Parents and students alike often think that a college major defines possible career options. Yet what distinguishes today's work world ...
Is creativity something you’re born with, or can it be cultivated? Living a live of creativity sounds fantastic—but is it (possible) for everyone?
If you think it would be wonderful to be more creative, you could try to do something about it, like take a creative writing class or something. But it’s probably not that easy. If someone is already creative, a class can help them sharpen their skills. But if you honestly don’t have a creative bone in your body, then is there any hope for you?
If you're someone who believes you're just not creative, what you really need, according to Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, is to switch from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. Dweck has shown that many qualities of mind can be cultivated, and that it’s a really bad idea to think that our character is just given by, for example, our DNA or innate abilities. If you have a fixed mindset, you may just give up, and not do the work you need to get better.
In other words, your fixed belief that you're not creative may well be the reason, for example, you write bad poetry. Changing to a growth mindset would be a start to motivating you to try to become a better poet. According to this way of thinking, creativity is like self-discipline—it’s something you can learn. Maybe you start off not that creative, but with the right training and some hard work, you can become a much more focused, creative person.
But maybe creativity is more like brilliance—you've either got it or you don't. You can’t train someone to be a genius. Well, obviously some people are naturally more creative than others, just as some people might naturally be more disciplined than others. But take any person where they are and give them the right training and education, I'd wager that they will become better than they were when they started. That’s why a growth mindset is so important.
So could something like a bootcamp to make people more creative? Could the university be a kind a bootcamp for creativity? Are there particular disciplines that cultivate more creativity than others? These are the kinds of questions we're asking our guest for this week's show, Scott Forstall, who designed the software for the iPhone and iPad, and who is now an award-winning Broadway producer.