Unlearning What You Have Learned
Interrupting the A18: Neighborhoods Posts for another comment about creativity.
One of my favorite long distance mentors, Yoda, said, "You must unlearn what you have learned." That's the theme of this great TED talk by Sir Ken Robinson about how school has educated us out of our creativity (thanks for the link, Dave!).
He said, "If you are not prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original" and that our school systems are organized around eliminating wrongness. Wrong isn't good or a virtue, but when we are petrified of it, we cease to take risks and we no longer discover anything new. Picasso said that all children are born artists; the challenge is to remain an artist as we grow up.
How can we ensure we remain artists? How can we take calculated risks and find ways to make meaningful and productive mistakes? How can we create opportunities for trial and error, for learning from failure, for approaching everything as an experiment? I want to live with a mindset that the greatest risk is to take no risk at all.