More than Likely You Were a Genius

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You may have seen the extensive George Land studies that proved there was a 98% chance you were once a creative genius before age four.


In the early days of the Headstart Program, 1,600 five-year-olds were given a series of standardized tests designed to measure creative thinking. The first round of tests were administered when the kids were three to five years of age. At that point, 98 percent of them scored in the genius category. Five years later the same children took identical tests. Only 32 percent scored in the genius range. Five years later only ten percent scored as well. Since then more than 200,000 adults over the age of 25 have taken the same tests. Only two percent managed to score at the genius level.


Other research has come to similar conclusions about the trajectory of our creative powers—a 40-year-old adult is about two percent as creative as a five-year-old child. No wonder Dr. Seuss once described adults as “obsolete children.”


Findings like these tell us that creative genius isn’t something you find. It’s something you’ve lost. In fact, the similarities between children and adults we call creative geniuses tell us that people who don’t think like children have lost a great treasure. And here’s the sad part—you didn’t have to lose it. In Land’s own words, “non-creative behavior is learned.” That’s right. If your creative genius had not been beaten out of you by the rules and regulations of a school system designed to produce workers for the Industrial Revolution, you’d still have it. You have a choice, to comply or act like a child and resist!!


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image: © Hill Street Studios/Tetra Images/Corbis

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