During treatment for cancer — he was given less than a forty percent chance of survival — Kelley arrived at the epiphany that a sudden brush with death often produces: he realized his life's purpose. Kelley explains that during cancer treatments, it became clear that what he was put on earth to do was to help people re-build the creative confidence that they had lost since childhood.
He explains that many adults "opt out" of creativity — a natural part of childhood — because they have come to believe that they are not good at it, or that it will not be lucrative. "That opting out [of creativity] that happens in childhood, he says, "moves in and becomes more ingrained by the time you get to adult life."
The truth is, we are all creative — and creativity is critically important to health, happiness, self-worth, and innovation. The secret to building your creative confidence is to remember that you are creative in the first place — to regain that unabashed love of discovery and innovation that you had when you were small.
Don't sentence people to a lifetime as a non-creative simply because they opted out of that natural state, Kelley advises. "Let their ideas fly; let them achieve self-efficacy," he says. "When people regain that confidence, magic happens."
For more information, view David Kelley's Ted Talk on How to Build Your Creative Confidence.