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12 Things Incredibly Creative Minds Do Differently

12 Things Incredibly Creative Minds Do Differently

Have you ever wondered what incredibly creative minds do differently? The greatest creators and thinkers throughout time are many and varied but they all hold some core commonalities in the way they approach the world.

Here are 12 things incredibly creative minds do differently:

1. They are always learning.

Incredibly creative minds are always learning. They see every day as an opportunity to learn something new, whether it be learning about a different culture, a new artistic technique or simply a new fact. Creative minds are eager to learn, with this being one of the most notable habits of creative people.

2. They see every failure as one step closer to success.

Creative minds view failure for what it truly is, an opportunity to learn and grow. When you’re doing creative work failure is part of the game, it’s inevitable but it doesn’t need to break you. Creative minds are always ready to dust themselves off and try again, seeing every failure they have as just one step closer to success. Famous author Stephen King received 30 rejections for his first book Carrie before finally being published, he like many other famous creators, simply didn’t give up. He kept on trying until he was successful seeing every failure as one step closer.

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3. They indulge in daydreaming

Creative minds indulge in their daydreams because they understand the power of the mind when it wanders. When the mind is not actively working on solving specific problems or completing a set task it is free to imagine, create and dream big. The most amazing creative minds know the power of this and indulge in daydreaming wherever possible.

4. They are intensely curious.

The most incredible creative minds are intensely curious about the world around them. They are interested in how things work and why. This curiosity encourages them to learn, investigate and constantly seek out new and novel ideas that spark their minds and help them do their very best work.

5. They connect the dots.

Steve Jobs once said creativity is all about connecting the dots, and he’s right. It’s about connecting seemingly disparate ideas and crafting something new with them. Creative minds know this well and use it to their advantage by bringing together a multitude of different inspirations to create something truly amazing.

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something.” – Steve Jobs

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6. They tap into the power of collaboration.

Great creative minds understand the power of collaboration and they aren’t afraid to tap into it. When two creative minds come together new ideas emerge, meld and surface with the potential to birth amazing things into the world.

Designers and artists understand the power of collaboration well, for example designer Yves Saint Laurent and artist Andy Warhol who collaborated in 1974 to create some amazing silk screen portraits or the 2008 collaboration of architect Zaha Hadid and design house Chanel that resulted in the creation of the mobile Chanel Pavilion Gallery that traveled the world.

7. They ask the big questions.

Incredibly creative minds get big answers because they ask the big questions. They aren’t afraid to dream big and they don’t limit themselves to the bounds of what they know or what’s been done before. By asking the big questions incredibly creative minds dive deep and are able to get to the heart of the issue at play.

8. They understand the power of saying no.

Creative minds deeply understand the power of saying no. Not every opportunity is the right one and there is never time to do absolutely everything. By saying no to some things incredibly creative minds carefully curate what they allow into their lives and make more time and head space for their most important projects.

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9. They take time out when they need it.

The best creative minds know that burnout is real and that sometimes the mind just needs a little time out to relax, rejuvenate and be ready to create again. By taking time out the best creative minds are on the ball and ready to make big things when it matters most.

10. They seek out new experiences.

Incredibly creative minds are always seeking out new experiences. They are open to doing and seeing new things because they know that within these new experiences is the inspiration and perspective they need to create their best work.

11. They are always open to new ways of expressing themselves.

The most creative minds don’t restrict themselves to one medium or way of creating. Instead they are always open to new ways of expressing themselves. Some of the greatest creators of all time have been prolific in their multitude of creative expressions. One of the best examples is Leonardo da Vinci who was a painter, sculptor, mathematician, inventor, architect and musician (to name just a few of his many creative expressions!).

12. They follow their true passions.

Perhaps most importantly of all, incredibly creative minds follow their true passions. They understand the power of doing something they believe in wholeheartedly and are not afraid to chase after their true dreams. Indeed, following true passions is one of the cornerstone habits of creative people. Even when the going gets tough the best creative minds stick to what they believe in and love because it is what drives them.

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You might also like: 7 Things Smart Learners Do Differently

Featured photo credit: Be Colorful by Vinoth Chandar via flickr.com

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Last Updated on October 22, 2020

2 Transformational Ways to Spark Your Creative Energy

2 Transformational Ways to Spark Your Creative Energy

Good things come in twos: Peanut butter and jelly, Day and night, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. The same is true for what sparks our creative energy: our thoughts and actions.

Creativity is an inside job as much as it is about a conducive schedule, physical environment, and supportive behaviors. By establishing the right internal and external landscape, creativity can blossom from the abstract to the concrete and we can have fun along the way.

Sparking creativity is all about setting up the right conditions so a spark is ignited and sustained. The sparks don’t fizzle out. They are allowed to grow and ripen.

Think of a garden. Intention alone will not produce the delicious red tomato nor will the readiest seed. That seed needs attention at its nascent stage and as it grows a stalk and produces fruit. If we want to enjoy more than one fruit, we keep at it, cultivating the plant and reaping multiple harvests.

Creativity lives in each of us like seeds in the earth or encapsulated in a nut. Seeds of ideas, concepts, designs, stories, images, and even ways of communicating that surprise and delight await activation.

By sparking our creative energy, we activate these unique seeds. Like snowflakes, they are of a moment and always without a match. The smallest sparks encourage even the smallest, most dormant seeds to sprout.

The good news is that our creative energy wishes to be sparked—to be invited to play. It wants to be our regular playmate.

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1. Be Childlike in Your Thoughts, Attitudes, and Approach

Being childlike in our thoughts, attitudes, and approach is an easy way to internally have our thoughts be gracious prolific gardeners to our creative energy. If we want it to come out and play and hang around as our regular companion, then let’s return to our 5-year-old selves.

Our childhood selves are naturally curious. We still have that curiosity! All we have to do is remind ourselves to get curious. We can do that by simply observing and being with what is in front of us instead of making up a story about what won’t work or why something can’t be done. So, it’s about cultivating curiosity instead of jumping into judgment.

Move Your Inner Judge to the Sidelines

When we get curious, creativity percolates and, ultimately, takes its place in the world. To give a hand in choosing curiosity over judgment, we can move the judge that also lives inside us to the sidelines. The judge squashes our creative urges, even when they are as small as sharing a point of view. It’s that pesky voice that causes us to doubt ourselves or worry about what others will think.

The judge is also risk-averse. The judge likes things to stay the same. Change makes the judge nervous.

Creativity is all about risk and changing things up. It needs risk, even failure, to be its naturally innovative, dynamic, impactful self. The judge likes to convince us failure is something to be avoided at all costs.

To move the judge to the sidelines and let curiosity reign, we can pay attention to who we are in conversation with and who is calling the shots.

Is it the voice of fear, doubt, or anxiety (the inner-critic—the judge’s boss)? Or is it the voice of wisdom, courage, strength, and non-attachment, and of course curiosity (the inner-leader)?

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We can easily tell the difference by how each makes us feel. The inner-critic depletes and slows us down, putting roadblocks in the way. The inner-leader energizes and a natural rhythm develops.

It’s all about who we spend time with. If we wish to exercise, we will seek out our friends who go to the gym or hike. If we want to lose some weight, we will opt to eat dinner with someone who prefers a healthy spot over fast food.

After getting curious, we can honor what our curiosity prompts us to do. The spark can do its job and a fire starts to glow when commitment enters. Our childhood selves were fully committed to being creative. That level of commitment is still something we are very capable of exercising!!

Again, we need to let go of the judge. We can ask ourselves, what do we want to commit to—negativity that depletes our creative energy, depth, and output, or the understanding that our thoughts and attitudes matter and that right thoughts and attitudes are the sparks that really let our creativity come alive?

Learn to Recall Your Childhood Self

To get in touch with that unabashedly committed childhood self, recall your childhood self. If you have a picture, pull one out. Keep it around so you can remember to activate that innate creative nature that was prominent then and wants to be prominent now and always.

Soak in the essence of that being. Commit to their commitment to brave and dogged trial and error because it is yours as well. You are that person.

Remember how tenacious you were when you wanted to build that sandcastle. You kept at it as the waves came in. You built with fury or reconfigured the walls. Also, remember that there was a willingness to fail since you were as invested in the process as well as the outcome—but less with the outcome. You were willing to experiment and start again. There was vitality—the main lifeline of your creative energy—instead of a rigid attachment.

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When you notice you are in conversation with your inner-critic or being held back by it, simply acknowledge, name it, and then switch to your inner-leader by taking a few good deep belly breaths, rubbing two fingertips together, or listening to ambient sounds in the background.

Physical movements shift our negative thoughts over to the positive domain of the inner-leader. As our judge continues to sit on the sidelines, our ability to quiet the inner-critic becomes stronger. We taste freedom. A simple taste emboldens us to say no again to the judge and yes to what makes our hearts and spirits sing—our creativity.

We begin to spark creativity to the point it no longer needs to be invited to play. It becomes our regular playmate—the younger sibling or the kid next door ready to have some fun, maybe even make some mischief by shaking things up.

When we align with our inner-leader and think and act from its promptings, creativity flows up and out with ease, as it needs to!

Letting those initial sparks generate a creativity fire that keeps burning is something we can all do! That’s the inside job.

2. Listen to Your Inner Leaders of Creative Energy

If we listen, our inner-leaders will let us know just what we need to set-up and do in our physical world to maximize that gorgeous, hungry creativity we now have flowing freely in us.

The seed has been unlocked! So, now what?

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To enable our creative energy to take its form and place outside of us, there needs to be spaciousness! Spaciousness in our physical worlds impacts our internal one. It lets the voice of the inner-leader be heard. It lets creativity have room to be sparked and acted upon.

With a little discipline, we can easily create spaciousness in our daily lives—spaciousness that will spark our creativity and let it take shape.

So, no matter who you are and what conditions help your creativity thrive, check-out these easy-to-implement basic suggestions:

  • Reduce or eliminate multi-tasking.
  • Say yes to what matters and what aligns with your big values and goals.
  • Say no to all else.
  • Say no again.
  • Schedule time in your calendar as you do with other things in your life to just be, to ponder, to let ideas percolate, and to create.
  • Spend time doing the things that bring out your creative energy. It could be walking, singing, or simply looking out the window.
  • Meditate.
  • Breathe—long breaths in and long breaths out through the nose.
  • Invite your body and heart into your experiences so your mind is a part of you and not all of you.
  • Try a new thing to spark your creativity. If you spend time running, try a different route. If running feels stale, cruise around a museum, or go for a bike ride.
  • Play a game. Indoors out or outside. Think of what makes you happy that you haven’t done in a while. Is it a physical game like badminton or cards? Maybe it’s storytelling? Play is creative, and it sparks the creative energy, too.
  • Spend time in the places that bring out your creativity. What spot in your home could be your spot for entering into that mode? Do you need to get out? Maybe a park bench is the right spot, with a book of poetry, or even nothing at all.
  • Spend time in nature. Nature brings us to a place of calm and awe and through that our creativity is easily sparked.

Final Thoughts

These are all habits—habits of mind and habits of doing. Experiment with what works for you. Have fun. If you give even 50% to altering your thoughts and actions, then you will begin to spark your creativity. It takes a lot of curiosity and commitment, but it can definitely be done.

Our innate creative energy is a deep source of all that we seek—joy, connection, renewal. It deserves and looks forward to the changes you will make that will let sparks fly and ignite!

More Tips to Spark Your Creative Energy

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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