I was happy to find out last night that there are only two basic requirements for creativity. The first is that you must be endlessly curious about everything. This is something that children are really good at, but as adults we somehow lose the ability to wonder about things. Most of us are familiar with stories of people inventing or discovering things by accident, but for some reason we feel that we shouldn’t try out new ideas just in case they don’t work. We fear looking foolish as if this were the most important thing in the world.
This leads to the second requirement which is courage. We need to be brave enough to try new things, knowing that a good many of our attempts will end in failure, and that this is ok. Failing is a really effective way of working out what works and what doesn’t work. The only way to protect yourself from failure is to not do anything at all and this is a pretty dismal way to live your life.
The important thing is how you respond to failure. If you are devastated when you fail, you’ll find it pretty hard to get up and try again. If you regard failure as a necessary part of the learning experience you might feel a momentary setback and then you’ll just move on to the next experiment.