Creativity and Aging

Creativity and Aging

I work with many amazing physicians who tell me “I always knew I wanted to be a doctor when I grew up.” This was not my experience! Fun fact – I entered college as a classical music performance major on the bassoon. After years of not playing, it was tough but fun. This got me thinking….


When we are kids, it is our job to play. Kids are encouraged to be creative, and adults love to see them get passionate about new things. I remember in college being encouraged to try new classes, learn new things, engage in new activities, meet new people.


Why is it that when you are in college everyone urges you to be creative, to seek out passion, to try new things, but then as you get older it is the reverse?


I have noticed with many friends and work colleagues that as we get older, we are more set in our ways. We are supposed to be “experts” in a few topics and stick to these topics. We are hired for jobs in which we have already demonstrated the skillset for the position. We are supposed to “stay in our lane” at work.


Outside of work, it is expected that we will have a few hobbies that we have carefully honed over the years. We have a set of friends our own age who have similar life experiences. We listen to the same music we did as young adults. We read the same magazines or websites. I see people my age getting more and more set in their ways and not wanting to learn new things, I don’t see creativity.


I think this is a waste! As we get older, we often have more time, more space, and more money. This should enable us to try new things, be more creative, take some risks. It seems sad to me when my generation is repeating the same thing over and over again. Are we just waiting to die instead of living?


If you are a GenX’er like me, I challenge you to try something new! Be creative! You might just surprise yourself.

Dr Jennie Byrne © All Rights Reserved