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9 Attitudes of Highly Creative People

Posted By Darren Rowse 9th of May 2007 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

Creativity-1Yesterday I looked at 5 methods for being creative. Today I’d like to look at some attitudes to build into your approach if you want to be a more creative person:

1. Curiosity

I’ve written previously on the topic of curiosity because I’m convinced that it is an essential skill to build as a blogger. Learning to ask ‘why’, ‘what if’ and ‘I wonder…’ are great questions to build into your life if you want to be a more creative person.

2. Seeing Problems as Interesting and Acceptable

ChallengeOne of the problems of the Western mindset is that we often see problems or obstacles in life as unacceptable parts of life. We avoid pain or suppress it when it comes and in doing so don’t often see and feel symptoms that are there to tell us something important. Creative people see problems as a natural and normal part of life – in fact they often have a fascination with problems and are drawn to them.

3. Confronting Challenge

Many of the most creative ideas through out history have come from people facing a challenge or crisis and rather than running from it asking ‘how can I overcome this’?

4. Constructive Discontent

Creative people often have an acute awareness of what’s wrong with the world around them – however they are constructive about this awareness and won’t allow themselves to get bogged down in grumbling about it – they take their discontent and let it be a motivation to doing something constructive.

5. Optimism

OptimismCreative people generally have a deeply held belief that most (if not all) problems can be solved. No challenge is too big to be overcome and no problem cannot be solved (this doesn’t mean they’re always happy or never depressed – but they don’t generally get stumped by a challenge).

6. Suspending Judgment

The ability to hold off on judging or critiquing an idea is important in the process of creativity. Often great ideas start as crazy ones – if critique is applied too early the idea will be killed and never developed into something useful and useable. (note – this doesn’t mean there is never a time for critique or judgement in the creative process – it’s actually key – but there is a time and place for it).

7. Seeing Hurdles as leading to improvements and solutions

HurdlesThis relates to some of the above – but by ‘hurdles’ I mean problems and mistakes in the creative process itself. Sometimes it’s on the journey of developing an idea that the real magic happens and it’s often out of the little problems or mistakes that the idea is actually improved.

8. Perseverance

Creative people who actually see their ideas come to fruition have the ability to stick with their ideas and see them through – even when the going gets tough. This is what sets apart the great from the good in this whole sphere. Stick-ability is key.

9. Flexible Imagination

FlexibleI love watching a truly creative person at work when they’re ‘on fire’. They have this amazing ability to see a problem or challenge and it’s many potential solutions simultaneously and they have an intuitive knack at being able to bring previously disconnected ideas together in flashes of brilliance that seem so simple – yet which are so impossible to dream up for the average person.

Is Creativity tied to Personality Type or Can it be Learned?

As I read through this list of traits of creative people – the question that I find myself asking is whether creativity is tied to personality type or whether it can be learned.

My own uneducated answer to this question is – ‘yes’.

Some people are just creative – they don’t train themselves to think like they do and they often don’t even know that they are any different from the rest of us – it’s just who they are.

However I believe that we can all enhance our ability to be creative over time.

Tomorrow I’m going to round off this mini-series of posts on creativity by suggesting a few practical things that those of us wanting to enhance our creativity might build into our lives.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. […] 9 Attitudes of Highly Creative People […]

  2. Great post. This may fall somewhere within being non-judgemental or optimistic….but for me …..creativity really flourished once I realized that:

    1) every problem had multiple solutions and it was just a matter of creating the easiest and most efficient way to overcome perceived
    obstacles and/or convincing the right people.

    in other words, there was always a way to accomplish the result
    that I ultimately wanted…it was just a puzzle to find the best route

    actually I think this falls into many of your categories and it is right on
    point. Creativity is not something that I was taught, it was something
    that I just naturally developed ..because I enjoyed puzzles, had an open
    mind and refused to accept that it could not be done. It takes time, but
    once your figure it out..everything falls into place rather quickly and at
    the end the result seems so easy and straight forward.

    Once you start using your creative juices, it becomes fun and you become more efficient at it. Its sort of self taught and addictive

  3. Yes, creative people have a different mindset and see the world differently from us. “Seeing problems as interesting and acceptable” and “Seeing hurdles as leading to improvements and solutions” show that they are thankful for the problems that come along as this gives them the impetus to be creative. It is akin to being grateful for everything that life has to offer, whether it is good or bad, as you become more tolerant and it opens your mind to the good that can come out of many bad situations.

  4. very good post.. you can write a book on this.. and I will definitely buy!

    Travel Update on Malaysia

  5. […] Comentan en ProBlogger una serie de actitudes� que definen a las personas como […]

  6. […] 9 Attitudes of Highly Creative People atitudes que levam a criatividade (tags: creativity) […]

  7. Fantastic post! With Spring here, energy is beginning to boost, so this is a perfect time to remind ourselves to be creative and have an open-minded thought process. I particularly like the term “Constructive Discontent.” There is a fine line between that and complaining.

  8. […] Discontent” is a term I saw referenced in Problogger’s 9 Attitudes of Highly Creative People (thanks to deb owen for the lead).  It says, “Creative people often have an acute awareness of […]

  9. […] – 9 Attitudes of Highly Creative People Learning to ask ‘why’, ‘what if’ and ‘I wonder…’ are great questions t build into […]

  10. […] 9 attitudes of highly creative people […]

  11. I am particularly affected by problems are interesting, confront challenge, optimism, hurdles are improvements, and perseverance (sticktoitiveness). I have been looking for jobs for 17 months and employers have been lying about my experience. I just confronted someone about a job I had last month below my experience level and he denied responsibility. Thanks to suggestions like yours I didn’t give up. I complained directly to one of the top CEOs in the country. If he doesn’t call me back, I planted a seed about their involvement. Thanks for teaching me that attitudes are a basis for creativity. I was told that failure is a part of success. I’m almost ready to say that it is not. I was looking for a job at a top company and now I’m looking for a job at a small business. I don’t want to work for hundreds of companies because they won’t fire everybody.

  12. […] 9 Attitudes of Highly Creative People atitudes que levam a criatividade (tags: creativity) […]

  13. […] Rowse from Problogger.net wrote an interesting article.9 Attitudes of Highly Creative PeopleWhere he lists:CuriositySeeing Problems as Interesting and AcceptableConfronting […]

  14. MarkL says: 05/12/2007 at 5:45 pm

    Great information here ! I think the learnng of creativity depends on a few things. First I think each is born with an amount which may be restricted by the kinds of traing one may go through in life. Second I think if creativity is indeed lessoned the self must “un-learn” all the crap that lessoned it, and that I think takes an amount of work – I think a lot of work.

  15. Student to teacher, “How do I set my mind free”? Teacher to student, “What did you learn to put your mind in a prison”?… How I feel in my life depends on the attitude I choose, I always try and look for something good, pleasing, and if not there I imagine – thanks …

  16. (extract of the note published on my blog)
    Reste deux attitudes mentionnées par D. Rowse, sur lesquelles je voudrais revenir :
    – l’optimisme : est-ce un trait de caractère ? Ou cela peut-il se développer en même temps que la créativité ? Après tout, être créatif, c’est s’autoriser l’avenir… : « Il y a forcément des solutions ! »
    – le mécontentement constructif : jusqu’ici, je parlais de « destruction créative », ces moments où l’on veut détruire, violemment de préférence, ce que l’on a peint. Le mécontentement constructif me paraît plus proche comme formulation de ce que je souhaite faire passer. Peut-être parce que cela s’accroche directement à l’émotion ressentie : le mécontentement. Un dragon de plus qu’il est intéressant d’apprendre à chevaucher ! ;-)

  17. Dear Sir,

    Your statement regarding: “the question that I find myself asking is whether creativity is tied to personality type or whether it can be learned.
    My own uneducated answer to this question is – ‘yes’”.

    You are wrong! Haven’t you learned about left and right hemispheres of the brain? The right hemisphere is the creative side and we are either born with it, or not. Most of the people are born with the left hemisphere. It would take them hard work and long time to develope the creative side of the brain through meditation. No one will dedicate the time and effort to do it, plus, it may not work. There are people who were born with the ceative side but they don’t know about it. These people can easily develope the right hemisphere of the brain.

    This is the reason why we have so many e.g. bad films. A producer, who’s the business person, obviously with the left side of the brain, makes wrong jugment because he lacks of creativity, but he gets along with the money people. He certainly knows how to handle them.

    Maybe you should study more creative people and people with left side of the brain before you make a statement that everybody can learn creativity, unless you have a reason to mislead people.


    MarieAnna Dvorak

  18. I think perseverance and optimism are definitely two of the best traits anyone can have in anything.

  19. […] ensuite un billet sur les attitudes à avoir pour devenir une personne plus créative : 9 Attitudes of Highly Creative People. Vous pourrez trouver une traduction sur le blog d’Eric, Presse-Citron. Ces 9 attitudes sont […]

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  21. […] 9 Attitudes of Highly Creative People. Good stuff from ProBlogger.com. […]

  22. I believe EVERYBODY is creative…. just in different ways. Of course some people don’t recognize what they do as creative, but it is an innate ability in all of us, some of us use our creative powers for the more traditional creative endeavors like art, writing, music… others use their creative powers for those endeavors not generally considered creative, such as math (imaginary numbers are pretty creative!) or engineering, programming, parenting, etc.

  23. Discovered this blog through Mark at Wishful Thinking. A great post and fantastically useful blog.

    Prompted a response from me on the attitudes/qualities of creative leaders. Forced me to prepare for a piece of work I am delivering in a couple of weeks time. Blogging it felt so much better than my own dull planning notes and will hopefully shape up my work in progress.

    Thank you.

  24. […] On this morning’s news people were hating each other in some places…a certainty we can’t resolve if we keep thinking negatively.. [thanks Vincent source: problogger] […]

  25. […] 原文:9 Attitudes of Highly Creative People 作者:Darren Rowse 翻译:北极冰仔 转载请注明本文地址: http://hellobmw.com/archives/9-attitudes-of-highly-creative-people.html […]

  26. […] attitudes to build into your approach if you want to be a more creative person:”read more | digg […]

  27. Absolutely! There is an aspect of creativity that we are born with. Yet I would say most of creativity can be learned.

    There are so many myths around surrounding creativity. But if you learn to look for the right things, and follow the right process you can do “creative” things. Many would argue that process does not create art or something that is creative, but fundamentally everything follows a process. We can surround that process with myths so that it is hard for others to follow, but creativity is still process centered.

  28. […] 9 Attitudes of Highly Creative People […]

  29. I think creativity… is very very situational based…

  30. I enjoyed the article on the nine characteristics of creative people – there may be more relationship between perserverance and optimism than you are revealing – but for the most part you are right on track.

    One note – I would have put optimism/perserverance as number 1 – together. Without them we are lost.

  31. […] 9 Attitudes of Highly Creative People […]

  32. […] 9 Attitudes of Highly Creative People 5 Ways to Enhance Your Creativity How to Be a More Creative Blogger – Methods of Creativity […]

  33. I was really laughing when I read this. It really described me. Especially, the one about constructive discontent. The only problem I have is telling people about the wrong, before I think of all the solutions!!!
    I can also, be very creative. While, passing through great opsticles in my life I would write poems, paint, draw and turn to music. This helped me see how beautiful life can be during challenging circumstances. It really gave me hope!!!

  34. tanya says: 03/29/2008 at 2:30 am

    hey thanks for the great articles! i have only just started reading but so far i have really enjoyed what you’ve written. keep it up!

  35. Ramesh Rathan says: 06/03/2008 at 1:05 am

    Fantastic …….greatest practical tips .
    Thank u so much

  36. The whole point of this post is to develop qualities similar to an intuitive perceiver (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myers-Briggs_Type_Indicator), which society brands as irresponsible weirdos. It _is_ a personality type, but I agree that it can be learned by other people too.

    [ simon.cpu ] <— an irresponsible weirdo

  37. smith harry says: 09/24/2008 at 5:51 pm

    The peoples want keep to great treat of with another. So that avoids to offensive attitude and control to his abuse. Some people want to present with great treat.

  38. darren this article is marvelous article.

  39. Abeer says: 11/12/2008 at 2:31 am

    Creativity is something which is built in trait of one’s personality and it also emerges in one’s personality through experiences(*coginitively)….
    wll Darren …added really a simple and comprehensive piece on abilities of creative people…

  40. Attitude is everyting! If you are having a bad attidude when blogging..guess what, everybody will notice! The things you focus on in life you attract, good or bad.

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