The Bath, Bed and Bus Theory of Creativity by Lucretia Torva at Creativity For Life!

When do your best ideas appear? Is it when you least expect it? There???s a reason for great ideas appearing at odd moments and it???s just how our minds work.

The ???Bed, Bath and Bus??? theory of creativity. Some of you may have heard of it. If you haven???t, it???s the notion that the best ideas come when you least expect it, such as in the bath/shower, lying in bed or waiting for a bus.

Lets travel back in time to visit Archimedes, a Greek mathematician, philosopher, inventor and who experienced the first recorded incident of solving a problem in the bathtub. He is most famous for discovering the law of hydrostatics, sometimes known as ???Archimedes??? principle???, stating that a body immersed in fluid loses weight equal to the weight of the amount of fluid it displaces. The story goes that he was given the job of determining if a king???s crown was really made of solid gold or partly of silver. He pondered the problem for some time. He was sitting in his bath one day when the idea struck him that different elements (such as gold vs. silver) would displace different amounts of water. So it was, an equal weight of silver displaces more water than gold.

The solution came to Archimedes when he was no longer working on the problem. He had thought about it and most likely gathered some information???then he took a break. His subconscious mind continued working, working without the constraint of conscious control. Our subconscious minds have a far greater capacity than we can possibly imagine! So, it is up to us to give the subconscious the room it needs to arrive at solutions to our problems.

I believe we need two characteristics in particular to make incubation successful: patience and belief. Both of these are necessary for you to walk away from a problem that means a lot to you, that you really want to solve or that has a deadline.

Patience is a challenge. Most of us want instant gratification. The media have trained us to want things quickly because that???s how they deliver information to us. Be patient and allow the solution to come at the right time, which may not be right now. Assuming you have done some research, brainstormed and put some effort into this, patience will have it???s rewards.

Belief is necessary for any success to happen. You must have belief in yourself, your creative abilities, your subconscious mind. Trust is another way to say it. Trust that you have done the work. Trust that you have looked at the problem from multiple viewpoints, that you have been open-minded and asked for input form others. I would also add that you should trust that the problem is worth solving! Yes, that the solution will be of benefit. It doesn???t have to be of benefit to the entire world, but of real benefit to at least you.

One last thing to do. Assign this project to your subconscious. Literally tell your mind to take care of, then let it go.

I realize the subject here is creativity and problem solving. Doesn???t this process sound a lot like using the Law of Attraction to reach your goals???well, that???s also creativity! Use this for your goals. Visualize them and do some research as to what you really want. Assign the goal to your subconscious mind a let it go! Be patient, believe and see what happens!

Guest Author: Lucretia Torva

Lucretia Torva is a freelance artist painting murals, portraits and faux finishes in the Southwest. She received her Master of Fine Art from the University of Illinois. Lucretia has taught college level art courses, helping hundreds of people tap into their creative abilities, also managed a department of artists for a production art company. Successfully freelancing for last 7 years, she has been selling her artwork for the last 25 years. Check out her site:, and get on her mailing list!


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This entry was posted on December 8, 2011 at 11:25 am and is filed under Personal Creativity. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.


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