers so that each has a vested interest in maintaining North Korea’s sovereignty and status-quo.

“Original” creative thinking is quite simply the combining of ideas in ways not thought of previously. It can be two ideas, or it can be more than two ideas, there is no limit to the creative process. Now you better understand the process of creative thinking.


Combine these ideas with me to see how easily the creative process works.


  1. Start work a little early; and
  2. Taking out a library book.

My “combined” creative ideas:

  1. Finish work early enough to meet the kids after school at the library to develop some good habits;
  2. Create some quality time to further educate myself in some aspect of my work;
  3. The early finish could allow me to join social groups around the library.


  1. Getting a new pair of shoes for work; and
  2. Meet new people.

My “combined” creative ideas:

  1. I could buy walking or exercise shoes ALSO suitable for work and meet people through exercise at gym, walking etc; and
  2. I could ask people I don’t know at work about their great shoes.

Try creating an original combination of ideas and let me know what you came up with in the comments section below.


The combining of just “ideas” is rather limiting. Creativity has no boundaries. Think of “ideas” in a broad sense. You can combine projects, or people, or businesses, or . . .


Random Starting Point in practice

Before we wind up for the day (you didn’t think you were getting off that light did you?), I want to reinforce the importance of yesterday’s Random Starting Point lesson. It is only one lateral thinking technique of several you will acquire by the time you complete this course, but it exhibits an attribute that applies to all the skills that you will be learning . . . it is highly adaptable.

For example:

  • Think of a hobby you love, chose a random friend from your Facebook page.
  • Pick an object that is within reach of you, then apply the next noun or verb you hear to that object;
  • Select a problem that has been troubling you and then choose a random word from the newspaper.
  • Etc, etc, etc, etc.

The power of this technique (and all techniques I introduce here on this website) is their simplicity to employ, and the immediacy of their results.

Right now, I want you to choose an animal, person, place or object and apply a randomly derived entry point. See what you can come up with.

The Random Starting Point skill takes practice. The MORE you practice, the more powerful the creativity that will emerge.

I engage lateral thinking techniques to every single conversation by habit. If you and I were to meet, as we are speaking my mind is racing through combinations and randomly generating starting points from dialogue you generate. If I find our conversation seems fruitless, I’ll say something completely unexpected and unrelated (a keyword from a sign, the television or an advertisement on a billboard) to provoke the conversation into “productive” territory. True.

It works!

Lateral Thinking Lesson 3 – summary

New creative ideas occur when two or more “ideas” are merged that you have never combined in the same way before. Creativity (or creative thinking), therefore, is the DELIBERATE combining of “ideas”.

How easy was that? You are seriously well on the road to becoming an accomplished creative and lateral thinker as you now understand why we need creativity to break the shackles of our preconceived “blinkered” thinking, and what the creative process actually involves. You’ve already mastered one of the most powerful creative thinking tools known (Random Starting Points), and you now fully appreciate the power of simplicity.


Right now please, perform a Random Starting Point exercise as I have described above. If you aren’t entirely happy with the creative outcome, do it again and again with different inputs until you land something you love.

Practice and discuss/share with those around you that you care about. We are attempting to create neural pathways of habit.

It took me 20 years to truly create beneficial habits. That is how profoundly USELESS every other training program offered in the marketplace is.

I’m going to save you 20 years. At the end of 14 days, you will be equally competent to me in all forms of creative thinking and creative personal management if you follow my advice and:

  • Practice the skills you learn;
  • Discuss with others what you learn and now understand; and
  • Share your learning by teaching others around you. That’s right. I’m expecting YOU to not only become proficient in the skills that I impart, but I expect YOU to become a teacher of these skills to people around you that you genuinely care for. Kids, parents, siblings, friends, work colleagues, neighbors, etc. The teaching starts NOW. Do NOT wait until you have finished the course or you will probably fail.

Now, I want you to take what you have learned over the last three lessons and discuss it with somebody . . . somebody you know well preferably. I want you to impart your knowledge to someone else because YOU now are properly briefed on substantial elements of creative value.


You should be confident to discuss the three following subjects:

  1. Our education and life experiences can often result in a “blinkered” viewpoint;
  2. Random starting points (or random entry points) is a lateral thinking tool (or skill) that can be easily employed to break the shackles of our blinkered thinking; and
  3. Creative thinking is merely the combining of two or more ideas that haven’t been combined/considered before.


That’s all for today, I hope to see you tomorrow. Please share and like this page so that you can include your friends and family with your journey of lateral thinking discovery.

And remember that I am happy to receive your queries and assist you with any difficulties you might be having . . . all absolutely FREE.

Please use the comments section below, my Facebook link at the very bottom of the page, or for more substantial contact please use the “Contact” page on this website.

I hope you’re enjoying the journey. See you tomorrow.

Coming soon from Michael Muxworthy . . .

THIS IS FICTION. YOU WILL BELIEVE. The novel from disruptive author Michael Muxworthy

THE “Lateral thinking investigations . . . of the third kind” SERIES

The truth about the alien UFO encounter at Roswell in 1947 is revealed for the first time anywhere in the world when I release THIS IS FICTION. YOU WILL BELIEVE.

Throughout the “Lateral thinking investigations . . . of the third kind” series of novels, I entice the reader to participate in the creative thinking processes that lead to solving some of the greatest mysteries of all time.

Michael Muxworthy – Author

Lateral thinking investigations . . . of the third kind


5 thoughts on “Lesson 3 – How Creativity Works

  1. Hi Michael

    Working from my Random Starting Point of “Recording” from my previous Lesson 2 comments, I have now put my two very different ideas together:

    – My objective to get my housekeeping under control
    – Use a “recording” based methodology

    Combining these two separate ideas eventually led to my new solution:

    – Break down the housekeeping activities into manageable, 15 minute bite-sized chunks, making way for a more flexible, realistic and stress-less approach to cleaning

    – Create a one-off master list for the fridge to use as a visual ‘quick reminder’, encourage involvement and support from the greater household and have more time to spend on the important stuff.

    Working through these lessons, I’m starting to get a sense of how these lessons will begin to play a part in my everyday life and thinking. I’m loving it so far…


  2. Awesome start! Well Done!! You are doing so well. Question, have you discussed your journey with others? Have you seriously sat down with someone and passed on your new knowledge? Helped someone work through an R.S.P. exercise of THEIR needs?

    It is one thing to work through these lessons on your own, it is another to interact and teach what you have learned, putting into practice the skills as you teach.

    The teaching process will help build your neural pathways of habit as your competence and confidence grow.

    Remember, lateral thinking is for ALL age 3 plus. I suggest that if you involve your kids in the discovery process, teach them what you have discovered, you and they will benefit HUGELY, and you will have someone around that you can frequently interact with to get those neural pathways firmly embedded.



    1. Yes, you’re right. I’ll put that to the test with my two boys. Maybe we use an RSP exercise to help us solve the biggest drama in our household – Managing Media!!


      1. Okay, give it a try, and involve your children in the exercise. If you get stuck, let me know and I’ll add what I can if you give me your RSP.

        For example, the R.S.P. you came up with before was “recording”. Can that be applied to the problem? Why not use an internet monitoring program that requires kids to “log on” so that actual hours spent on the internet are not disputed. It may shock you and them when they actually see how much time they actually spend on there. Have agreed hours that must be only used through a logon monitoring program of some sort.

        Lateral thinking guarantees creativity, but not always the best solutions. However, if one R.S.P. isn’t going anywhere, try another. I have NEVER come across a problem that creative thinking hasn’t eventually found a superior solution. Sometimes you just have to keep plugging away.


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