Is this because wealthy people were born with a higher degree of creativity? In some cases, of course, this could be true—Walt Disney immediately comes to mind.
But in most cases it’s simply a matter of the individual losing the extraordinary gift of creativity early on in life. In one series of I.Q. tests given to children ages 2 – 4 years, 95% of the children were found to be highly creative with curious, questioning minds and ability for abstract thinking.
When the same children were tested again at age 7, only 5% still demonstrated high levels of creativity. In the ensuing years, they had learned to conform—they had discovered, “If you want to get along, you had better go along.”
They had learned to color between the lines, to sit in neat little rows, to do and say what the other kids did and said, and to do as they were told. Over time, they lost the wonderful fearless spontaneity of youth and learned to suppress ideas and insights that were unusual or different.
The good news is that anyone, starting from wherever they are, can become wealthy in America by rediscovering their creative talents. Make no mistake about it—since creativity is your birthright, and a fundamental part of your nature, you can tap into it at any time, no matter how long it has been since you really used it.
Here are two things you can do to start thinking outside of your mental box:
First, imagine that there was a vastly better, cheaper, faster way to do your job—and somebody else had already discovered it and was going to put you out of business. What would you do differently? What is the first thing you would do?
Second, imagine doing exactly the opposite of what you are doing today. Allow your mind to float freely and consider how current trends will change your business. How would you adapt to the changing market? How can you apply your interpersonal skills and leverage them into increased sales?
Bonus: For more information on creative thinking, join us for an upcoming Dale Carnegie Course: Effective Communications & Human Relations/Skills For Success. This course will power you to move far beyond your comfort zone as you stretch for and attain ambitious new goals.
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Photo credit: Stuart Miles