When did I forget trying to be creative ? It was the first question coming to me. The reason why I do not use 'stop' but 'forget' here is because that happens gradually and unconsciously. When I look back I know it happened sometime in my life. Then I tried to answer this question by analyzing the two common excuses we used to answer the question 'why not be creative ? 'during our discussion.
The first one is simple: I do not have enough time to do that. Not enough time ? What did I do with my time ? The answer would be taking more than 20 credits. Why did you take so many credits ? Because things I learnt in that class could be useful when I am looking for a job. How did you know that ? Because there are examples of my classmates and friends taking the same class and get a job. I stopped at here and looked backwards to find if there is anything wrong. The initial motivation is trying to follow other's successful path and hope to get the same successful result. Nothing wrong here since most people want to learn from others by mocking and those great names are among them as well. Taking more than 20 credits ? Anything wrong here? I think it will be fine as long as you can understand and make the most of the course contents. But here comes the problem: most students judge the 'understand and make the most of course content' as getting an A for the course. Even worse, judge 'The knowledge learnt in all classes' how many As they get in total'. Without doubt, getting an A for a class is highly correlated with 'understanding and making the most of the class'. If I want to build a model for that, getting an A or not probably will be the variable I will choose and the model will probably have a pretty high R^2. However, that does not mean it is a good model without looking at the diagnostics. There could be some confounding factors that correlates with both our dependent and independent variables. Trying to be creative or being in flow could be the confounding variables here. A spurious relationship between 'Understanding and making the most of your classes' and 'How many As students can get in total' would occur if the estimate fails to account for a confounding factor. In other words, the same thing could happen between 'getting a job' and 'getting a lot of As'. So we can see the problem of mocking other's successful path, There are always variables you can not observe or you won't observe unless you look close enough. But these variables are crucial.
The second one is that there is no immediate reward of being creative and sometimes it is even not encouraged. I still remember at the first year of my high school, I like to spend time on reading articles and books not related to my coursework. Arguing on an interesting topic in the book with my friends between classes is very enjoyable. But after the first year, we are not allowed to read books other than text books. My teachers even punish us for doing that and all the books will be confiscated. They want us to focus on the college entrance exam rather than spending time on meaningless things. Gradually, I agree with them on their opinions and think it bad to break those rules. Just like what we discussed before, if people have no experience of being creative and do not know why creativity could be beneficial for a long time, they will tend to think being creative will be inefficient. In that case, copying others' successful path seems to be an alluring option.
This article is about analyzing my personal experience and may not be the case for other people. But I think it answers the question for me 'When did I forget trying to be creative'.