They are so tied together, because the structures and attitudes we encounter during our education have so much to do with how well we are able to get at our own creativity.
Which brings me to the manufacturing vs. farming argument.
You see, right now in the schools we have this Big Idea that if we can just measure things right, get the right numbers, and punish the right people, that our education system will get Better.
That's right, we're going to improve a system predicated on the concept of nurturing, inspiring, and building, by tearing down and punishing.
This is manufacturing. Control your inputs, do everything according to a system, get the results you want.
Problem is, nothing works that way.
Lots of very successful people turn around and give talks and write books on "How to Get Successful Like I Did in Ten Steps" or something like that. A lot of it is Hooey. Some of it is pretty good. The stuff that is good is really inspiration, a call for you to go out and create your own circumstances.
Not even a factory works like a factory. There are people, who make decisions. These people get the flu and have babies and root for sports teams. They are not machine parts. Even the machines are made by people who go to the beach and like chocolate and have a favorite TV show.
I firmly believe that the great stuff happens when you create the right circumstances, and then get the heck out of the way.
And great leaders remove barriers. That's what they do. They see potential, they notice people's unique capabilities, they point them in some direction, and then they clear out. If something gets in their way, they remove it.
Think about your favorite teacher growing up. I bet it was someone who noticed something about you, or who got you to try something new, or who challenged you. Not someone who made you get a good test score.
So, education - and creativity - are more like farming. You create the right circumstances for things to flourish, and you get out of the way.
It's a lot messier than a pie chart, it doesn't lend itself to measurement, but that's the beauty of being people. If there were some formula for success, don't you think we would all do it? If there were one way to be happy and content, wouldn't we all just sign up? That's not the case, and that is a GOOD thing. It is what makes us so interesting. Annoying, confounding, but interesting.
So if you want to learn or grow, or create something, try just creating circumstances and getting out of the way. Stop talking to yourself, don't criticize, give yourself some time and space, give yourself permission, encourage yourself, and see what happens. It won't make for a nice graph, and that's a good thing.