Brand Design, Brand Marketing and Brand Psychology

Design NON-THINKING: The Muse Methodology

Posted by sarmistha tarafder on Mar 2, 2017 5:36:43 PM




The saying goes 'no pain, no gain'. As designers and as creators we are told that in order to achieve something you have to travel the path of pain and peril. There is no other way out.

The lords and the ladies of self-help proclaim the merits of discipline, focus and the steadfast firmness of human will. They lay out 5 step program or 10 step methodology, explaining how its is done. And they say, you have to keep at it and keep at it, to be any good. But does it really help? Findings are mixed at the best — the disastrous outcome of of New Years' goal in general and the failed strategy behind those hard goals setting are a sad testament to our human will.

I believe, the problem lies in this rote method. 'Keep doing', 'Keep working'. And, you will succeed. This may work for a while, but definitely not sustainable for the long haul.

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Once, you realize this and acknowledge it, you will have this intelligence to guide you every step of the way. It is the same intelligence that digests your food, that beats your heart and keeps count of the good enzymes in your body.


Your job as a 'human being' is to channel this intelligence in creating the most aspiring art of your life.

The Greeks segmented this intelligence as 'Muse'.

So, what is 'muse'?

The goddesses of the spirit world, that inspires the creation of arts and architecture, who injects the knowledge of science & mathematics, who animates the anatomy of our very being — the very intelligence of creation itself is what is called 'Muse'. It is the underlying force that compels us to be greater than who we think we are. It is the source of our inspiration.

In Greek mythology, muse has been attributed to the characteristics of the 9 daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne; keeper of the arts and the sciences. One of the daughters, Calliope, is best known as Homer's muse, the inspiration for Odyssey and Illiad. Likewise, Urania is the “heavenly muse” invoked in John Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost.

Through out the ages, mankind has always saluted this inner knowledge as the driving force for all their creative pursuits.

In our 21century society, in an effort to understand this intelligence, we have tried to simplified it and we say:

“The ‘Muse’ is not an artistic mystery, but a mathematical equation. The gift are those ideas you think of as you drift to sleep. The giver is that one you think of when you first awake.”


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methodology to musing – IF YOU LOVE 'LISTICLES'

As a culture, we love lists — 'Shopping list', 'To do list', 'To go to places list', 'Things you want to do before you die list', "Books you want to read list' and the list goes on. Somehow the completion of a certain 'list' makes us feel that we are on top of our game.... now you know how we fall into the trap of doing.

So, here is a list for you to 'BE'.

It would be foolish of me to think that I can wrap it up in a neat little package, when so much has been researched about it. Yet, I believe, if we start with a very simple belief system, that we are human beings not human doings and human thinking, we are well on our way to be the creators monolithic greatness.

1. For starters, start enjoying boredom. This is your conscious invitation for the cosmic intelligence to seep into your being.

2. Expel the "t" from can't. Always explore can. See how far it takes you.

3. Repel Negativity like the Black Plague. That very well could be that you are the lone soldier on this path. Yet, have the courage to do it. Why? Here is a quick test.

Have you realized that you do not like being told NO. Why do you think? (The short answer, because you are a spirit first and the spirit does not know or care for boundaries.)

4. Enjoy the basics. Marvel at this simple fact; your body does not skip a heart beat nor it forgets to breathe no matter what the physical and the environmental challenges are.

5. Read, Read, Read. (Reading is one sure thing that forces you to be in conversation with your intelligence, to explore your imagination and to contemplate 'What if'). Immerse yourself with the works of Nelson Mandela, Richard Branson, Joseph Campbell, just to name a few.

6. Mobilize your inner smile. Be in dance with yourself. Be in nature. Observe how nature works. You will notice that it does not work, it participates in a cosmic rhythm. 

7. Cultivate mind mapping. Observe and Imagine unusual combination of things.

For example, how can something that is used for saving life can also save you dollars at trade show exhibiting. Well, that is the story of our booth design Windscape. The idea came from Life Boats

8. Feel Your Pain. Feel your Suffering. Feel Your Anger. Notice the key word is feel.


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A former U.S. Navy SEAL Commander, Mark Divine puts it together in his book, Unbeatable Mind. He lays out the potent mind of the warrior and he gives us pointers for being in the now and being with the intelligence.

You must be thinking, "well I am not a warrior. What does that have to do with me?"



Here is a tiny snippet from the book, Unbeatable Mind.

"Return to your quiet spot. This time, as random thoughts bubble up, implement the DIRECT process below. When you feel comfortable with this powerful method, try to DIRECT your thoughts during the day, especially those destructive to your well being and front-sight focus.

Detect. ... Every thought distracting your front-sight focus depletes your energy and must be dealt with. ...

Interdict. If your sentinel detects a negative or useless thought, interdict it with a simple command such as ‘Stop!’ or ‘No!’ ...

Redirect. Once you stop a negative thought, you have to redirect your mind to new, empowering thoughts. ...

Energize. Solidify the new thought by getting your whole being to support it, entering a new physiological state that matches your mental shift. ...

Communicate. This step is an insurance policy. You must talk to yourself in a new way to override any lurking negativity and prevent new destructive thoughts from creeping in. In SEAL training, I used the mantra, ‘Feeling good, looking good, ought to be in Hollywood!’ to maintain my energy and focus in the grind. ...

Train. Your mind can be a powerful ally or a slothful friend. Practice the DIRECT technique daily like you would exercise your body, and it will not only give you control in the moment but also train your mind to function at an elite level permanently.


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Be inspired by the fact that you are a creator. Find inspiration in something, anything. Heck, pick a piece pebble. See how it is made. You will find no two pebble that are the same. Pick up a hobby, any hobby and nurture it as your first born. Pick up singing dancing, music, any kind of art that pleases the swing of your soul.

Above all, find excuses to do something out of the routine. “The human spirit lives on creativity and dies in conformity and routine.”

Always remind yourSELF: You are the creator. Inspiration is your ONLY consort. Your PURPOSE in life will come pay you a visit. Be sure of that.

“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and your discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.”....... Yoga Sutra by Patanjali




Our cultural belief system keeps us chained with the mind set of setting goals and then setting some more goals. We are so busy goal setting that we forget to excel in doing what we do. We forget to be in the moment. We forget to be present.

Thus, we become a heap of human doing and not much of human being.

Michelangelo reminds us: “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”


Topics: Design Inspiration, Bay Area Trade show display, Trade show booth, contemporary space design, Architecture, Inspiration, Michelangelo, Nelson Mandela, Joseph Cambell, Homer, John Milton, Richard Branson, Muse, Odyssey and Illiad, Envoy Booth, Sarmistha Tarafder, S Portable Display Booths

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Sarmistha Tarafder is the co-creator of brands in 3 D spaces. Always, in pursuit of essence and enchantment, mind and mystery, myth and matter!