By removing ourselves from what we know – by turning ourselves into outsiders – we force the brain to wake up and look at new things, or at old things from new angles.
Lerner points to mathematician Paul Erdos, one of the most productive scientists of all time who was
“famous for hopscotching around his discipline, working with new people on new problems. He embraced a multiplicity of subjects…As a result, his creative output never declined; there was no U curve for his career, just a sharp rise followed by a flat line….
….The moral is that outsider creativity isn’t a phase of life – it’s a state of mind.”