This morning, I listened to a podcast on NPR from their Hidden Brain series. The episode was titled Embrace the Chaos.
After reading the title, as someone who likes order, the first words that came to my mind were "Yeah, not likely!" But as I listened to the episode my opinion started to change.
The Hidden Brain series of podcasts helps curious people understand the world – and themselves. Using science and storytelling, Hidden Brain's host Shankar Vedantam reveals the unconscious patterns that drive our behavior, the biases that shape our choices, and the triggers that direct the course of our relationships.
Hidden Brain's host Shankar Vedantam and guest Tim Harford, an Economist and long-running columnist for the Financial Times, were discussing renowned improvisational pianist, Keith Jarrett, and how his most magical performance happened by chance when he begrudgingly played an out-of-tune piano in a live concert.
Tim Harford went on to reveal that science understands why the performance was magical. Citing a study that reported: being rerouted on a commute and forced to find another way to work enabled participants to find a better route at a rate of one in twenty.
In other words, "chaos creates an opportunity to improve." They went on to reveal that even algorithms have chaos built into their code, so they don't get stuck.
Perhaps new opportunities are waiting for us, if we (1) embrace chaos when it happens, and (2) create chaos when we get stuck?
Image Credit: Somewhere between Chaos and Corporate by Eden Lovejoy.