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11 Rules That Creative People Live By

11 Rules That Creative People Live By

Creativity sometimes gets a bad rap in school when teachers are trying to push students toward the STEM fields. Truth is, we need creativity too! It’s the driving force behind innovation, and it can add interest to drab and dry situations. Creative people are a key part of society, and they contribute much-needed perspective to our culture. It doesn’t always come easily, however. Even creative people aren’t constantly creating. Here are 11 rules they live by to keep the creativity coming, even through setbacks.

1. Things don’t always have to go your way

Sometimes, things don’t go according to plan—and that’s okay! Creative people know that the best ideas sometimes emerge when plans fall apart. Artists sometimes find that their best work is born from “mistakes,” and writers who let their characters lead the way often reach amazing breakthroughs. Take risks and fail sometimes, but find a way to create out of those failures.

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2. Listen constantly

How many people ride through life listening to nothing but the music in their headphones? Sure, music can be inspiring, but listening to the world around you is another way creative people fuel their ideas. That one person on the bus not on their phone? They’re probably observing the world around them: people-watching, listening, and gathering information for their next big project.

3. Is it aesthetically pleasing?

Style and power work best together, as Steve Jobs knew when building the Apple brand. The constant question was: is it aesthetically pleasing? This principle guided him through many innovations, resulting in one of the most popular brands in the world. Today, Apple products are praised for their combination of great hardware and attractive design. Beauty may be dismissed by “serious” thinkers, but it’s a key part of what makes us human, and creative people know that it’s important to our identity.

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4. Don’t forget the arts

The most successful people know the importance of the arts. Product design, understanding markets, and other aspects of business all rely heavily on the talent of creative people. Entrepreneurs know the importance of art in business, and the most successful are exposed to art at an early age. In fact, studies have shown that STEM graduates who file for patents or open their own businesses are 8 times more likely to be exposed to art as children than other graduates.

5. Daydream often

Considered a waste of time to many educators and parents, daydreaming is actually an essential creative process that many creative people use to their advantage. Inspiration strikes when you’re not expecting it, and daydreamers often get their best ideas when they let their minds wander and play without guidance.

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6. Carve out some alone time

Though not true of all creative minds, it is very common for creative people to be introverts, and to enjoy solitude. Carving out some alone time in their busy schedules helps creativity blossom, since it allows for time to think without distractions or interruptions.

7. Create time for experimentation and focus

Alone time is what allows most creative people to “recharge,” but it’s equally important for them to carve out time specifically for experimentation and focused work. Inspiration may strike at the most surprising times, but to build on those creative ideas takes time and hard work, which creative people prioritize by making time to experiment.

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8. Remember the importance of humor

Humor is how many creative people express themselves, and for good reason: it’s a way of looking at something from an unexpected perspective, something that creative people are very good at.

9. Say yes

Creativity does not come from doing the same thing over and over again every day. Creative people make it a point to say yes to new experiences and opportunities. Whether it’s a trip around the world, or a project in a new medium, creative people take chances and try new things in order to find inspiration and new information

10. Honor your own schedule

Very few people work best on the typical 9-5 schedule, and creative people know that it’s best not to try to force creativity. Instead, they honor their own internal tendencies, and work when they’re at their most productive and creative. For some, that’s the middle of the night. For others, it’s right after they’ve woken up and made a pot of tea.

11. It can be done

Above all, creative people believe in the impossible. They believe that anything can be done if they just come up with the right pieces. They’re curious, motivated, and persistent enough to solve complex problems and prove to the world that yes, it can be done, no matter what “it” may be.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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