“Creativity is just having enough dots to connect… connect experiences and synthesize new things. The reason creative people are able to do that is that they’ve had more experiences or have thought more about their experiences than other people”. Steve Jobs, President, Apple Computers
“You may think that as you get older you gather more experiences. The reality is, most of us repeat the same experiences over and over again. Instead of 20 years of experiences, we’ve had the same one year of experience 20 times.
For children, everything is a new experience. As children we were passionate and creative; our minds filled with limitless possibilities and wonder. Numerous studies have shown that 98% of 5-year old children are highly creative, while only 2% of adults are. How did we go from being creative, passionate, playful children to adults filled with burden, rigidity and stress?
One obstacle is our diminished ability to be creative and to live creatively. A creative mind is a playful mind, one stirred by passion and probability rather than deterred by fear and obligation – a mind that can develop new ideas and bring those ideas to fruition. As children we view the world with fresh eyes. Children are not focused – they are collecting dots. New experiences. It all changes once we start going to school. We are taught to memorize and regurgitate facts; to generate particular outcomes. Peer pressure sets in and we all feel compelled to wear the same brand of sneakers. We stop thinking for ourselves. As we get older, we continue through life planning every step – and eliminate dots. We go to college, we choose a major, and eventually get the best job we can. What do we have left? One dot. We know that dot – our area of expertise – really well but we have nothing else to connect it to. Instead of collecting new experiences, we become focused on one area. We no longer try new things. We continually choose the same path and use the same approaches to living life, neglecting to check whether we are producing the results we really want.”
Stephen Shapiro – Goal Free Living.