The Child Inside

At the invitation of Dr. Bennett Cherry I had the opportunity this week to speak to both sections of his “Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship” class at Cal State San Marcos. Dr. Cherry (@edgentrepreneur on Twitter) is an engaging  and natural teacher who aspires to both support and witness his student’s achievement in bringing new ideas to life.

It was a pleasure to join him in this endeavor if only for a day and I am honored that he would call on me to support his work and their learning.

I spoke to the students – mostly in their senior year and beginning to wrestle with the big question of what life will look like after college – about the importance of recognizing, nurturing and enlivening the child inside them; the child who is innately curious, who explores unceasingly, who is willing to take risks, who is unafraid of judgments or criticism. I implored them to recognize when they are playing it safe; when they are favoring the safety of the known over the perceived danger and uncertainty of the unknown. I assured them that their willingness and ability to challenge themselves to move towards their own personal “edge of possibility” will differentiate them as highly desirable employees in a world of organizations so desperate for meaningful evolution but so confused about how to actually make it happen.

And, as I was carrying on, I couldn’t stop thinking about a short movie featuring a young man named Caine Monroy (you can watch it here). His story is one of the most compelling examples I’ve seen of a child’s full expression of creativity and the absolute conviction that his creativity will lead to possibility. More than that, it is a story of how one person’s belief can inspire another person – even an older, “wiser” person – to do something powerful and unexpected.

For all of the students I had the pleasure to meet this week and to all of us who strive to create and contribute to something larger than ourselves, I hope you will find Caine’s story fuel for the journey.

Congratulations on moving towards your possibility.

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