“I have never been a fan of learning in a classroom. Inside a laboratory or a garage, I always wanted to know more, but never inside a classroom.”
Caltech physicist Caolionn O’Connell, PhD.
“It is often said that education and training are the keys to the future. They are, but a key can be turned in two directions.”
Ken Robinson continues, “Turn it one way and you lock resources away, even from those they belong to. Turn it the other way and you release resources and give people back to themselves.
“To realize our true creative potential—in our organizations, in our schools and in our communities—we need to think differently about ourselves and to act differently towards each other. We must learn to be creative.” [From his book “Out of Our Minds.”]
Multitalented boundary crossers
In Part 1 of this post, I presented some ideas on how we can learn to be more creative, based on the excellent post “Be More Creative Today – Five ways to sustain creativity at home and school” by Lisa Rivero, which includes more material.
For example, she quotes Daniel Pink from a section of his book “A Whole New Mind” describing “boundary crossers”:
“What’s the most prevalent, and perhaps the most important, prefix of our times? Multi. Our jobs require multitasking. Our communities are multicultural. Our entertainment is multimedia. While detailed knowledge of a single area once guaranteed success, today the top rewards go to those who can operate with equal aplomb in starkly different realms. I call these people ‘boundary crossers.’
“They develop expertise in multiple spheres, they speak different languages, and they find joy in the rich variety of human experience. They live multilives – because that’s more interesting and, nowadays, more effective.”
For many years, Barbara Sher has written about and presented programs for multitalented people she coined a term for: “Scanners.” See link to one of her articles below.
The art studio / home office image at the top is from a page about the Right-Brain Business Plan from Artizen Coaching.
Being a creative entrepreneur can be a deeply fulfilling way for multitalented people to engage their various and cross-nurturing abilities, passions and interests.
Emilie Wapnick is one example. She notes, “My resume reads like it belongs to ten different people. Music, film, web design, law, business, personal development, writing, dance, sexuality, education – all of these are or have been interests of mine. They come and go (and sometimes come again).
“I remember being a little kid, not knowing what I would be when I grew up. I wondered the same thing in my teen years, and again in college. Sure, all of my interests would make for wonderful careers – just not on their own. Would I have to settle on a ‘practical job’ and pursue my various passions on the side or choose among my interests and just commit to one thing? Both options made me my heart ache… I knew I could be doing more – that I had more to offer the world.”
Emilie Wapnick designed her program Renaissance Business “Specifically for the Multi-Passionate Entrepreneur.”
In the final part of her article, Rivero talks about the creative value of play, and refers to a TED conference video: Tim Brown on creativity and play.
[Brown is author of “Change by Design” – see resources list below.]
She notes Brown (of the design company IDEO) says that one way to play is to “think with our hands,” which can “mean everything from playing with LEGOs or clay to using found materials to build prototypes as a way to solve problems.”
She adds, “This kind of hands-on play, however, often requires that we give ourselves and our children permission to engage in activities that can look like a waste of time.”
But many leaders talk about the creativity and innovation value of play, even if we may think it is “unproductive.”
Rivero concludes, “While individually we cannot always do much in the short term to change our educational system or paradigms, we each have the power to change our approach to creativity right now in our homes and classrooms so that more of our children retain their creative genius into adulthood.
“In the process, we may just recapture some of our own creativity at the same time.”
References and resources
Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative, by Ken Robinson.
Think! by Edward De Bono.
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.
A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, by Daniel H. Pink.
Change by Design, by Tim Brown.
Deep Play, by Diane Ackerman.
Articles / posts
The Creative Personality: Ten paradoxical traits of the creative personality, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.
Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity? [With 2 videos.]
Do schools kill creativity? – transcript of TED conference video presentation by Sir Ken Robinson.
Are You a Scanner? by Barbara Sher.
Julia Cameron Live – “An online course and artists’ community based on The Artist’s Way and led by Julia. This course includes access to hours of videos by Julia Cameron, divided into bite-sized segments that coincide with the 12 weeks of The Artist’s Way. Julia shares exclusive insight and anecdotes in these videos fueled by more than two decades of teaching the creativity tools.”
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Last reviewed: 13 Apr 2012