Dixie Darr

In creativity on September 5, 2007 at 10:37 am

Curiouser and Curiouser

“If a young Leonardo were alive today and attending grade school, he would probably be on medication.” Michael Gelb

I teach a class where we study some of the great creative minds throughout history, including Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci and Maya Angelou. One of the traits they all share is curiosity. When my students ask me how they can increase their creativity, I tell them to be more curious. Ask more questions.

Mickey Hart, drummer for the Grateful Dead, is a great example of this. His interest in drums led him to collect percussion instruments and become a renowned expert on the history of drums and drumming. He has written four books, testified before the U.S. Senate and was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. A member of the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function at Beth Abraham Hospital, he continues to investigate the connection between healing and rhythm. Not exactly what you’d expect from a drug-soaked rock and roller.

You can use your curiosity to delve more deeply into any subject that interests you. As a writer, I have studied the history and process of papermaking, ink and printing in addition to pursuing a hobby of hand bookbinding.

Here’s an assignment I give my students. Visit a local museum and find an idea you can adapt to your personal or professional life. One woman visited the Titanic exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and came away with the idea that you always need to have a backup plan, no matter how safe you think you are. Imagine if the Titanic captain had asked, “What if this isn’t the safest ship on the sea?”

© Copyright 2007 Dixie Darr. All rights reserved

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