Re Discover Your Inner Genius
Have you ever been really curious about something, I mean like really insatiably curious? Like maybe when you were a kid, and it was a couple days before Christmas, and you saw a big box under the tree, and you couldn’t help but to wonder what exactly was inside this?
Or maybe your birthday was coming up, and you could tell the people around you were behaving kind of strange, like they were planning something really big, but were trying their hardest to pretend that everything was normal?
Curiosity is a huge driver for discovery and self-growth. Of course sometimes it can be dangerous, which is why the expression “curiosity killed the cat” somehow made its way into our collective unconscious.
But is curiosity really that bad? Curiosity was the spark that caused Edison to try and try again until he found a filament that worked in the light bulb. Curiosity is what sparked the Wright brothers to keep at it until they reached success.
When we are kids, we are insatiably curious, about every single thing. We want to touch, feel, look at taste everything around us. Whenever I see kid on the train, they are always looking around at all the people, out the window at the passing scenery with a look of complete astonishment and wonder.
The adults, on the other hand, almost always have their heads down, as if they are terrified of making contact with another human. They usually have their heads buried in a book, or staring intently at their cell phones, as if they are anxiously waiting for the results of the World Series or something.
Why does that curiosity stifling expression about the cat make it’s way into our consciousness? Why, or how, do we learn that it’s dangerous to want to explore and find out about new things?
If you have kids, you know the reason. At first it’s cute when a little kids running around checking things out. But if you are a normal adult, and aren’t financially well off enough to sit and play with your kid all day, you’ve got other things to do. And like any normal adult, you love your kid and would be horrified if he or she came into any sort of harm.
So the natural response then, is to chastise and admonish kids whenever they start to behave in a way that may prove to be dangerous, or messy, or cause problems.
Don’t touch that!
Put that down!
Don’t put that in your mouth!
Clean that up!
While this may be making our lives more convenient as adults, it is killing our kid’s creativity. Buckminster Fuller once said that every single person is born a genius, but 99.99% of us are de-geniused by the time we grow up.
The point here is not to let your kids run amuck and create all kinds of damage that you, as the adult, will have to fix. There likely isn’t any better way, unless you are super rich, and have no hobbies, or any other interests other than following your kid around all day and fostering their creative genius.
No, the point here is for you reading this to reach inside and find that insatiable curiosity that you gave up on long ago as too dangerous, too embarrassing, or to scary to express, for fear of incurring the wrath of the adults around you.
You are the adult now, and you can choose to listen to those who may criticize you, or you can choose to ignore them. You can reach inside to that little kid that still lives deep in your unconscious and let them know it’s safe to pick things up and examine them. It’s safe to look at things in different ways; it’s safe to explore your world.
New and better ideas, even those that work are not always accepted at first. Some are outright rejected, and can take time before they build momentum. Many a creative genius gives up all too soon simply because the rewards aren’t immediate and immense.
Sure, for every ten new ideas you come up with, 9 of them might suck. But that one out of ten will make it all worthwhile. Progress is not made by people sitting around waiting for others to figure stuff out. Progress is made by those willing to take risks and to try new things.
When most people get the wisp of a new, creative idea in their heads, it is quickly silenced by fears of “what if it doesn’t work,” or “what if I fail?” or even “that’s stupid.”
The secret is to train yourself to think like President John F. Kennedy, and not ask yourself “what if it doesnâ€™t work,” but instead to courageously ask yourself
“What if it does work?”
And let your creative genius run wild with the possibilities.