Innovation and creativity aren’t just for young people.
In an interview on the CNN website, Tony Wagner, author of Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World (Scribner), shares this advice on how everyone, regardless of age, can unleash his or her imagination productively:
• Eliminate excuses and distractions. Make a commitment to doing what you want, no matter what other pressures surround you. Take other people’s needs into account, but learn to listen to yourself first and foremost.
• Devote yourself to learning. Never assume it’s too late to master a new skill or take on a new challenge. Be ready to take classes, ask questions, and indulge your curiosity.
• Accept failure—and redefine success. Chances are good you’ll stumble along the way to whatever goal you set for yourself. Train yourself to think of setbacks as learning experiences. Remember that if you never fail, you’re probably not challenging yourself.
• Have some fun. Creativity shouldn’t always be serious. Take some time to relax and play as you work toward your goals. You may encounter a new idea or approach you wouldn’t have discovered through single-minded, no-nonsense obsession.