Compassion as a #creative thinking strategy

Compassion is the response to the suffering of others that motivates a desire to help. Compassion motivates people to go out of their way to help physical, spiritual, or emotional hurts or pains of another.Even if compassion is foreign to you, it’s imagining potential can make a difference in your thinking.


Graham Wallas wrote of a four-stage creative process in Art of Thought (1926).

  1. Preparation:get ready, collect your data, define the challenge, look for ideas;
  2. Incubation: let it rest, do something else, sleep on it, go for a walk, take a shower
  3. Illumination; the light-bulb goes off, breakthrough, eureka
  4. Verification: test the inspiration/illumination in the real world, see how it works, discover what needs improving

Among the many creative thinking strategies, you might not have yet had experience actualizing compassion as a strategy.

If you are stuck for new thinking, you can incubate by imagining what influences a good vs. a bad day for:

  • a professional sheep shearer in Ireland
  • a vineyard caretaker in Spain
  • a fashion designer in Milan
  • a seamstress in China
  • a student in India
  • a taxi driver in London
  • a graphic designer in NY
  • a monk in Greece
  • a maid in a hotel in Dubai
  • a woman about to give birth
  • the middle child in a family of 12
  • a person in the hospital
  • a thief
  • someone who got all their worldly possessions stolen
  • someone’s first day on the job
  • someone’s last day on the job who’s retiring

And then go back to work.  You’ll be amazed at your new points of view. There’s a chance you might also experience a few heartfelt moments.

Compassion has many benefits. Thinking differently about your own situation is only one; being even momentarily connected to others is a second.  Acting on your insights is a third.