Adam Grant, a professor at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, has been “recognized as Wharton’s top-rated teacher for five straight years, and as one of the world’s 25 most influential management thinkers.” He’s also the author of the bestselling book Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, a study that examines “what it takes to be creative and champion new ideas.”
Speaking at the 2016 Aspen Ideas Festival earlier this year, Grant asks the question: What do Nobel Prize-winning scientists do differently than their more ordinary peers? The answer: They’re twice as likely to play musical instruments. Seven times more likely to draw or paint. 12 times more likely to write fiction or poetry. And 22 times more likely to perform as dancers, actors or magicians.
Case in point Einstein, who never traveled without his beloved violin and saw a direct correlation between his groundbreaking work in physics and his musical life.
For Grant, it’s never too early to cultivate creativity. So above, he outlines three things parents can do to encourage their children’s creative development.
1. Focus on values over rules.
2. Praise their character, not their behavior. Get them to see themselves as creative at heart.
3. Help them draw creative lessons from the books they read.
This all presumably gets covered in greater depth in Chapter 6 of Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World. The chapter is entitled “Rebel with a Cause: How Siblings, Parents and Mentors Nurture Originality.”
Below you can watch Grant’s TED Talk, “The surprising habits of original thinkers.” The video above was shot by The Atlantic.