7 Habits Of Highly Creative People

We all know creative people who always have ideas. Ingenious individuals with a true talent for creativity. Fortunately, you don’t need to be gifted to be a creative thinker. Creative thinking is mostly a skill that can be learned.

Everybody can develop novel ideas. We can all master and improve our ability to think creatively. Using thinking techniques and learning the scientific principles behind creativity is a great way to get started.

Another approach to becoming more creative is modelling highly creative individuals. In this article, I share 7 habits of highly creative people with you. Adapting these 7 habits will provide you with a shortcut in your quest to become a highly creative individual…

Have Silly Ideas
You can’t come up with something truly original if you’re not prepared to make a fool out of yourself. Highly creative people have lots and lots of ideas. Most of these ideas are absurd. As a matter of fact, creative people come up with more crappy ideas than anybody else. Needless to say, they also have more brilliant ideas. The more (wacky) ideas you have, the bigger your chances of stumbling upon something extraordinary.

Be Curious Like A Child
Kids are interested in everything. To them everything is new and for that reason interesting. A childlike eagerness to learn and to understand is what all highly creative people have in common. For creative people knowledge is more than just information, it’s a key that unlocks doors to new ideas. An insatiable hunger for knowledge (about your challenge or something completely different) will always provide you with novel insights and fresh ideas.

Connect The Unconnected
Creativity is simply the act of combining existing elements to create something new. Whether you combine ideas, materials or knowledge, if you manage to create something that did not exist before, you’re being creative. Highly creative people constantly make new combinations. They combine companies, add new features to a product, combine products and add completely new services. Conceptual blending always leads to interesting output.

Think In Possibilities
Highly creative people are always on the lookout for opportunities. To a creative mind, everything is useful. Every idea, frustration, problem, insight, story or situation could be of value. A suggestion to break the rules could lead to an interesting principle, a disadvantage could be used as a surprising asset and an impossible idea may work with a few modifications. (In the end, it’s easier to tame a wild idea than it is to make a boring one look interesting.)

Embrace Ambiguity
You can’t think ‘outside the box’ if you keep placing things in boxes. Most people can’t stand ambiguity and prefer clarity. This is a normal human reaction. ‘Labelling and disqualifying’ information is our brain’s way of making sense of what we know. Highly creative people, however, have no difficulty holding two opposing thoughts in mind. Working with a paradox will almost always lead to interesting ideas. It forces us to think beyond the obvious.

Use Your Personal Experience
Your experience as a professional is useless for developing original ideas. Your expertise will only blind you to unknown opportunities and threats. However, your personal “non-professional” experience is probably your most useful source of inspiration. Highly creative people withdraw unique ideas from their memories all the time. Frustrations, fears, passions, dreams, stories, occurrences, life events etc. You can steal endlessly from your own experience.

Trust Your Intuition
Peter Brian Medawar once said: “The human mind treats a new idea the same way the body treats a strange protein; it rejects it.” If you have a really innovative idea, people will almost always turn it down. Not many people will have faith in something unacquainted. Truly original ideas can’t be measured nor compared, they have to be put into practice to see if they work. When it comes to judging ideas, don’t focus mainly on arguments, trust your gut feeling.

Break The Rules
Creative people are always defying expectations and challenging written and unwritten rules. Jack Foster once put it nicely: “Rules are a great way to get ideas. All you have to do is break them.” Why would you limit yourself if you can think your way out of it? Creativity is not about playing fair, it’s about playing smart. And let’s face it, people aren’t likely to notice your mischievousness anyway (just like they won’t notice that you sneaked in an extra habit when writing your blog post).

Know any other creative habits? Let me know in the comments!

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