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How The School Makes Us Unlearn Creativity And What We Can Do About It
When adults are given a box, they just see a box. When children are given a box, they can imagine a lot more different things…
Maybe it’s the home for a puppy? Maybe we can make a toy car out of it?…
Somehow, schools make us “unlearn” creativity.
As a child, we used to be creative; but once we entered school, we learned to be discipline and to be careful not to make any mistakes.
Sir Ken Robinson said in his famous TED Talk Do schools kill creativity,1
What we do know is, if you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original. And by the time they get to be adults, most kids have lost that capacity. They have become frightened of being wrong… And the result is that we are educating people out of their creative capacities.
We were taught to aim for perfection and compliments.
While creative people know perfection doesn’t exist. They aren’t afraid to make mistakes or get rejected. They actively look for criticism so that they can make things better.
Instant success is a myth. All successful people made mistakes and got rejected A LOT.
Like Henry Ford, well-known for his American-made cars, went broke fives times before he founded the successful Ford Motor Company.
Walt Disney was also not an instant success. Before he started the Disney business, he was fired by a newspaper editor because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”
Like everyone else, they get rejected. What made them different is that they didn’t stop imagining. They didn’t stop stepping out their comfort zone as they know that’s the right direction though the path isn’t smooth.
To learn back creativity, be willing to take risks and make mistakes.
To become fearless of making mistakes, every small thing you do can add up to a big mindset change.
To be creative like the successful people, dare to make mistakes, and just do everyday things differently.
- Instead of taking the same route to work every morning, take another route and pay attention to the surroundings. You’ll see and experience something different.
- Instead of having your favorite dish at the restaurant, close your eyes and randomly point at one. The new taste and smell will stimulate you.
- Instead of cooking the same old dishes, try to look for new recipes and make some new dishes.
- Instead of working at your desk, sit somewhere else like in the garden, or just stand in the kitchen.
- Instead of choosing movies of your favorite genre, watch something that you never picked before.
- Instead of reading the books you bought, exchange them with a friend for a month. You’ll see different perspectives from different people.
- Instead of listening to the same tune you’re into, randomly pick music from different genres to listen to. You may not like them all, but you’ll get in touch with something new!
- Instead of going to the gym or pool at the same time every weekend, go at a different time, and you may see different kind of people around.
- Instead of journaling your thoughts, try to put yourself into a friend’s shoes and picture what they’d think about under the same situation.
- Instead of staying in over weekend, connect with your friends. If you’re an introvert, accept that party invitation from your friend. Just go and at least take a look around.
All the above suggestions may look like really really small things, but don’t underestimate the power of small things.
When you’ve got used to trying new stuff all the times, you’re making yourself more and more comfortable to get out of your comfort zone. You’ll be more willing to take risks and make mistakes — and that’s how creative ideas’ always from.
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