Here’s one of my favourite stories on creativity:
After the Gods created the humankind they started admiring their latest creation. It didn’t take them long to realize that the creatures they created were so smart, daring and adaptable and it wouldn’t take them long to challenge the Gods for supremacy.
The Gods gathered a grand meeting to discuss the issue and ensure their domination.
When the Gods evaluated the problem, they discovered that the difference between them and the humans was in their assets. The humans had their egos and their material world, while the Gods had intuition, spirituality and creativity.
They had to decide what to do when the mortals wanted some of that too.
After a long debate they concluded that the best solution would be to hide their assets. But where?
If they hid them at the top of highest mountain it won’t be ling before the humans climb it.
The deepest craters in the ocean will be discovered.
The most immersed caves in the earth will be explored.
The most distant islands will be populated.
The most secret jungles will be crossed.
The sky will be swept by flying inventions.
Planets will be observed farther and farther.
The Gods explored every possible venue but could not find a safe from the humans place.
One small God, who had not yet expressed his opinion, stood up. “Why don’t we put a piece of our creativity, spirituality and intuition in each of the humans” said the God. “They will never look for them there.”
And every human was born creative but very few of them tapped into their God-given assets.
George Land (the inventor of Polaroid) decided to test that theory.
He took a test created by NASA to select creative scientists and engineers and gave it to 1,600 5-year-olds. He tested the same children again when they were 10 and again at the age of 15. The same test was also given to 280,000 adults.
The results spoke for themselves:
- 5 year olds rated “highly creative” – 98%
- 10 year olds rated “highly creative” – 30%
- 15 year olds rated “highly creative” – 12 %
- Adults rated “highly creative” – 2%
Land wrote: “What we have concluded is that non-creative behaviour is learned.”
Now, when creativity and innovation are valued high in the business arena, it’s time to unlearn these non-creative habits.
After all, we were all born creative.