What did Creative Adults do in their Childhood?

We all have heard of famous creative adults who seemingly never lost their imaginative wonder. But, what did they do in their childhood? Let’s take a deep dive into it!

Many of us wish that we could have kept our childhood imagination into adulthood. How much easier it might have been to be innovative at the workplace. How much fun we could have had with our kids who have the same kind of creative outlook now.

But, every now and then, you do hear about an adult who was able to retain their creativity. Somehow, they were able to take their childhood imagination and apply it to the workings of their adult days. Many are entrepreneurs, authors, artists, or actors.

Let’s take a look at three creative (and world-renowned) adults and see what they did in their childhoods to get there.

Malcolm Gladwell (New York Times Bestselling Author)

Malcolm Gladwell is a world-renowned author who is best known for his ability to write about psychology and sociology - but in a way that anyone who reads his books can understand. Often his points are made through testimonial-style stories that incorporate data and other information to ultimately prove a point. Some of Gladwell’s more well-known titles include; Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (2005), Outliers: The Story of Success (2008), and What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures (2009).

Gladwell has spoken about his idyllic Canadian childhood after being born as the son of a British mathematics professor and Jamaican psychotherapist. He often cites long days spent on campus as a child with his father where he explored libraries and other academic arenas. This sparked his passion for research, learning, and writing. He also was an exceptional mid-distance runner in High School.

Elon Musk (Entrepreneur, Tesla Company)

Elon Musk has been recognized as one of the greatest entrepreneurial innovators of our time. There’s no doubt that he is a creative adult. For those who may not know, Musk is the co-founder and CEO of the electric car manufacturer, Tesla. He also has created SpaceX, a company that manufactures rockets.

Musk was born and raised in South Africa before moving to Canada. When speaking about his childhood, Musk has said that his father was not the most supportive and that he faced a lot of adversity growing up. He notes that he was a bookworm through childhood and also that he was bullied frequently by his peers as a result of being so introverted. The ultimate escape for Elon Musk was his ability to enter a different world when he thought about technology.

Maya Angelou (Award-Winning Poet)

Maya Angelou was an author, activist, and poet who received countless honors and awards for her creative work. As a child, Angelou faced adversity as a Black woman growing up in the United States. Angelou has credited her grandmother as a strong role model in her early childhood who helped to foster her childhood imagination. Angelou is famous for saying, “I’ve never been bored in my life” because of how busy she kept herself since her childhood days.




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