The Creative Mind

Left and right brain showing different functions

The search began during my sophomore year.  I had just applied to become an officer in the Blue Valley FFA chapter, and today was the day of the interview.  I was a little nervous, but had practiced for the interview by using a sheet of practice questions my advisor had given me.  During the interview, however, a question was thrown at me that I would dread for the next 3 years.  “What is your favorite quote and why is it important to you?”

It didn’t matter if I was asked this question by a friend or by an interviewer.  Either my face would get all red and I’d stammer out the last quote I remembered (that’s what happened in the interview), or I’d reply with “I don’t know.”  Finally I decided that I would end this embarrassment by searching until I found a quote that spoke to me.  I looked at quotes for hours, and hours, and then a couple more, but none of the quotes stood out to me.  Finally I just shut my computer and moved on to something else, with the idea in my head that it was just never meant to be.

Fast-forward several years later to this summer.  In some spare time I was browsing the Internet, keeping myself entertained.  Somehow I ended up on a quotes website, and on the first page of quotes under the category of creativity I saw it.

“There are two kinds of men who never amount to much: those who cannot do what they are told, and those who can do nothing else.”

Cyrus Curtis

Now, I had never heard of Cyrus Curtis before, but this quote was the one I had been looking for all along, and thanks to our State President it now hangs over my desk.  This quote speaks to me importantly in 3 ways.  First, the implication that it takes work and determination to be successful, it just doesn’t happen by luck.  Secondly, the idea of discipline, in which there is a need for order and responsibility in our world.  But the last one, the third point, stuck out to me the most.  The last phrase says that those that can’t do any more than what they are told will not be successful.

Here is where my love for creativity falls into place.  We are all independent beings with great minds capable of imagination.  But like the quote says, if we do not use that imagination, if we aren’t capable of having our own ideas, we won’t go anywhere.  Think of all the people in history that became famous or are credited with making a change.  They all used creativity to create a new product, invent a new technology, or came across an idea that was so beneficial it helped shape the world to be what it is today.  Thomas Edison, George Washington Carver, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, the list goes on and on.

Each one of us is blessed with this gift of creativity, no matter how non-existent we think it is.  For some of us it may be difficult to use at first, but over time it will grow into one of our strongest strengths.  Also, never be afraid to show your creative side.  Whether in a class discussion or group project, always share your imaginative, creative ideas, and be sure to encourage those of your peers.

After all, who knows?  Someday your words of wisdom could become that sought-after quote.