Be Childish, I Double Dare Ya

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 In order to make anything a reality, you have to dream about it first.

~Adora Svitak

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Vince Alongi (Creative Commons)

We love you  TED Talks. We love your geeks, your smarts, your innovation . . . and your childishness.

Recently, I cozied up to a speech by Andora Svitak (video below) and though she was 12 at the time she made the talk she stirs the controversy pot. See if you agree with her in your quest for creativity.

Age Has Nothing to Do With It

Agreed. Can anyone make a difference? Can anyone be creative? Sure. You betcha.

Hopeful Thinking

Agreed again. Kids see the sunlight. Kids play. Kids are positive. Hmmm. Two points kids.

Students Should Teach Their Teachers

Debatable. I learn a lot from kids, but not all kids. I’m curious how you think this would, or would not, play itself out. Leave a comment for discussion.

Kids Dream About Perfection

Agreed. Rose colored glasses. Pollyanna. Call it what you will, kids haven’t racked up the thousands of no’s and other roadblocks to NOT think perfection is possible.

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Our generation’s ceiling is the next generation’s floor. In other words, we prepare future creatives for growth to far exceed our accomplishments. How well are we doing?

How are you growing down instead of up?

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Author: Andrew Zahn

I'm a son, husband, dad, business owner, actor and good sleeper/eater. On this blog, I pave a highway for creative growth by providing food, water, and shelter for those wishing to live, work, and play with creative zest.

  • I hadn’t seen that one. What an inspiration. There is nothing like an intelligent 12-year-old to make you feel inadequate. To your question about learning from kids I say it depends. It depends on the kid and the adult. I think we all could be better people if we did a better job of listening to each other, including listening to our kids. Their ability to ignore obstacles and think outside the box is wonderful. But children need to listen too. Contrary to teenage belief, we “adults” have an occasional idea of merit. Thank you for sharing this and I will do my part to be more childish instead of being such a poopy-head…

    • Andrew Zahn

      My wife and I were just talking about how amazingly smart you can be or become if you just listen! It’s such a powerful pont Andy. And yeah, I won’t be a poopy-head either… heh heh

  • Kind of hilarious timing, as last night I learned some photoshop tricks from a ten year old via youtube (he actually really knew his stuff). It’s funny the stuff we can learn from the “untarnished” minds of youths.

    • Andrew Zahn

      Pass some of those tips this way. I’m photoshop-illiterate.

  • What a great reminder, we should strive to have child like faith. Having the lens of a child allows a person to be more creative.

  • Jim

    Interesting thoughts. A know-it-all 10 year old is not really going to teach a room full of adults much. Nor is a know-it-all 32 year old going to teach a class full of 10 year olds much. The only way we can TRULY learn from each other (regardless of age) is to remain humble. I’ll be honest, I didn’t really hear much of a humble tone from the speaker above. It sounded more like an I’m right, you’re wrong session to me.

    There is no arrogance or superiority in watching a child play and dream. THIS is what we ALL must do to be creative.

    • Andrew Zahn

      She definitely has an opinion right?! I actually tweeted this from your comment: “There is no arrogance or superiority in watching a child play and dream.” So good Jim.

      • Thanks Andrew. I was a little hesitant to call out a 12 year old, but I had to say something. Granted, if this girl wasn’t extremely cocky, there is NO WAY she would ever do a TED talk at that age.

        • I don’t think she was cocky or came across as a know-it-all. She was confident and speaking like you would expect a 12 year old girl to in front of a very large group of adults. Yes, I understand she has speaking engagements all of the time but it takes years to develop speaking techniques.

  • Nice one, Andrew. It was interesting thinking of my own kids (age 10 and 9) and how they are starting to question, doubt, set up the roadblocks based on peer pressure, friends, self-doubt etc. I can see them turning into their future adult selves. We have tried to create the right spaces and provide the open encouragement we seek, but sometimes outside forces (or unknowingly our inside forces) prevail.

    I do agree that there’s room to learn from and be inspired by anyone no matter the age or situation. I like the reciprocal perspective.

  • Stephanie

    Love TED! I keep thinking that I need to come up with a great idea to be able to go to one of their conferences!

    • Andrew Zahn

      Do it Stephanie! We’ll cheer you on and I’ll post it here! Can’t wait!

  • I just came across this quote and it seemed appropriate:

    “… all children have creative power.” —Brenda Ueland

  • Awesome post, I work at Big Brothers/Big Sisters, so this is a great encouragement for me, helps remind me that a child’s potential (read: everyone’s potential) is only limited by ourselves!

  • Whimsy, wonder and chutzpah—what we had as children that serve us well now in our creative pursuits. Agonizing self-doubt, peer pressure and goth glumness—remnants from the darker years of childhood that sometimes creep into our grown-up lives to torment us, if we let them.

    My oldest sister called me a Polyanna, and I was ambivalent about whether to take it as a compliment or an insult! Name-calling: best banished as a habit from childhood that need not be brought into adulthood : )

    Um, Andrew, was that you who visited my blog today? Somebody from your blog’s URL did. I would love a comment now and then if you’re ever in my neighborhood!

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