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Last Updated on January 11, 2021

20 Things Only Highly Creative People Would Understand

20 Things Only Highly Creative People Would Understand

There’s no argument anymore. Neuroscience confirms that highly creative people think and act differently than the average person. Their brains are literally hardwired in a unique way. But that gift can often strain relationships. I’ve seen it firsthand while working with New York Times bestselling authors and Grammy-winning musicians.

If you love a highly creative person, you probably experience moments when it seems like they live in a completely different world than you. Truth is, they do. But trying to change them isn’t nearly as effective as trying to understand them.

It all begins by seeing the world through their lens and remembering these 20 things:

1. They have a mind that never slows down.

The creative mind is a non-stop machine fueled by intense curiosity. There is no pause button and no way to power it down. This can be exhausting at times but it is also the source of some crazy fun activities and conversations.

2. They challenge the status quo.

Two questions drive every creative person more than any others: What if? and Why not? They question what everyone else takes at face value. While uncomfortable for those around them, it’s this ability that enables creatives to redefine what’s possible.

3. They embrace their genius even if others don’t.

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    Creative individuals would rather be authentic than popular. Staying true to who they are, without compromise, is how they define success even if means being misunderstood or marginalized.

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    4. They have difficulty staying on task.

    Highly creative people are energized by taking big mental leaps and starting new things. Existing projects can turn into boring slogs when the promise of something new and exciting grabs their attention.

    5. They create in cycles.

    Creativity has a rhythm that flows between periods of high, sometimes manic, activity and slow times that can feel like slumps. Each period is necessary and can’t be skipped just like the natural seasons are interdependent and necessary.

    6. They need time to feed their souls.

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      No one can drive cross-country on a single take of gas. In the same way, creative people need to frequently renew their source of inspiration and drive. Often, this requires solitude for periods of time.

      7. They need space to create.

      Having the right environment is essential to peak creativity. It may be a studio, a coffee shop, or a quiet corner of the house. Wherever it is, allow them to set the boundaries and respect them.

      8. They focus intensely.

      Highly creative people tune the entire world out when they’re focused on work. They cannot multi-task effectively and it can take twenty minutes to re-focus after being interrupted, even if the interruption was only twenty seconds.

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      9. They feel deeply.

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        Creativity is about human expression and communicating deeply. It’s impossible to give what you don’t have, and you can only take someone as far as you have gone yourself. A writer once told me that an artist must scream at the page if they want a whisper to be heard. In the same way, a creative person must feel deep if they are to communicate deeply.

        10. They live on the edge of joy and depression.

        Because they feel deeply, highly creative people often can quickly shift from joy to sadness or even depression. Their sensitive heart, while the source of their brilliance, is also the source of their suffering.

        11. They think and speak in stories.

        Facts will never move the human heart like storytelling can. Highly creative people, especially artists, know this and weave stories into everything they do. It takes longer for them to explain something, explaining isn’t the point. The experience is.

        12. They battle Resistance every day.

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          Steven Pressfield, author of The War of Art, writes:

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          “Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.”

          Highly creative people wake up every morning, fully aware of the need to grow and push themselves. But there is always the fear, Resistance as Pressfield calls it, that they don’t have what it takes. No matter how successful the person, that fear never goes away. They simply learn to deal with it, or not.

          13. They take their work personally.

          Creative work is a raw expression of the person who created it. Often, they aren’t able to separate themselves from it, so every critique is seen either as a validation or condemnation of their self-worth.

          14. They have a hard time believing in themselves.

          Even the seemingly self-confident creative person often wonders, Am I good enough? They constantly compare their work with others and fail to see their own brilliance, which may be obvious to everyone else.

          15. They are deeply intuitive.

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            Science still fails to explain the How and Why of creativity. Yet, creative individuals know instinctively how to flow in it time and again. They will tell you that it can’t be understood, only experienced firsthand.

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            16. They often use procrastination as a tool.

            Creatives are notorious procrastinators because many do their best work under pressure. They will subconsciously, and sometimes purposefully, delay their work until the last minute simply to experience the rush of the challenge.

            17. They are addicted to creative flow.

            Recent discoveries in neuroscience reveal that “the flow state” might be the most addictive experience on earth. The mental and emotional payoff is why highly creative people will suffer through the highs and lows of creativity. It’s the staying power. In a real sense, they are addicted to the thrill of creating.

            18. They have difficulty finishing projects.

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              The initial stage of the creative process is fast moving and charged with excitement. Often, they will abandon projects that are too familiar in order to experience the initial flow that comes at the beginning.

              19. They connect dots better than others.

              True creativity, Steve Jobs once said, is little more than connecting the dots. It’s seeing patterns before they become obvious to everyone else.

              20. They will never grow up.

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                Creatives long to see through the eyes of a child and never lose a sense of wonder. For them, life is about mystery, adventure, and growing young. Everything else is simply existing, and not true living.

                photo credit: Pinterest

                Featured photo credit: galaxy skin paint flickr/Hayley Riggins via rebloggy.com

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                Published on April 6, 2021

                How To Brainstorm Ideas More Creatively And Effectively

                How To Brainstorm Ideas More Creatively And Effectively

                Do you continually look for ways and means to do things better but find yourself in a shortage of ideas? As humans, we are continually evolving and looking for ways to do what we do more efficiently—to yield the same or higher output with lesser inputs in time, resources, and effort. One way to do this is to wait for the Eureka! moment and inspiration to strike. But that is far-fetched and requires a lot of waiting around to take small steps ahead.

                However, putting in place a structure for ideation can come in handy for those looking to take giant leaps forward. And that’s where brainstorming ideas can help.

                Let’s have a look at how to brainstorm ideas more creatively and effectively. But before that, let’s dive deeper into understanding brainstorming.

                What Is Brainstorming?

                Brainstorming is an excellent tool for ideation, out-of-the-box thinking, and creative problem solving without criticism or judgment.

                Meriam Webster’s dictionary defines brainstorming as “a group problem-solving technique that involves the spontaneous contribution of ideas from all members of the group; the mulling over of ideas by one or more individuals in an attempt to devise or find a solution to a problem.”[1]

                Three things stand out here:

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                1. Spontaneous contribution – Brainstorming allows individuals to share crazy, far-fetched, out of the box half-baked ideas. It does not have to be thoroughly thought out yet at the ideation stage.
                2. All members – Brainstorming is a technique where taking in diverse opinions can improve ideating offbeat solutions.
                3. Find a solution to a problem – It is fundamentally goal-oriented towards one thing—solving the issue at hand. Without a clear problem statement, brainstorming ideas will not yield effective results.

                Broadly speaking, brainstorming is synonymous with the idea-generating process that creatively solves problems.

                You Can Brainstorm Ideas on Your Own

                It is common to think that brainstorming is effective only in groups and cannot be done individually. However, that is not entirely true. Studies have shown that although both approaches have their pros and cons in catalyzing idea generation, people are more creative when they brainstorm on their own than in groups.[2]

                Individually, one is empowered to flexibly work at their pace and drive idea generation. They can set their own time and place and ideate when one is at their creative best. Additionally, there is no fear of judgment when brainstorming individually.

                On the other hand, group brainstorming holds a sacred place in innovating in workplaces. Here, you can take advantage of the diverse experience, perspectives, and creativity of all team members to ideate and develop offbeat solutions that offer outstanding results.

                Is Brainstorming Effective?

                Brainstorming delivers tremendous value, from providing innovative and offbeat ideas that would have never occurred in the ordinary course of work to building a culture of collaboration and team spirit. Here are some reasons why brainstorming is effective and beneficial.

                1. Goes Beyond Creative Blocks

                Brainstorming ideas can help individuals and teams move forward when they find themselves creatively stuck. Inspiration is hard to come by, and brainstorming is an excellent approach to access on-demand creativity without the pressure of getting it right the first time.

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                2. Encourages Divergent Thinking

                By leaving no idea behind, brainstorming can help explore diverse ideas and alternatives to grow. Brainstorming ideas offers a judgment-free space to think of as many possibilities as you can until you’re convinced of the way forward.

                3. Supports Team Building

                Compared to other techniques, you create a relaxed and informal ambiance to brainstorm ideas that encourage open participation among team members. People are offered the space to share their opinion and points of view without fear of judgment, strengthening the camaraderie among team members. Frequent brainstorming sessions instill the spirit of collaboration and help teams to rely on each other’s strengths to deliver improved results.

                How Does It Work?

                Brainstorming ideas involves 4 crucial stages:

                1. Identifying the central problem or goal: This stage defines the critical purpose for brainstorming ideas.
                2. Idea Generation: An avenue permitting free-flowing generation of ideas.
                3. Developing the idea: Deep dive into the ideas produced and build upon them.
                4. Idea evaluation: Evaluating the top ideas towards its efficacy in solving the central goal or issue.

                The process is structured to allow consideration of varied ideas objectively to achieve the solution to the critical problem at hand.

                ProTips to Brainstorm Ideas Effectively

                Here are a few #ProTips to brainstorm ideas creatively and effectively.

                • Welcome wild ideas: Make sure you encourage offbeat and non-linear ideas. The more diverse the ideas produced in the ideation stage, the better it is to allow for innovative solutions to come forth.
                • Plan ahead: Allow people to think by themselves before the brainstorming session. This tip ensures that people are allowed sufficient time to mull over the problem statement and come prepared to ideate on tackling the issue.
                • Goal-tending: As you navigate the ideation stage, focus on the central goal or problem. It is natural to stray away while opening up the forum for ideas. So, it is essential to remind the teams on the problem statement to keep the discussions relevant and identify the best solution.
                • Record everything: Record all ideas, not just the good ones. This rule is fundamental to capture all probable ideas in the ideation stage. Make sure that every single idea generated is systematically captured regardless of how useful it is. Additionally, permit one conversation at a time to ensure all thoughts are given consideration and are not missed out in parallel discussions.
                • Judgement-free: Creating a no-judgment space encourages people to speak up and express their opinions freely. Keeping judgments aside can help continue the flow of ideas and encourage teams to build and develop each other’s thought processes. One idea could spark another, leading to much more effective solutions.
                • Defer evaluation: Refrain from evaluating ideas in the ideation stage. Hold the assessments till the evaluation stage for the best results. All ideas hold some potential so enforce the no assessment rule until all the ideas are captured, tabled, and developed. Alex Osborn, who conceptualized the brainstorming technique, recommends “defer judgment” as the golden rule to brainstorm effectively.[3]

                How to Use Brainstorming Effectively on Your Own

                Here are a few tips for brainstorming ideas effectively on your own:

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                1. Ground Yourself

                Make sure to ground yourself by meditating or practicing any other mindfulness technique to ensure your entire presence before brainstorming. You could also choose a time and place when you’re most active and energetic for the best results.

                2. Minimize Distractions

                Choose a time where you can focus entirely on brainstorming ideas for the problem at hand. Minimize distractions and create space for paying 100% attention in ideating solutions.

                3. Go Wild

                Individual Brainstorming does not have worries about other’s judgment and offers a safe space to ideate as many crazy or wild ideas as they come. There’s no worry about egos or team dynamics either. So, the brainstorming can be focused on solving the core issue.

                4. Use Mind maps

                To keep the chain of thought as you brainstorm ideas, you can use mind maps to arrange, assimilate, and develop concepts further. Word association, prompts, or even visual cues can come in handy to ideate across the spectrum.

                5. Take a Break Before Evaluating

                Don’t go into assessments and evaluations right after you ideate. Take a break. Do something completely different before you consider the ideas to be objective and unbiased. Keep the overarching goal in mind to filter the best possible outcomes. You could also narrow it down to the top 2 to 3 ideas and run it past your mentors or colleagues to get unbiased opinions from trustworthy sources.

                How to Use Brainstorming Effectively in a Group

                Here are a few tips for brainstorming ideas effectively in a group:

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                1. Diversity

                Form groups across functions to bring in different perspectives as you brainstorm together. Ensure that the individuals chosen are equally vested and aligned towards the shared goal to achieve maximum results. You could also brainstorm with a complete outsider to get a fresh perspective on a problem that you’ve been stuck with for a long time.

                2. 6-3-5 Technique

                You can adapt the 6 people coming up with 3 ideas every 5 minutes to keep the ideation momentum going. You can get over 100 ideas in 30 minutes using this approach.

                3. Challenge Bad Ideas

                Ask team members to write down the craziest and most ludicrous ways to solve the problem. Then challenge other team members to make changes to flip a bad idea into a good one.

                Final Thoughts

                Brainstorming ideas is an excellent way to creatively identify the best way forward. It provides structure to unstructured thinking and delivers immense value to individuals and organizations to think beyond the conventional norms. Hopefully, after reading this article, you’ve picked up a thing or two to help you brainstorm ideas effectively.

                Featured photo credit: Leon via unsplash.com

                Reference

                [1] Merriam-Webster: brainstorming
                [2] MindTools: Brainstorming
                [3] The Heart of Innovation: Why You Need to Defer Judgment During the Ideation Phase of a Brainstorming Session

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