Growing Duller

Jul 10

“…at the age of five, 98% of children demonstrate genius level of creativity; at the age of 10, about 30% of children demonstrate genius level of creativity, and at the age of 15, only 10%.”

We were all born creative. Eventually and unfortunately though…we grow up. We are taught that every question only has one right answer. We are taught to fear the possibility of being wrong. We are taught out of creativity.

Reading about this made me sad – sad that children are growing less creative, sad that most people place left-brained thinking above right-brained thinking, and, also, sad from the realization that I’m definitely among those people.

I used to think of perfectionism as a good thing and being overly critical as one of my biggest strengths. But readings, TED talks and my general college experience so far has taught me otherwise – that I have developed a fear of failure, a fear that has been holding me back for far too long.

I barely recite in class unless I’m sure I won’t make a mistake. I never ask others questions in fear of showing weakness. I never volunteer suggestions because I’m too quick to criticize my own ideas.

I don’t want to continue to grow up and just become more like that perfectionist robot of a person – though even some intelligence agents need to make mistakes and experience failure, and even do so on purpose, in order to grow and adapt.

I can’t become less human than a robot.

The statistics I placed at the beginning of this post weren’t complete. The test was actually later administered to another age group: adults.

“…among [adults] only 2% showed genius level of creativity.”

So, apparently, it gets worse. But I won’t. I don’t want to let myself.

So I’ll recite in class without checking my answers first. I’ll ask questions even when my pride urges me not to. I’ll share my ideas instead of immediately concluding that they suck. I’ll do these things because I don’t want to grow up to become a part of that sad majority that doesn’t anymore. I will become a part of the 2%.

Quotes were from a sample that I read of a book entitled “The Business Idea Factory: A World-Class System for Creating Successful Business Ideas”. The statistics were taken from a NASA test normally used to measure the creativity of engineers and scientists that was administered in 1968 by George Land and Beth Jarman to children and adults of various ages.

Filed Under: Thoughts

Older »
Home About Archives