Number one myth around creativity

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Creativity is a daunting topic for many of us.

When we think of “creativity” we typically imagine paintings and drawings, or perhaps we envision rocket ships and math equations, but our ideas that we connect to creativity are almost always the same.

If you asked young students what the first thing that comes to their minds would be when talking about creativity, you’re likely to hear one word often: different.

Creativity is all about thinking different, right? It’s about being unlike everyone else, not following routine, or as the famously mis‒used phrase states: “outside the box thinking.” Unfortunately, with all of our generalization around creativity, there are tons of creativity myths that we falsely believe. The number one myth around creativity?

Creative geniuses are different than everyone else.

Look at Einstein, for an example of this creative genius myth. Albert Einstein is touted as one of history’s most capable creative thinkers. He created grand theories for life itself, he helped create a weapon that can destroy entire cities, and he has been quoted innumerable times through‒out history. Yet, Einstein wasn’t necessarily a genius by default.

In‒fact, Einstein often didn’t do well in school and failed in areas he was most interested in, with the notable exception of math and physics, of course. Still, even in math and physics Einstein wasn’t thinking that much differently than many scientists or physicists or mathematicians that we know of today. What made Einstein a creative genius when it came to science and thinking was his curiosity.

Creative geniuses aren’t born, they develop over time by continually asking questions, poking around answers, and constantly being curious about the world around them.

Edward de Bono, Golda Meir, Carl Sagan, Albert Einstein, Ayn Rand, Sir Ken Robins, Seth Godin, Steve Jobs, and any creative thinker you have ever looked up to… they all began with the same goopey grey matter sitting in their heads that you and I have sitting in ours. Creative geniuses aren’t any different than you and I on the inside, it’s their drive and curiosity that makes them unique.

It’s not about opportunity or how much instinctual creativity you were born with, it’s about what you’re doing right now to fuel your creativity every day. So, what are you doing right now to become the next, great creative genius?

Photo by William Neuheisel.