Reclaiming Your Childlike Wonder.
We’re all creative until we learn — or are taught — how not to be.
A teacher holds up a stick to a room of adults and asks, “What do you see?” As everyone peers from person to person with perplexed looks and raised eyebrows, someone finally shouts out, “A stick!”
A teacher holds this same stick up to a room of six-year-olds and asks, “What do you see?” Without hesitation, children start shouting, “Sword!”, “Lightsaber!”, “Magic wand!”
The children are able to see so much more possibility — so much more potential — in what really is just a boring old stick. Why? Because no one’s told them (yet) to “Be realistic”. There is no “realistic” to a six-year-old and that’s a pretty remarkable thing.
Our creativity is stifled because we don’t allow ourselves to wonder. We don’t allow our mind to wander — removing ourselves from what “makes sense” and instead, focusing on “what may be”.
“Creativity is part of everyone’s childhood until they learn—or are taught—how to not be creative.” — Jeffrey Veen
Me? I was a Lego guy. As a child I’d sit in my room for hours and hours building these epic castle/spaceship/pirate/cowboy setups — creating an incredible, imaginative story about how it all came together, ending with an epic battle of aliens vs. pirates vs. cowboys with the hero riding off into the sunset on his flying, jet-pack-powered horse. In my head, this insanity all made perfect sense.
Imagine if, as adults, we could tap back into that creative imagination that didn’t hold back and couldn’t be stifled by “reality”. What could you create if you had no limits? Where would you be if no one was telling you to “be realistic”. What if you stopped over-thinking and just DID.
As adults, we’ve been groomed to tame our imagination in favor of reality. The real challenge then, is reclaiming that childlike wonder. Tapping back into the younger version of yourself that looks past the stick and sees something much, much more.
The first step in the creative process is simply getting out of your own way. [tweet this]
Over-thinking the pursuit of perfection will forever hold you back from getting things done. We all have a pile of Legos in front of us dying to be played with. The beauty isn’t in the planning of what’s going to be built, but in the building.
We may not be building castles and spaceships, but we are building our relationships, our careers, our companies, our books, our blogs, our art, and our ideas.
Think. Tinker. Scribble. Ask. Wonder. Write. Explore. Love.
The pieces are in front of you — now is the time to start building.