Yesterday 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:
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
One 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.
Creative 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
This 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.
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
I 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.