The greatest creatives are the ones that fail the most
Adam Grant wrote a bestseller about creatives that he called “the originals”. Years of research had given him insights into why one person is creative and the other not at all. In doing so, he measured the degree of creativity in terms of the achievements that could be attributed to a person.
He concludes that you need a lot of ideas to be creative. Then you have to start immediately by executing them, but not instantly finish them. Creatives aren’t that creative at all. They have an idea and know-how to improve it over and over again.
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Creators always doubt and improve
Creatives question everything they think of and make. According to Adam, they doubt just as much as less creative people, but with one difference. They don’t question themselves. The flow of creativity often works as follows:
- You have an idea, and you love it.
- You are going to doubt whether the idea is really good.
- You’re sure the idea isn’t right
- It’s a stupid and silly idea.
- You think you are stupid and foolish.
- You will find a new great idea
Creators stop at point 4. They realize it can be a stupid and silly idea, but that means nothing more or less than that the idea has yet to mature. New ideas are needed to make the original idea better and more comprehensive. That’s what they focus their attention on.
Creatives give innovation the time it takes
It took Leonardo Da Vinci 16 years to complete his famous Mona Lisa. Sixteen years to learn and improve over and over again.
When Martin Luther King wrote his famous speech, “I have a dream”, that title did not exist at all. The speech had been given many times before, but he added, “I have a dream” minutes before it started. Creators are always improving from doubt as to whether something is good enough.
Creatives seldom finish on time
Creators instinctively understand that you have to use all the time you have for improvement. So it’s the creatives who always hand in their pieces of work too late at school. They are not lazy, but they know that if they think about it better, the piece of work can also get better.
When they complete the assignment, which has to be completed in 8 hours, within 4 hours, all energy is put into the work and the deadline. There is simply no time or energy left to be creative.
Creatives are not always the first to have an idea
It is often thought that creatives are always the first to come up with a solution or idea. After all, they are original, aren’t they? Fortunately, this is not always the case. Creators who are the first to come up with an innovative idea or solution have a 47% chance to fail.
Creators who improve an existing idea have only a 7% chance to fail. They simply find a slightly better solution for an existing problem.
Facebook and Google weren’t the first social networks either. They improved what there was and continued to make these improvements and take the time for it.
Creatives don’t adopt the status quo just like that
Research shows that you can predict a lot about a person’s career by knowing which browser you are using. It has been proven that Chrome and Firefox users outperform Safari and Internet Explorer users to a large extent. Chrome and Firefox users also keep their jobs 15% more often.
This has everything to do with the fact that Safari or Internet Explorer is installed on your computer by default. Chrome and Firefox users had to search for the best browser and actively download and install it.
Creatives dare to make changes through doubt
There was a film script that was not noticed by the major film studios for 50 years. Nobody wanted to do anything with it. Different versions were offered, but always with an evil queen in the lead.
Jennifer Lee, the author of the script, one day began to wonder whether it made sense to give the leading role to an evil queen. She decided to exchange this queen for a tormented hero, and that was the moment when Frozen could become the most successful animated film ever.
If Jennifer hadn’t doubted, she wouldn’t have made a change.
Creatives have a fear that motivates them to do something
Creatives have at least as much fear as people who hide their creativity. The only difference with creatives is that their biggest fear is not to try something. They are more afraid that they will never try that one idea or start that one company than that they are scared to go bankrupt. They channel their fear of doing something positive with it. Namely taking action and thinking out of the box.
Creatives know that in the long run, we rarely regret our actions, but we do regret what we didn’t do. Creatives are the ones who most often fail. They fail fast but learn rapidly. That’s because they try most often something until it works. And then all of a sudden they are the creative ones.