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The Value of Confusion

The Value of Confusion

In a recent post on, titled ‘The Value of Confusion’, Mitchell Ditkoff highlights that confusion is an essential element of the creative process. Many people misunderstand this as a weakness and attempt to hide it rather than accept it as a natural condition. While they understand that new circumstances will cause some confusion and discomfort, yet they hide this feeling under a false veneer of self control. Why is it that people are afraid to show that they are confused and when will they learn to take advantage of this situation?

This article by Mitchell Ditkoff is published on and discuses the confusion many people experience while trying to implement a hot new idea or project. Quite often, one feels uncertain and confused about how to proceed. Faced with such a situation people often become judgmental, worried and tend to dither. However, Ditkoff says, confusion is in itself not bad. It is a commonly felt emotion and if this is understood and accepted then it could even be a step towards the creation of something wonderful.

Confusion is a state of haziness where a person is unable to interpret his circumstance correctly. People often do not realize that every one has faced confusion at some time. Quite often being confused is taken as being ignorant and therefore one tends to cover up and try to maintain a false sense of control. However, the author emphasizes, not knowing is really the beginning of the creative process. A number of researchers and even Picasso seem to agree with this view. Even Lao Tzu, a famous Chinese sage, acknowledges that sometimes things can be a little mixed up to allow something new to develop, if there were no confusion in his life, he would only be left with his old habits.

One need not fight confusion. It is a stage that has to be passed through on the road to creativity. It is also known that when the conscious mind is unable to process the information it needs, the subconscious is hard at work and often comes up with a solution at the most unexpected time. The process of breaking the status quo and finally making sense of the information available has to be gone through to be able to create something new.

With this background, how should one go about being creative? One has to accept that confusion will occur and that it is a catalyst for something new to be created. If it really troubles you, take a break, discuss with a friend, fill gaps in the information you have and let your subconscious provide you an answer.

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The New Asia Innovation Team