You’ve been fed a big lie.

The lie goes thusly.

You must study hard in school (creativity killer #1).  You must get good grades (creativity killer #2). You must listen to teachers (creativity killer #3). You must do what you’re told (creativity killer #4).

Then, you must get into a great college or university by taking a standardized test (creativity killer #5).

Once you’re in, you study (#6), listen well (#7), and get more good grades (#8). You don’t talk back to the professor (#9 and #10).⁠1  You accumulate student debt (#11).

You graduate. Yay!

The world is your oyster!

You get the house and the mortgage (#12), the car with the car loan (#13).

You find a job (Creativity killer #14-20 as you subject yourself to the every whim of your employer). Yippe doodle dandy! Money!

You work hard to get promoted into the corner office-someday – and you schmooze with the boss (#21).  You listen to the gurus that tell you all you need to do is work harder and smarter (#22).

You keep going down that path, blissfully unaware at all the ways in which you’re killing your creativity, bit by bit, until you hit retirement.

Wohooo! Retirement. You escaped creativity killers #1-#42 with your body (but not your spirit) intact.

You get to roam the country in your RV, doing whatever you want, whenever you want.  If you’re one of the lucky ones, you visit a few tropical beaches, and sip a few margaritas while watching the 20-somethings walk by in skimpy bathing suits.

Soon, boredom sets in. Unless you find some other outlet for your creative energies, and quickly, the statistics aren’t on your side. You’ll be dead soon.

It is not a path to happiness. 

It is not even a path to real success.

A lot of people, if asked what success is, they’d look hungrily at millionaires and billionaires on TV, and say: “that’s success!”

I’ve met some of those people who have made millions (and even one who’s made billions).

Take, for example, internet marketer Frank Kern.  His story – which he sometimes tells at events, is a rags-to-riches saga.  He went from broke and flooded out of his trailer home to generating millions of dollars in an online business.

He talks about how – after generating his first million or so – he was at his most miserable ever.

He had to go on a journey of self discovery to find his way to more happiness – after becoming a millionaire.

Money helps – but it does not create happiness.  It does not create success.

Success in life is more than just getting the stable job, the decent salary, and the white picket fence.

Success is about living in the exciting flow of life.  Success is about having an impact on the people you meet.  Success is about changing the world in positive ways.  Success is about having enough money so that you’re not struggling constantly just to survive.

Yet, if you’ve followed the path laid forth by tradition, you may well be headed in a very different direction.

How did it come to be this way?  We’ll discuss that in the next post.

Meanwhile, if you want to learn more about how to optimize your “creativity pipeline” to help you find balance in your business and life, go sign up here.


1 Oddly, I often talked back to my professors. Maybe that’s why I became one, so I could experience what it was like to deal with a cantankerous rabble rouser like myself!