Curiosity, Courage and Creativity
Curiosity is a quality related to inquisitive thinking such as exploration, investigation, and learning. Children are curious by nature. Their exploration is full of awe and wonder. That’s why perhaps, Baudelaire, the famous French poet and essayist described childhood as genius recovered at will. He said that if you can revisit the wonder of childhood you can taste genius.
Gary Zukav wrote in his national award winning book, The Dancing Wu Li Masters,“ Those who must have felt the exhilaration of the creative process are those who best have slipped the bonds of the known and venture far into the unexplored territory, which lies beyond the barrier of the obvious. This type of person has two characteristics: The first is a childlike ability to see the world as it is, and not as it appears to be according to what we know about it.”
Jean Piaget, the famous Swiss psychologist and philosopher known for his epistemological studies with children agrees. He wrote, “ Stay in part a child, with the creativity and invention that characterizes children before they are deformed by adult society.”
Consider these characteristics, which have a lot to do to enhance creativity are the natural traits of children. Children don’t have blockages because children don’t know about before. They only know about now. That is why when searching for a solution to a problem they look and see freshly for themselves every time. They break rules because they do not know that rules exist. They constantly see new relationships among seemingly unrelated things. They study ordinary things very intently – a blade of grass, a spoon, a face – and everything. They have a sense of wonder about things that most of us take for granted.
Carl Sagan said, “ Kids are natural-born scientists. They ask deep scientific questions: Why is the moon round? Why is the sky blue? What’s a dream? What’s the birthday of the world? By the time they get into high school, they hardly ever ask questions like that.”
Neil Postman, American author, media theorist and cultural critic aptly observed that children enter school as question marks and leave as periods.
Want to be creative? If you answer yes to these the following questions you can certainly be creative.
Can you become a question mark again?
Can you become a child again and become curious about things?
Can you capture the sense and spirit of wonder of things you see around you, which you are currently taking for granted.
Be more like a child. Be curious.
Courage is not the absence of fear. It is going ahead in spite of danger, in spite of being afraid or feeling despair, pointed out all great thinkers such as Kierkegaard, Hemingway, Nietzsche, Sartre, and Camus.
Courage is important as it helps in your tenacity to stick with an idea generation process. It also gives you the conviction that you can generate more ideas in the face of rejection and stiff opposition. This is essential for a creative person. Because, as Charles Bower, the head of an advertising agency said, “ An idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer of a yawn; it can be stabbed to death by a quip and worried to death by a frown on the right man’s brow.”
The fear of rejection shuts down their idea factories, said Jack Foster, the famous ad man.
Robert Grudin in his book, The Grace of Great Things: Creativity and Innovation, wrote, “ Creativity is dangerous. We cannot open ourselves to new insights without endangering the security of our prior assumptions. We cannot propose new ideas without risking disapproval and rejection.”
People who criticize and oppose your ideas also are afraid. Afraid of your ideas. Because, ideas by their very nature can change things. They threaten the status quo.
If you are ideas are turned down, don’t get upset. Double your resolve and generate more ideas. Your ideas, if they are rejected they are not necessarily bad. Don’t look at rejection as a defeat. Remember nobody can stop an idea whose time has come. May be those ideas are ahead of their times.
Jack Foster says, “ Never cry over the spilled milk. Find a better use for it or invent a better milk carton.”
Draw inspiration from what Robert Grudin said: “ Creative achievement is the boldest initiative of the mind. An adventure that takes its hero simultaneously to the rim of knowledge and the limits of propriety.”
The creative challenge is truly inspiring and its spirit is brilliantly captured by Robert Grudin again when said, “ Its pleasure is not the comfort of the safe harbor, but the thrill of reaching sail.”
Be curious. Have courage to generate ideas. Be Creative!