Untying Your Gordian Knots

Creativity may simply be the realization there’s no particular virtue to doing things they way they’ve always been done. ~Rudolph Flesch

In the winter of 333 B.C., Alexander the Great and his army arrived in the Asian city of Gordium to take up winter quarters. While there, Alexander heard about the legend surrounding the town’s famous knot, the “Gordian Knot.”

The story intrigued Alexander, and he asked to be taken to the knot so that he could attempt to untie it. He studied it for a bit, but after some fruitless attempts to find the rope ends, he was stymied. “How can I unfasten this knot?” he asked himself. Then he got an idea: “I will make up my own knot-untying rules.” He pulled out his sword and sliced the knot in half. Asia was fated to him.

Alexander demonstrated that when faced with a seemingly intractable problem, a very effective, creative-thinking strategy plays the revolutionary, by challenging and changing the rules.

If constructive patterns were all that were necessary for creative new ideas, we’d all be creative geniuses. Creative thinking is not only constructive, but is also destructive. Creative thinking involves breaking out of one pattern in order to create a new one.

All too often, we become ensnared by the familiar phenomenon:

  • We make rules based on the reasons that they make a lot of sense.
  • We follow these rules.
  • Time passes, things change and the original reasons for the rules may no longer exist, but because the rules are still in place, we continue to follow them.
This week, release the ensnarement and discover just how many knots can you untie.


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Bonnie Morét is an award-winning photographer recognized by The Georgia Council of the Arts as "an exceptional representation of contemporary Georgia art work." Her photography is featured on Georgia Public Broadcast's Georgia Traveler. Her exhibitions include Fifth Annual Exposure Awards at Musee du Louvre in Paris, France, Art Takes Miami at Scope Art during Art Basel Miami, Metro Montage XIII at the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art, World of Water at the Georgia Aquarium, Open Walls at Black Box Gallery in Portland, Oregon, Wholly Georgia: A Look at the Effects of Southern Religious Culture, sponsored by the Art History League and Georgia State University, at Mint Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia, 6x6 at the Rochester Contemporary Arts Center in Rochester, New York, @Phonography: Dialogue in the Wireless Age, at 3 Ring Circus in New Orleans, Louisiana, and About Lands and Lives of the Civil War at the 6th Cavalry Museum in Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia. Her photography appears in Modern Luxury/The Atlantan, Jezebel Magazine, and hangs in the executive offices at the Georgia State Capitol as part of the Art of Georgia exhibit. Corporate clients include Atlanta Ballet, Atlanta History Center, Chanel Cosmetics, Christian Dior Cosmetics, Sharp Mountain Vineyards, PM Realty Group, Granite Properties, Road Atlanta, Patrón Tequila, StubHub, CBM Records and The Washington Auto Show.