If the creative process is about changing perspectives, then it would help to know what a perspective is. Right. And often, we hear a lot about people generating ideas too, but we kind of take for granted what's an idea. That sounds sort of philosophical, right? Yeah, right. What is an idea? But although it's philosophical, it could be useful to actually know what these things are, right? So, let's dive in. Let's do it. Let's talk about what a perspective is and what ideas are. So here's a picture of a dog. It's a specific dog in the world. Actually, my family's dog. His name is Romeo. There is also our concept of dog that we use to understand this specific creature, Romeo. We hardly have any information about this particular dog, or at least you do. But because you have a dog concept, you probably know that he eats. He probably likes playing with that ball. He definitely can't fly, right? So we can think about that creature as a dog. We can think about it as a pet. We could think about it as an eater, as a fetcher of balls, as our creature that does not come when called. And we can use different concepts for thinking about the very same thing. Some of those concepts seems really central and enduring and some seem pretty circumstantial. None, however, are the dog itself, right? It's none of those are Romeo himself. They're all concepts about Romeo. And they help us think about Romeo, but only captures some of the ways that we might think about him. So, it's important to separate a concept of something from the thing itself. We don't actually think with actual dogs. Instead, we think with concepts of dogs. Furthermore, we don't think with just one concept but rather with many concepts put together to represent all the different elements of a story. That's what we call the perspective; the concepts that we're using to comprise our stories. One of my favorite examples of perspectives comes from Norton Juster in his wonderful book for children, "The Phantom Tollbooth." For instance, "From here, that looks like a bucket of water," he said pointing to a bucket of water. But from an ant's point of view, it's a vast ocean. From an elephant's, just a cool drink. And to a fish, of course, it's home. So you see the way you see things depends a great deal on where you look at them from. What I love about that quote, of course, is that it separates the thing itself from the interpretation or perspective on the thing. We don't think with actual dogs and actual buckets of water, we think with concepts of dogs and concepts of buckets of water. Furthermore, we don't think with just one concept, but rather we use many concepts put together to represent all the different elements of a story. And we call that collection of concepts and the interpretation collectively that it generates a perspective. Now, perspective is the collection of concepts to make sense of a story. In Norton Juster's example, one perspective is that we are ants, that's our self concept, and we see a vast ocean, that's the part. When we're talking about creativity and we say that we have had an idea, what we mean is that we have realized that we could change our perspective somehow by changing some of the concepts we were using previously to think about our story. A different perspective, for example in Norton Juster's case, is that we are elephants and we see a cool drink. The switch from one perspective to another by changing the concepts we use to represent some of our stories in this simple case from oceans to drinks is the center of the creative process. So to understand what is happening in any situation that we're in, we draw on concepts we already know and then we put them together. So for example, if I tell you about an orange helicopter in Sweden that flew to rescue a lost girl in a puffy coat, you could put all those concepts together and start imagining that story. If we are making a movie of that story, we would have to cast actors to play the roles and get a costume designer and a set designer and so on. Well, we can think of our minds as casting concepts into roles to represent all the elements of a story. For example, there's a story that Jackie Torrance, the brilliant American storyteller, actually so well-known that she was called simply "The story lady," used to tell, "It's a story about casting elements into roles to make a larger reality." And I shall tell you the story of the human being. It was a time many years ago when the great creator had a garden. And in that garden, he grew fingers, and toes, and elbows, and arms, and necks, and ears, and tongues, and backs, and eyes, and lips, and noses. And the great creator thought them to be the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. And he gave them this garden and he said, "Take care." And they did. And they lived together happily, except for one thing, and that was something that stayed far back in the garden, in the dark. It was called "belly." And every day you could hear belly say, "Growl." But the great creator knew that this was the nature of that creation, so he never bothered it. One day, something happened. Fingers started to point, tongues began to wag, eyes started to roll, ears started to listen, feet started to walk to the left. It was horrible. Backs turned, noses turned up. And the great creator came down and he said, "What is this? Why do you not live happily together? Can you not tell me fingers?" And the fingers said, "We just pointed a little." And the ears said, "We heard it, we heard it, we heard it." And the tongue said, "Well we said it, we said it, we said it." And back said, "We avoided it." And nose said, "We smelled it." "Oh," he said, "This is horrible. Can you not live together in peace? I shall make you live together in peace. I shall form something that will keep you together." So the great creator put together a marvelous creation. From 10 fingers, he placed on the ground. On top of the 10 fingers, he placed 10 eyes. And on top of the eyes, he placed 10 ears. And on top of the ears, he placed 10 elbows. And on top of 10 elbows, he placed 10 necks. And on top of 10 necks, he placed 10 knees. And he looked back and he said, "Oh. This will never do." So he started all over again. He gathered together 10 toes. Behind the toes, he placed the foot. On top of the foot, he put ankles. And on top of the ankles, he placed the leg. And on top of the leg, he put a knee. And on top of the knee, he put a thigh. And on top of the thigh, he put the hip. And on top of the hip, he placed the body, and on and on and on. And then, he placed the head on top of all of that. And in that head, he placed two eyes, a nose, and placed two ears. Then he hung two arms from the side and fingers. And, oh, was it nice? But in the middle, there was a great big hole. And he said, "Oh. This will never do." And then he heard, "Growl." "Hmm," he said. He went back into the garden picked up belly and put it in the middle of that hole. And then he said, "You shall now live together to keep belly happy." Whether it's a helicopter rescuing a girl in Sweden or a fanciful tale about whether we're driven by hunger, no matter what the story is that we are telling, as we go about solving a problem or making a decision or otherwise thinking and acting in the world, we regularly draw in concepts to play five roles. The first role that we cast our concepts into is the role of parts. What are the specific objects, people, places that are involved in our story? The second role is actions. What are the operations, the behaviors, the transformations that we can make to advance our stories? The third role is goals. What are the objectives, the motivations, the purposes we are striving towards in our stories? The fourth role is the event. What kind of situation are we in? What is the larger story we are telling all about? The fifth role is the self concept. Who are we, the storytellers? Together, these form an acronym, PAGES: Parts, actions, goals, event, self-concept. These are the five main roles our concepts play as we build stories for our experiences. If creativity is about changing our perspectives, then our first task is to understand what our perspectives are right now. The concepts we use for the five roles, for the pages, comprise our perspectives. To change our perspectives and so to be creative then, our task is to rewrite what's on our pages. So, we have a perspective and we can break that perspective down into PAGES, which means that we can actually change our perspectives deliberately and intentionally and develop our skills at doing that systematically. Yes, what I really like about your model, Jeff, is that it really breaks the process down into pieces that we can understand and then deliberately attempt to become creative. And it may be something that these highly creative people, that we've been talking about do intuitively, but you've really broken down and made it easier for all of us to engage in the process. When it's implicit, you feel like, "Well, is lightning going to strike today?" Right. Whereas if we say, "Okay, it's about changing a perspective. What's a perspective?" Well, it's these five things. Then I can say, "Okay, what am I currently thinking about these five things and can I tweak or adjust any of them?" Right. And where does that take me so I know what to do? Yes, exactly. So let's maybe practice PAGES. Let's do it. Let's take a few problems and break them down. Let's see how we do.