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Psychologist Karl Dunker discovered a version of fixedness called “functional fixedness”. This is the tendency to see objects only in a traditional way or use them as they were originally intended. It is this fixedness that we put to the challenge when we use SUBTRCT™ in CREATIVE TONING™. Every time we try to think of something new, the brain keeps wanting to go back to its conventional way of thinking. This is known as fixation. Fixation is an inseparable part of thinking. It refers to the inability to find a solution even though the knowledge and means are available to the problem solver. Fixation does its job by applying shorthand measures to solve a problem. And in fact life would be very difficult without this. However it does mean that we can overlook the more creative solutions to problems. If we have a problem we tend to find a solution and the job is done. Do we ever review whether this is the best solution? And we tend to judge whatever solution by the criteria already programmed in our brains – we can choose what we think is the best ideas because it feels the right one when in fact a more creative solution may be better but just doesn’t feel right at that time.

Perhaps the question should have been “What do these watch faces have in common?” Or why are all these adverts for watches so similar? It is interesting that all these watches are telling the same time – they have all been photographed to have their faces set to ten to two – why? To make us feel happy – when the hands are at ten to two the “faces” look like a smiling face. When we conduct a CREATIVE TONING™ session you must remember the smiling watch faces – as whatever we do, in whatever way we change something, we have to adopt a positive mind set – and assume (for the exercise) that whatever we have done it is for the better. Interestingly I found this advert where the image has been flipped for design layout purposes - but it is now a sad face!

Vaping came into being as far back as five decades ago (1960’s). At that time it was more of a table top, shared experience. Vaping as it is today was the invention of Hon Lik, a Chinese pharmacist who took inspiration from the death of his father to cancer. Vaping is an alternative to smoking. A battery powered vaporiser stimulates the feeling of smoking but without tobacco. The “smoker/vaper” inhales vapour which is released by a heating element that atomises a liquid known as e-liquid. This e-liquid can contain nicotine but not necessarily. This is a very good example of the SUBTRCT™ found in Creative Toning. The copy even says it itself – “without tobacco”. Think about the closed world of a traditional cigarette. Simply speaking it would be tobacco (including nicotine); paper, filter, flame. What if we were to subtract the tobacco – what would we have – a tobacco-less cigarette, a cigarette that wouldn’t smoke etc. But remember function over form – we still want a cigarette that smokes – but in a different way. So redefine “smoke” - call it vapour and adapt for use.


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