Have You Lost That Creative Feeling?

If you want to hire a creative employee, you’ll have a 98% probability of success by bringing in someone who is 3-5 years old. On the other hand, you’ll have a 2% chance of success by hiring an adult. –attributed to a NASA study

A European speaker at the conference I attended this week opened with this remark. I didn’t try to validate it. It’s almost a truism.

As we age, we so easily fall into ruts. (For the young people, that refers back before all the roads were paved. Wagons and other vehicles would go over the same path and over time grooves would be worn called ruts. So you could just let the horse pull the wagon or take your hands off the steering wheel and the vehicle would just follow the rut.)

Check it out if you’re old enough to read this post.

  • Have you tried any new foods lately?
  • Have you read any books that cause you to stretch your mind?
  • Have you traveled somewhere out of the ordinary?
  • Do you have the same ideas and prejudices that you’ve had for years?
  • Are you in the same profession doing the same job the same way?

Or, like children.

  • Do you try different combinations of things?
  • Do you learn something new every day with joy and anticipation?
  • Do you dream of things being different?
  • Are “what if” and “why” a dominant part of your vocabulary?
  • Can your imagination just take off at times and you can sit in it for extended periods of time?

Try this.

  • Sit quietly for 20 minutes a day and list ideas. At least 10 ideas a day.
  • Meet and talk with someone new every week. Maybe make it 5 people instead of 1.
  • Begin to learn another language. That forces your brain into new ways of thinking.
  • Are you fascinated with NASA’s discovery of six earth-like planets? What can you imagine about them? What if we could travel there?
  • Pick up a book on a topic you haven’t read since elementary school.

Many of these I’ve tried. I had a great opportunity once to start a magazine. I looked at the space we’d cover looking for what’s new and different? That worked for 8-10 years. But things changed. So I tried to imagine what was next in industry. So, I went off in a new direction.

And that is the next step. I’ve always imagined things, but seldom had the courage and confidence to do them. That was then. And I grew up.  Even now I hold back at times.

What is holding you back? Dream of a new you.


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