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16 Interesting Signs You’re A Highly Creative Person (And You May Not Know It Yet)

16 Interesting Signs You’re A Highly Creative Person (And You May Not Know It Yet)

Creativity knows no bounds. But we as humans are finite, so where does that leave us with creativity?

Truth be told, having the gift to create is not evident to all. It is through our innate and rather inhuman ability to dedicate time and hone our crafts until we achieve awe-inspiring greatness which serves as the true measure of creativity.

While there are starving artists who put value in the quality of their meticulous creations, some are just are as artistic without having to adhere to certain cliches that limit the worldview of what creativity truly means.

In fact, you, dear reader, may be one of these highly creative people who are not fully aware of their gift.

To make sure that you are indeed a creative person, refer to the signs below and see if you exhibit any of these.

1. You like to solve problems

Whether it’s playing sudoku or doing your math homework, both of which require you to flex your problem-solving muscles, your propensity for finding solutions to the problems in front of you is a sign of creative mind. While there is the debate on whether creativity and critical thinking work in the same plane of consciousness, both are nonetheless interconnected because problems let you draw solutions from your knowledge and experience.

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2. You are highly motivated

There is a beautiful stubbornness that exists within motivation. While it encourages bull-headedness and a determined mentality, motivation allows us to pursue our passions to the extent of our finiteness, if not beyond it. According to Gordon Torr’s book Managing Creative People, the higher the intrinsic motivation (doing something for its sake), the greater the creativity of that person will be.

3. You are courageous

Success is never achieved overnight. You will have to fail countless of times before getting it right. By the time Thomas Edison was able to develop thousands of patents and created revolutionary devices (which laid the groundwork for the technology we use today), his teachers have told him that he was “stupid to learn anything” and was fired in this first two jobs for not being productivity.

Lesser men would cave in and submit to defeat, but rejection will only fire the courage in creative people like Edison to not only prove their naysayers wrong but also pursue their passions regardless of popular belief.

4. You love playing

Play is the act in which people are not stressed out by work as they relax and do something fun for a change. As the brain is in this state of euphoria, the creative juices naturally flow from you, allowing you to come up with better ideas.

This is what LEGO Foundation CEO Dr. Randa Grob-Zakhary wants to instill in people through his building blocks that pave way to childhood development by way of fun learning.

“Play allows us to test our capabilities, as all forms of learning should,” says Grob-Zakhary in this interview at Forbes. “It stimulates children’s learning abilities by fostering creativity, building critical thinking, sparking intellectual curiosity, and facilitating learning by doing.”

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5. You go against the grain

Your inquisitive mind allows you to question instead of following, inquire instead of agreeing, and be your person instead of being like everyone else. You learn the rules only so you can create new ones for yourself.

6. You are boundless

There is only so much than a man can do and achieve, but that should not limit anyone to dream big. In fact, having boundaries is beneficial in helping us achieve things bigger than anyone would ever imagine. Your limitations are gateways to creative thinking, which fuels the imagination to stretch their capabilities to their potential.

7. You are expressive

You are well aware of what you feel and think and are not afraid to share them. The freedom to self-expression is a skill that comes naturally from creative people and their passion for sharing their most honest thoughts despite what others may say or do.

“F*ck Tha Police” is a foul-mouthed rant about racial profiling and police brutality. It is also spoke the truth experienced by black urban youths during the time of its release, which makes it one of the most expressive and memorable songs in N.W.A’s discography.

8. You are emphatic

At the same time, you are concerned with what people feel and think. As a creative person, you want to use your understanding of their thoughts and emotions to provide them something that answers to their needs. Whether it’s a positive response or negative criticism, you take them all in stride and focus on creating something better for them.

“When everyone can create very quickly, what is it that will distinguish your product or brand from the rest? Caring for your customers,” says Aaron Walter, head of User Experience at MailChimp about the importance of empathy in creating a product for consumers.

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9. You find puns high-larious

Puns have been a widely used poetic device in the English Literature. Hell, if Shakespeare came up with 3,000 puns in all of his plays, then you could say that’s a rather pun-tastic feat. *wink wink*

More importantly, puns are indicative of the mind’s playfulness and creativity with words, which also indicates their sense of humor.

10. You are “wired in”

In 2010’s The Social Network, newly introduced Shawn Parker tried to shake hands with one of Facebook’s programmer but the latter decline while still in the computer with his headphones on. Mark Zuckerburg explains to Shawn that the programmer was “wired in” and can’t be disturbed at all.

By being “wired in,” your concentration is at an all-time high, which allows you to brainstorm, develop, produce, and create ideas from scratch much more effectively.

11. You have the Flow

According to Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers and Geoff Colvin in Talent is Overrated in this postFlow refers to the “mental state of complete absorption in which one is so captivated with practicing a skill that hours can drift away, and one might even lose awareness of one’s surroundings.”

Through Flow, work is not a burgeoning task that you have to endure as a means to end. For creative people like you, work is play and allows you to be more engaged with it from a creative standpoint.

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12. You find yourself daydreaming

Letting your mind wander may sound like a mindless activity, but it helps your creative juices flowing as you are in constant dialogue with your thoughts during this period. In fact, constant daydreaming paves the way for you to develop more insights from your imagination and creative faculties.

13. Nothing escapes you

You are like a sponge to experiences. You want to soak as many information and observations as possible. For creative people like Joan Didion, it’s about writing every significant moment in her notebook. With technology allowing us to capture experiences through our mobile devices, there is no reason to let vivid moments slip away from you.

14. You are sensitive

Part of being able to immerse yourself in particular experiences is your ability to see the beauty and profundity in even the simplest of things. You can spot the poetry in the most mundane of things because you are aware of small things that comprise the big whole. At the same time, your senses tend to overwhelm you in the face of a strong experience, whether it’s criticism or an applause.

Regardless, people high on temperamental sensitivity and rich inner life have more developed creativity compared to others.

15. You like to go for something new

The diversity of experience is of utmost importance for creative people. Whether it’s going out to do something out of the ordinary or acquiring a new skill, having new experiences in your memory bank allows you to escape mundanity and continue feeling your creativity with new experiences to play around with.

16. You can get things done

Creativity is your vehicle, and the sheer act of creation is your destination. Facing a task that seemed insurmountable only fuels the fire to create and make someone out of thin air.

Putting things into perspective, had Elon Musk, a.k.a. World’s Raddest Man, succumbed to the seeming impossibility of making online payments, space exploration, and the commercial production of electric cars possible, then PayPal, SpaceX, and Tesla Motors, respectively, would not have existed.

Featured photo credit: Eddy Klaus via unsplash.com

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Christopher Jan Benitez

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on March 21, 2019

11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

Most gurus talk about habits in a way that doesn’t help you:

You need to push yourself more. You can’t be lazy. You need to wake up at 5 am. You need more motivation. You can never fail…blah blah “insert more gibberish here.”

But let me share with you the unconventional truths I found out:

To build and change habits, you don’t need motivation or wake up at 5 am. Heck, you can fail multiple times, be lazy, have no motivation and still pull it off with ease.

It’s quite simple and easy to do, especially with the following list I’m going to show to you. But remember, Jim Rohn used to say,

“What is simple and easy to do is also simple and easy not to do.”

The important things to remember when changing your habits are both simple and easy, just don’t think that they don’t make any difference because they do.

In fact, they are the only things that make a difference.

Let’s see what those small things are, shall we?

1. Start Small

The biggest mistake I see people doing with habits is by going big. You don’t go big…ever. You start small with your habits.

Want to grow a book reading habit? Don’t start reading a book a day. Start with 10 pages a day.

Want to become a writer? Don’t start writing 10,000 words a day. Start with 300 words.

Want to lose weight? Don’t stop eating ice cream. Eat one less ball of it.

Whatever it is, you need to start small. Starting big always leads to failure. It has to, because it’s not sustainable.

Start small. How small? The amount needs to be in your comfort zone. So if you think that reading 20 pages of a book is a bit too much, start with 10 or 5.

It needs to appear easy and be easy to do.

Do less today to do more in a year.

2. Stay Small

There is a notion of Kaizen which means continuous improvement. They use this notion in habits where they tell you to start with reading 1 page of a book a day and then gradually increase the amount you do over time.

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But the problem with this approach is the end line — where the “improvement” stops.

If I go from reading 1 page of a book a day and gradually reach 75 and 100, when do I stop? When I reach 1 book a day? That is just absurd.

When you start a habit, stay at it in the intensity you have decided. Don’t push yourself for more.

I started reading 20 pages of a book a day. It’s been more than 2 years now and I’ve read 101 books in that period. There is no way I will increase the number in the future.

Why?

Because reading 40 to 50 books a year is enough.

The same thing applies to every other habit out there.

Pick a (small) number and stay at it.

3. Bad Days Are 100 Percent Occurrence

No matter how great you are, you will have bad days where you won’t do your habit. Period.

There is no way of going around this. So it’s better to prepare yourself for when that happens instead of thinking that it won’t ever happen.

What I do when I miss a day of my habit(s) is that I try to bounce back the next day while trying to do habits for both of those days.

Example for that is if I read 20 pages of a book a day and I miss a day, the next day I will have to read 40 pages of a book. If I miss writing 500 words, the next day I need to write 1000.

This is a really important point we will discuss later on rewards and punishments.

This is how I prepare for the bad days when I skip my habit(s) and it’s a model you should take as well.

4. Those Who Track It, Hack It

When you track an activity, you can objectively tell what you did in the past days, weeks, months, and years. If you don’t track, you will for sure forget everything you did.

There are many different ways you can track your activities today, from Habitica to a simple Excel sheet that I use, to even a Whatsapp Tracker.

Peter Drucker said,

“What you track is what you do.”

So track it to do it — it really helps.

But tracking is accompanied by one more easy activity — measuring.

5. Measure Once, Do Twice

Peter Drucker also said,

“What you measure is what you improve.”

So alongside my tracker, I have numbers with which I measure doses of daily activities:

For reading, it’s 20 pages.
For writing, it’s 500 words.
For the gym, it’s 1 (I went) or 0 (didn’t go).
For budgeting, it’s writing down the incomes and expenses.

Tracking and measuring go hand in hand, they take less than 20 seconds a day but they create so much momentum that it’s unbelievable.

6. All Days Make a Difference

Will one day in the gym make you fit? It won’t.

Will two? They won’t.

Will three? They won’t.

Which means that a single gym session won’t make you fit. But after 100 gym sessions, you will look and feel fit.

What happened? Which one made you fit?

The answer to this (Sorites paradox)[1] is that no single gym session made you fit, they all did.

No single day makes a difference, but when combined, they all do. So trust the process and keep on going (small).

7. They Are Never Fully Automated

Gurus tell you that habits become automatic. And yes, some of them do, like showering a certain way of brushing your teeth.

But some habits don’t become automatic, they become a lifestyle.

What I mean by that is that you won’t automatically “wake up” in the gym and wonder how you got there.

It will just become a part of your lifestyle.

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The difference is that you do the first one automatically, without conscious thought, while the other is a part of how you live your life.

It’s not automatic, but it’s a decision you don’t ponder on or think about — you simply do it.

It will become easy at a certain point, but they will never become fully automated.

8. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

Marshall Goldsmith has a great book with the same title to it. The phrase means that sometimes, you will need to ditch certain habits to make room for other ones which will bring you to the next step.

Don’t be afraid to evolve your habits when you sense that they don’t bring you where you want to go.

When I started reading, it was about reading business and tactic books. But two years into it, I switched to philosophy books which don’t teach me anything “applicable,” but instead teach me how to think.

The most important ability of the 21st century is the ability to learn, unlearn, and relearn. The strongest tree is the willow tree – not because it has the strongest root or biggest trunk, but because it is flexible enough to endure and sustain anything.

Be like a willow, adapting to the new ways of doing things.

9. Set a Goal and Then Forget It

The most successful of us know what they want to achieve, but they don’t focus on it.

Sounds paradoxical? You’re right, it does. But here is the logic behind it.

You need to have a goal of doing something – “I want to become a healthy individual” – and then, you need to reverse engineer how to get there with your habits- “I will go to the gym four times a week.”

But once you have your goal, you need to “forget” about it and only focus on the process. Because you are working on the process of becoming healthy and it’s always in the making. You will only be as healthy as you take care of your body.

So you have a goal which isn’t static but keeps on moving.

If you went to the gym 150 times year and you hit your goal, what would you do then? You would stop going to the gym.

This is why goal-oriented people experience yo-yo effect[2] and why process-oriented people don’t.

The difference between process-oriented and goal-oriented people is that the first focus on daily actions while others only focus on the reward at the finish line.

Set a goal but then forget about it and reap massive awards.

10. Punish Yourself

Last two sections are pure Pavlovian – you need to punish bad behavior and reward good behavior. You are the only person who decides what is good and what is bad for you, but when you do, you need to rigorously follow that.

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I’ve told you in point #3 about bad days and how after one occurs, I do double the work on the next day. That is one of my forms of punishments.

It’s the need to tell your brain that certain behaviors are unacceptable and that they lead to bad outcomes. That’s what punishments are for.

You want to tell your brain that there are real consequences to missing your daily habits.[3]

No favorite food to eat or favorite show to watch or going to the cinema for a new Marvel movie- none, zero, zilch.

The brain will remember these bad feelings and will try to avoid the behaviors that led to them as much as possible.

But don’t forget the other side of the same coin.

11. Reward Yourself

When you follow and execute on your plan, reward yourself. It’s how the brain knows that you did something good.

Whenever I finish one of my habits for the day, I open my tracker (who am I kidding, I always keep it open on my desktop) and fill it with a number. As soon as I finish reading 20 pages of a book a day (or a bit more), I open the tracker and write the number down.

The cell becomes green and gives me an instant boost of endorphin – a great success for the day. Then, it becomes all about not breaking the chain and having as many green fields as possible.

After 100 days, I crunch some numbers and see how I did.

If I have less than 10 cheat days, I reward myself with a great meal in a restaurant. You can create your own rewards and they can be daily, weekly, monthly or any arbitrary time table that you create.

Primoz Bozic, a productivity coach, has gold, silver, and bronze medals as his reward system.[4]

If you’re having problems creating a system which works for you, contact me via email and we can discuss specifics.

In the End, It Matters

What you do matters not only to you but to the people around you.

When you increase the quality of your life, you indirectly increase the quality of life of people around you. And sometimes, that is all the “motivation” we need to start.

And that’s the best quote for the end of this article:

“Motivation gets you started, but habits keep you going.”

Keep going.

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More Resources to Help You Build Habits

Featured photo credit: Anete Lūsiņa via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Sorites paradox
[2] Muscle Zone: What causes yo-yo effect and how to avoid it?
[3] Growth Habits: 5 Missteps That Cause You To Quit Building A Habit
[4] Primoz Bozic: The Lean Review: How to Plan Your 2019 in 20 Minutes

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