How connected are you to your inner child’s creativity?
Over forty years ago, E. Paul Torrence conducted a study into children’s creativity, to find out if adult creative achievements could be predicted.
The study followed around four hundred children from kindergarten through top adulthood, observing how creativity blossomed in some situations and not in others.
As some of his subjects reached adulthood, he recognised that children who grew to lead creative and happy lives shared certain characteristics. On the basis of this, Torrance developed the Manifesto for Children, to help both children and adults live more creatively and to use our strengths to create the careers we wanted when children.
Torrance’s manifesto encourages us to stay true to our creativity and those treasured dreams we had as children:
- Don’t be afraid to fall in love with something and pursue it with intensity.
- Know, understand, take pride in, practise, develop, exploit, and enjoy your greatest strengths
- Learn to free yourself from the expectations of others and to walk away from the games they impose on you. Free yourself to play your own game.
- Find a great teacher or mentor who will help you.
- Don’t waste energy trying to be well-rounded.
- Do what you love and can do well.
- Learn the skills of interdependence.
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “you are in work for a long time, so do something you love“, but have you truly taken note of it and followed your childhood dreams?
“I drew these guidelines from my longitudinal studies in which I had encountered some creatively gifted children with learning disabilities, but I now realise that I was writing them for myself”– Paul Torrance
I’m privileged to meet so many people from across the world in the organisations I work with and I’m always taken aback by the large number of those that are unhappy in the job that they do each and every day.
Somewhere along the way, they’ve forgotten to keep on imagining, continue to chase their childhood dreams and never to blindly follow the expectations of others.
The good news is that it’s never too late. Start by exploring those parts of Torrance’s manifesto that speak to you. Which ones could you apply to your life right now?
Go on. Get to know your inner child, re-connect with your dreams, your strengths and your passions today.