Embrace the rut

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Senior Member

I read an annotation of the book Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer. In this review the author describes what the book is about: "Shattering the myth of muses, higher powers, even creative "types", Jonah Lehrer demonstrates that creativity is not a single "gift" possessed by the lucky few. It's a variety of distinct thought processes... Lehrer reveals the importance of embracing the rut, thinking like a child, and daydreaming productively..."

Could someone explain to me what "embrace the rut" means in this context?

Thank you very much.
  • sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    The sentence is not particularly straightforward, so I can see the problem.

    See definition 2 below.

    • 1 a long deep track made by the repeated passage of the wheels of vehicles.

    • 2 a routine or pattern of behaviour that has become dull and unproductive but is hard to change.

    And No. 2 below

    • 1 hold closely in one's arms, especially as a sign of affection.

    • 2 accept or support (a belief or change) willingly.

    • 3 include or contain.

    So, the author seems to be saying that children's thinking is a typical pattern that people ought to follow.

    But others might find something else here.


    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I respectfully disagree with Mr Graham. I do agree completely with the definitions he cites, but I don't think that "embracing the rut" means "thinking like a child". I think the three things listed in the quote (embracing the rut, thinking like a child, and daydreaming productively) are three different things the author is advising the reader to do.

    In my opinion:
    "embracing the rut" = accepting the (possibly dull) job or position you find yourself in
    "thinking like a child" = discarding mental inhibitions you may have acquired as an adult
    "daydreaming productively" = letting your imagination wander
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