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Equally Creative at Any Age



Your conative talents are one part of you that doesn't diminish with age. In fact, your innate strengths make you Equally Creative at Every Stage of Life.

You will always be who you are.

It would take serious brain damage to rob you of your innate, instinct-driven modus operandi (M.O.). The entrepreneurial lemonade-stand kid will cut deals in the senior center. The factoid student who argued over answers in Trivial Pursuit will debate the benefits of Medicare supplement programs, long after signing up for one of them.

Your personal form of creativity is determined by the pattern of your actions, reactions and interactions. This consistent core of your nature is housed in the relatively unknown conative faculty of the brain. It imprints your M.O. in your mind, much as your fingerprint is imbedded in the flesh of your finger.

Neither your fingerprint nor your M.O. change as you age, even though there are changes in the body part to which it is attached.

Just as your digits may move more slowly, the non-conative thinking process of your brain may also slow down. Changes in other parts of your brain can make it seem as if your conative pattern has been altered, so it is essential that you realize that's not likely the case.

The bedrock of self is the M.O. that makes you solve problems in your own way - and that keeps you equally able to be creative in all the stages of your life. If your method of designing systems made you the cute little kid who sorted toys into neat rows, you could have had a career as a designer, or computer programmer, or jet pilot. In your 80's, you'll still be the person who plans activities and straightens pictures, and has a system for where things belong. You'll still have that wonderful knack for knowing where things should be - even if you don't remember putting them there.

Creativity is in the doing, not the thinking about (or remembering) what to do, and not in the caring about whether others approve of what you've done.

Some people think seniors lose their inhibitions, and therefore become more risk oriented, or more insistent on getting all the facts, or being more of whatever it is they are. Seniors may, in reality, simply be less willing to compromise or cover up the truth of who they are. It may seem childlike to act with the freedom to be yourself, because for some, childhood was the last time when they had the freedom to trust their instincts.

The prime of life is the stage when you have no pretenses, when you're free to act on your conative strengths.

The prime time of your creativity knows no age. It may have its personal ebbs and flows, but those are not tied to universal stages of life. Human beings are not more creative in their youth, nor drained of that capacity after a particular age.

No matter how much your fingers may creak, you still have your fingerprints. You may not be as quick to take the bait, but once you decide to take action, you are as perfectly capable of creative problem solving as you ever were. Add wisdom to the equation, and you will be better than ever in your areas of expertise.

Each age has its limitation in the cognitive and affective faculties of the mind. As a little kid, you didn't know what you needed to know. As you get older, some of the things you know may not matter much anymore.

What makes you tick will keep you ticking.

Using your conative strengths to create solutions keeps you in the game. It's how you can cope with all the changing things around and within you. It's how you determine what works for you and how to be true to yourself. It's how you can stay in charge of your own destiny.

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- Students do their best when they are aware of how to use their instinctive methods to get to the right answers.


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