Like many, I have always thought of creativity as intrinsic, inborn, something you either have it in your blood or you don’t. I love creativity and all things creative, but I just can’t seem to create. This thought changed when I met Roy Horan a couple of years ago, who showed me how to “accelerate creativity” from 0 to 100 in less than 3 hours. I never realized one can literally “hack” creativity out of the brain, but this was my first-hand experience. Roy was a professor in the School of Design at PolyU, TEDx speaker, and now a professional consultant in creativity and mindfulness training. He will be speaking at the Creative Morning event this Friday at PMQ on creativity and education. And I would highly recommend anyone with a passion for creativity to come and meet Roy.
Our writer Eric Lowe recently had an interview with Roy and shares his impression of the Grand Master with us here:
When I first approach the subject of Roy Horan, I found myself trying to define him through his many accomplishments martial arts movie actor, scientist, yoga master and professor of creativity in education. What does education; Science, martial arts and Eastern Philosophy have anything in common with each other? The answer is everything! Everything Roy Horan did defy traditional mindset definition. In order to make sense of all that one has not only to think outside of the box, but actually throw away the box to be able to grasp the essence of this outstanding individual.
Roy Horan actually found his inspiration to come to Asia through spending 2 years in the Arctic Circle communicating with Native Americans. It was through his belief that they were originally Asians crossing the ice bridge into North America that give him the thirst to discover what knowledge it has to offer from the original source. In the 1970s he landed in Japan and quickly learned Eastern Philosophies as well as Japanese Martial Arts. The next few years found him travelling all over Asia, learning different styles of martial arts from Wing Chuen to Shaolin temple, languages, yoga and meditation at the same time. A random opportunity in Hong Kong turned Roy into a martial arts star. With stunning looks resembling a cross between a young Richard Chamberlain & Christopher Lee, it was no wonder that he found himself the villain in most martial arts films. His most well-known film was “Tower of Death 2” in which he stars opposite Bruce Lee, taken from extra footage from the famous “Tower of Death” that was not used in the first movie. However he did work with Jackie Chan and knew Lee’s son Brandon and Widow Linda quite well.
As Roy became the resident westerner in Hong Kong after he got married in 1981 and fathered 2 daughters. He worked extensively in the Hong Kong Film industry and refused film offers from Hollywood (unlike Chuck Norris). When the Hong Kong Film industry began its decline in the early 90s, he began to focus more on producing and distribution of Hong Kong and international films. It was not until fate intervened with a different career path in education through an offer to teach Multimedia and Technology in the Hong Kong Polytechnic that he made the leap.
Roy Horan liked performing in plays since he was 6; but his passion was actually science. The multimedia course he taught was a success and then it led to creation of the study to enhance creativity in design. In that he took back from his science background and combined it with his experiences with psychology, Eastern Philosophy and Meditation. The result is a system that could enhance creativity through a strategy he designed that has been proven to be effective. It is only then one could see that all that he had learned had come full circle.
With his new credentials as a professor, Roy could see both the Eastern & Western mindset and able to identify them effortlessly. He said the Western (American) model focus on the success of the single individual, while the Eastern (Chinese/Japanese) model focus on each individual’s identity in the collective community. As we are fast approaching the future where leaders need to be able to have a creative mind set in trouble shooting the complex problems and challenges though advances in modern technology. It makes perfect sense that the circle closes where it began: the empowerment of the human mind, with certain techniques borrowed from ancient knowledge of meditation and emphasis on mindfulness. Just imagine every person through accessing this knowledge would be able to increase their creativity and move closer to maximizing their potential is enough to make me want to hear more from Roy Horan, the Western Master who has a myriad of swords, and all of them sharp & effective.