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How to stifle your creativity in 10 easy steps

It’s not often that I post reflective thoughts, but every once and a while I can manage something. Today a page crossed my screen that made me think a bit…How to stifle your creativity in 10 easy steps from lifehack.org. Let me share them briefly with you, but follow the link for a more descriptive explanation.

  1. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
  2. Remind yourself of all the times that you failed in the past.
  3. Never waste time. Stay constantly busy.
  4. Always try to fit in.
  5. Stick to what you know.
  6. Always defer to authority.
  7. Don’t ask stupid questions.
  8. Always listen to your Inner Critic. It’s there to stop you making a fool of yourself.
  9. Leave thinking to the experts.
  10. Keep it simple, stupid.

As I was reading these, I wondered (that’s the reflection I was talking about) how many of these rules are posted in our classrooms. Of course, they don’t have to be on the wall to be posted. The culture of a classroom is apparent to most students after the first day of class…they know what kind of environment they’re in.

So I’ve rewritten the steps…hopefully they’ll encourage creativity in students, teachers, school communities, hmmm…how far could this go? Could you follow these steps?

  1. Don’t be afraid. At all.
  2. Learn from your mistakes.
  3. Slow down…schedule daydreams.
  4. Break the mold once in a while.
  5. Go out on a Lim.
  6. Challenge authority.
  7. Ask every question.
  8. Silence your Inner Critic. Who cares if you look like a fool sometimes? (see #2)
  9. Experts don’t know everything.
  10. Embrace complexity.

3 Responses

  1. Chuckles! Great list Kevin! One to make me think again and again.

  2. Kevin – I recently found a thought-provoking video on how schools ought to foster creativity instead of killing it. It may interest you. Check it out.

  3. Perfect…goes along with some of Daniel Pinks thoughts in his book “A Whole New Mind.” Thanks for the wonderful post. I think some of these may end up on a poster in my classroom.

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