Advertising
Advertising

How The School Makes Us Unlearn Creativity And What We Can Do About It

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.”

Advertising

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.

Advertising

For example,

  • 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.

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

[1] Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?

More by this author

Chloe Chong

Chloe is a social media expert and shares lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

Signs Of Low Self-Esteem And The Root Causes You Might Not Know What These 11 Colors of Urine Reveal About Your Health What Your Poop Says About Your Health Introvert or Extrovert? Everything You Need to Know About Them 7 Ways That Will Totally Screw Up Your Life

Trending in Work

1 How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work 2 20 Critical Skills to Include on Your Resume (For All Types of Jobs) 3 The Best Interview Questions to Hire Only the Elites 4 How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed 5 15 Smart Ways to Approach Interpersonal Relationships at Work

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on August 20, 2019

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up.

You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out. But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

“If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

Advertising

Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

Check out these important listening skills: 13 Powerful Listening Skills to Improve Your Life at Work and at Home

3. Go to All Office Networking Events

Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

Advertising

4. Show Initiative

Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

Advertising

These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

7. Find a Mentor

With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

Not sure how to find the right mentor? Here’s How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed.

8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

Advertising

You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

9. Set Your Professional Bar High

Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

The Bottom Line

Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

“Half of life is showing up.”

The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

Remember, your career is your business!

More About Continuous Growth

Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

Read Next