Creativity Kiosk: Fleas


Hop, hop, hopping mad!

Have you ever trained fleas to not jump out of a jar? All you have to do is put fleas in a glass jar, and then screw on a lid. They’ll jump and they’ll bounce. And after a while, they’ll get sick and tired of banging their heads against that bright, shiny ceiling. So they’ll stop jumping as high.

The same thing happens to us. It starts early when we learn that teachers like children who colour within the lines and paint the sky blue, not red. At university we religiously follow the rules for an essay if we want an A, not D. Giving presentations, we are taught to have an introduction, body and conclusion – even though research shows the best speeches don’t follow this routine. And at work….well…. Every day, we are taught to play it safe, not take risks, be political, do what’s been done before.

We’re banging our heads. Not on the glass ceiling, but on the creativity ceiling. And unfortunately, after a few bumps many of us give in and give up.

Have you given up? Or are you hopping mad?

You see, I’m a flea that hopped and hopped and hit my head and hit it some more. But I never learned to stop jumping so high. Every time I hit my head, it made me determined to jump just a little bit higher. I refuse to believe that we become better people by playing it safe, not taking risks, being political, doing what’s been done before.

I don’t know, but I don’t want my idols to be people who have done nothing with their lives. I want my idols to be people who have dared to make a difference. People like Albert Einstein, Marie Currie, Leonardo da Vinci, and all of those people at 3M who just kept on working on a project they believed in after their boss had told them to stop. I like the guts these people had.

Choose creativity and dare to be extraordinary!

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