Here are a few more ideas regarding creativity from Mr. John Cleese. Mr. Cleese spoke about putting in extra time and being persistent when coming up with creative solutions. Constant and conscious thinking about creative solutions also allows our unconscious to process the information in the background. I believe many of us have thought about problems only to find the solutions and answers later on and in some unexpected way.
Mr. Cleese also tells us that creativity is similar to humor. When we understand a joke and laugh we are usually connecting two different frameworks of reference in some new way. Connecting frameworks or ideas is also useful in building winning trading models and systems. By researching and finding patterns and relationships, we create the foundation for a trading system. This can be very similar to finding humor in a joke.
When I first started trading I read everything I could about it. This was helpful, but only to a point. By reading I was able to absorb many ideas, but by being creative and persistent, I was able to find relationships to test. Mr. Cleese states that new connections are only significant if they generate new meaning. So as you think creatively and play with ideas, try putting together random concepts and look at them with your intuition to determine if there is anything significant about them--then test the relationships.
Lastly, it is important to know when to relax and to take a step back. Sometimes we just push and push and make no progress. At this point it is important for us to recognize that we need to take a break. By taking a break we let our brains and unconscious process the information and ideas we have been churning. This, in itself, can sometimes lead to a creative solution.