Creativity vs. Education

 Recently, I had a discussion with a high school graduate who told me that when he was very young he was always creative at school but since then, the structure and demands his education did not allow his creativity to flourish. It reminded me of a conversation I had had years earlier with a client, based in London, who told me that the corporate world had “beaten all the creativity out of her.”  A year after she said that, she left her job in banking and began a new career as a freelance consultant and television producer.  A big part of her process to getting there, required her to revive her natural creative spirit and generate new ideas from that place.

 Taking responsibility for your own creative process and not relying solely on a school or another organization can put you back in the driver seat of your own career. Whether you want to choose a college major, grow in the job you are already in, change career tracks or start a business, you probably need new ideas that will inspire you to action. This is often more challenging than people expect,  but help is on the way through the 3 P’s of Possibilities, below, which offers questions designed to spark your imagination and get to new ideas you will need for your own career development.  

3 P’s of Possibilities:

1.      Passions

  What do you love to make?

  What do you love to buy?

  What do you love to do?

  What moves you to tears?

  What ignites your curiosity?

 2.      Problems

What are the problems that intrigue you regarding:



  Social Issues







  Your own area of interest

 3.      People

  Who do you love?

  Who do you admire?

  Who do you like hanging out with?

  Who do you envy and why?

  Who do you want to help?

  Who is easy for you to serve?

  Who do you think you understand best?

 Take your time to explore and answer all the questions above thoroughly, keeping in mind those areas of ideas that most excite you. Some of you that are better working in a group, may want to do this exercise with colleagues or friends. Once you have made a concerted effort and explored these ideas deeply, make a list of your top 10 ideas and then choose one or more to investigate that best align with your talents, goals and interests. From there you can create an action plan to put your passions into practice in a practical way such as using them for a school project, an product development process at work and taking actions to start a business plan.


Laurel Donnellan

CEO and Founder, Bright Livelihoods


Laurel has 30 years of experience as a leader, educator and coach and has degrees from Cornell and Columbia. To learn more about the Bright Livelihoods community, go to To request a private half-hour coaching session, e-mail us at

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