Is it ever too late to be creative?

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I gave a presentation / workshop today to the parents of K-8 students at a school in San Francisco. We moved through several design exercises interspersed with talking, reflection, and application to their own lives and the learning experiences of their kids. At one point, the mother of a first and fourth grader said, “my first grader is easily generative and creative, but my fourth grader seems to have lost some of that spark – is it too late for her to be creative? What about me?”

**Cue vigorous shaking**

No!! It’s never too late for anyone to adopt creative practices and apply them successfully to many aspects of their lives. Creativity comes naturally to youngsters who are encouraged to wonder, question, explore, and experiment. Facets of our culture and educational system subdue these pursuits in a large majority of us, leading many adults to believe that creativity is cut and dry, either / or, have or have not. I disagree.

Creativity is a learned, rigorous process. It’s not easy, and it needs to be practiced. Many of us took calculus in high school. We took tests in calculus and passed (usually). How many of us could pass that calculus test today? With no practice? Not me.

You see my point. We all have creative ability baked in us, but we need to nurture, activate, and use it to bring it out and use it successful in our lives and work.

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