Creativity vs. Conformity

I was reading this study recently and it really made me appreciate something I have long seen to be true from my own experiences.

In one series of I.Q. tests given to children ages 2 – 4 years, 95% of the children were found to be highly creative with curious, questioning minds and an ability for abstract thinking. When the same children were tested again at age 7, only 5% still demonstrated high levels of creativity. In the ensuing years, they had learned to conform. They had learned to color between the lines, to sit in neat little rows, to do and say what the other kids did and said, and to do as they were told.

I noticed early in life that often times success in school had little or nothing to do with intelligence or how well I grasped the material. I noticed success in school (when I say success I mean good grades on our current grading system) had much more to do with how compliant I was in regards to the wishes of the teacher.

I was very fortunate that may parents put a much larger emphasis on results and creativity than following the accepted norms. So many children go through life being told to pay attention in school, get a good job and do the “normal” things. I don’t know about you but having seen the quality of life these “normal” people are living these days it is not a path I would want to follow.

Most of us have years of conditioning to overcome in order to regain the creativity and forward thinking we had as young children. But knowing the change is needed is your first step on the road to success.

Cheers,

Chuck

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