Rodeo Clowns

You’ll be more creative if you learn about more stuff.

And especially, if you learn about randomly different kinds of stuff.

That’s why I’m writing about rodeo clowns: because I’m guessing you don’t know anything about them. And research shows that if you learn just a tiny bit about rodeo clowns (or anything else that you know nothing about) it can enhance your creativity.

I just read an article in the Wall Street Journal about rodeo clown Justin Rumford, and it was fascinating. I’ve never gone to a rodeo, and I probably never will. But it was fascinating to learn what a “barrel man” is. Be honest, don’t you want to know? And trust me, you really want to know Mr. Rumford’s rodeo nickname. Click on the link to read the article. The first person to put Mr. Rumford’s rodeo nickname in a comment gets a shout out! And, please suggest your own randomly different stuff we should learn about, just a tiny bit.

To learn more about how creativity research can help you be more creative, check out my creativity advice book Zig Zag: The Surprising Path to Greater Creativity. Learning about rodeo clowns is a technique I call “Be a Dilettante” and it’s on page 69.

8 thoughts on “Rodeo Clowns

    1. Yes “Rump” it is! Give a shout out to Freddie Reisman at Drexel University, where she is the Director of the Drexel/Torrance Center for Creativity and Innovation!

  1. Don’t have a WSJ account unfortunately. But the title of the article is associated with the “last line of defense” and you blog post notes the importance of knowing an abundance of stuff. So that rodeo nickname might be something like “Safety Pin” – ready to engage regardless of the specifics of the moment.

    The chances the barrel man will have encountered the actual situation previously is nil; but with the broad learning and experience, he’s able to improvise successfully on the fly.

  2. I grew up in Texas, so I am familiar with rodeo clowns just like Rump. I finished reading a book, A Humble Hero, by Jianxin Huang. It contains historical and cultural events that have never before been recorded. As a result I learned a lot of randomly different stuff about China.

  3. Not so much about about a a field or a profession or ‘stuff’ like that – but something I learned recently about a VERY famous movie that we all know. Thank God things did not go as planned or it would not be the iconic, “life ruining” film that it turned out to be. It’s part of the intro to a book, but it’s short and definitely relates to creativity. Enjoy!

    https://books.google.com/books?id=JmN5BgAAQBAJ&pg=PT7&lpg=PT7&dq=it%27s+not+about+the+shark+introduction&source=bl&ots=Vh58_c-Cp3&sig=HG8j5O6KyqJsvlrU53-l2MNJT_k&hl=en&sa=X&ei=5vxdVcbtOsa1ogTKrIDYBw&ved=0CCIQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=it%27s%20not%20about%20the%20shark%20introduction&f=false

    1. That is an AWESOME story about the zig-zagging process of creativity, everyone should read those 9 pages. I didn’t know that story and I will definitely use it in the future!

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