"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
I am slightly allergic to the word God. Nevertheless the quote above has tremendous appeal for me. That's why I use it again although I had already used it before.
As mentioned in my earlier post, I have tremendous respect for human potential. I am usually quite easily convinced that most people can achieve many quite great things in their lives. I have even made public speeches where I tell the audience, "Hey, YOU can achieve great things."
Nevertheless, I am a realist. Although I believe that most people can achieve great things, I also believe that most people won't. The greatest reason is that THEY don't believe that they themselves can achieve great things.
And really - nobody ever wins an Olympic medal, or becomes CEO, by accident. Nobody ever writes a bestselling novel, or becomes a multimillionaire entrepreneur, or gets a PhD, by accident. Whatever your definition of a "great thing" may be, it just won't happen if you don't do it.
What has led me today, to write about this?
Strangely, it was my previous post. Or rather, some of my readers' comments on it - those comments that asserted "Creativity Can't Be Taught" or "Creativity Can't Be Learned".
On the way to work this morning, I was thinking about those comments and I realised that for the average, not-very-creative Singaporean, such a statement is effectively a cop-out, an excuse.
Suppose you are not particularly creative. If you then choose to believe "Creativity Can't Be Learned", well, you just gave yourself permission to continue to be un-creative for the rest of your life. You would have no self-obligation to learn to be more creative.
Come to think of it -
the statement "Creativity Can't Be Learned" is itself extremely un-creative.
The more-creative approach would be to say:
"Let's just suppose, for a moment, that creativity can be learned. HOW would we learn it? Let's come up with two or three ideas to do it. Or four, or five ideas, or nine or ten. Or maybe 30."
And seriously - I know that if I wanted to, I could definitely come up with 30 ideas for making oneself more creative. It wouldn't take me very long either, and many (not all) of those 30 ideas would be quite effective and quite innovative too.
How can I be so sure? Well, I've tried various creative tools, techniques and processes in the past. And really, if you know just a couple of those tools, techniques and processes, it probably wouldn't be particularly difficult to generate 4, 5, 9, 10 or 30 different ideas to tackle most kinds of challenges.
For instance, it wouldn't be particularly difficult to generate 30 ideas on how to make yourself more creative.
Funny thing is - many people who have never learned about any of those creative tools or techniques, or never really tried them out for themselves, will nevertheless insist that "Creativity Can't Be Learned".
Why not surprise yourself?
Here, try the random input method. That's one tool.
Mr Wang will give you 30 random words. Use each word to generate one idea for making yourself more creative. At the end of the exercise, you should have 30 ideas:
post pursuit resources plan straw story windows artists snake oil teachers massage argument commodity human entrepreneur musical kids piano violin computer history university measure God student school book reflection institutions