Creativity: the personality trait with the highest link to failure

Image courtesy of Shane Burroughs

I just read an article on the Good Men Project that states creativity is the personality trait linked to the highest rate of failure.

Now, that may come as a shock, but it makes perfect sense. The most creative people are those who venture into new and daring ideas — they try new things, before anyone else. Sometimes they succeed, and wildly so. But more often than not, creativity is met with failure. The important thing, though, is that if you wish to succeed wildly, you must be willing to fail wildly — only then are you sure that you are taking the risks required for the highest pay-out.

From the article:

You might think that answer is bone idle laziness, brutish ignorance, a complete lack of ambition or some equally negative trait.  Surprisingly, the answer is none of these! They don’t even come close, because the trait most likely to cause failure is creativity. Even in its mildest form, creativity delivers failure in abundance.

This isn’t just an unsupported opinion; there is plenty of evidence. The person who is held by many to be one of the most creative inventors of the industrial era developed more than 10,000 failed prototypes for just one of his ideas. The most creative painter of the modern era produced more 13,500 paintings, 99.9% of which you will never have seen or even heard of. The world’s most creative and most important animator filed for bankruptcy 7 times while trying to establish his animation studio.

It seems that Thomas Edison, Pablo Picasso and Walt Disney bounced happily from failure to failure all of their lives, and yet they were tremendously successful people.

That’s right. Some of the most important names in history are the names of people who failed repeatedly throughout their lives. But after each failure they came back stronger and smarter — they learned from their mistakes and used those lessons to ultimately get ahead.

You can read the full article here.

What has your experience with creativity and failure been? Has the failure ever been great enough to make you consider giving up creativity altogether?

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