My pal Brian introduced me to E. Paul Torrance’s Manifesto for Children – a set of rules Torrance developed after a 30 year longitudinal study of creative students.
He asked for advice from those who had gone on to become eminent in their fields. Here are the seven ideas they’d pass on to their childhood selves:
- Don’t be afraid to fall in love with something and pursue it with intensity.
- Know, understand, take pride in, practice, develop, exploit, and enjoy your greatest strengths.
- Learn to free yourself from the expectations of others and walk away from the games they impose on you. Free yourself to play your own game.
- Find a great teacher or mentor who will help you.
- Don’t waste energy trying to be well-rounded.
- Do what you love and can do well.
- Learn the skills of interdependence.
Gosh, I wish I had grown up with this list on my wall.
I could probably talk for an hour about each one and how it echoes my own experiences. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but #3 and #5 stand out to me as particularly relevant to my own life.
Which do your students find most interesting?