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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 December 2, 2019

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.

In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.

These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:

1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back

Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.

But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.

Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.

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2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”

You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.

The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.

3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It

If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?

Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!

If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.

4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying

Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.

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To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.

In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.

5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is

We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.

If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.

Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:

“Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

6. Give for the Joy of Giving

When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.

One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.

So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.

7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You

Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.

Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right

When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.

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So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!

9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired

Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.

It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.

It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.

10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work

There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.

But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.

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Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career

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Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com

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