February 14, 2020
People say “creatives” have a natural knack for what they do.
I think they do, to a certain degree.
But mostly these original thinkers have a way of looking at the world that other people don’t. It’s not a hidden secret sauce. In fact, an article on Thrive Global listed the most important things that creative thinkers do that make them stand out. All eight things are something you can learn to do.
1. They pay attention
Creative thinkers understand that it’s more about the journey than the destination. They slow down and pay attention to the details. Sherlock Holmes was a master of this. He took his time to observe the world around him, so no minute detail missed him. Because of this, he found the smallest detail that others missed or dismissed as trivial. Paying attention helps you do better work because it helps you avoid mistakes.
2. They tolerate ambiguity
Most people aren’t comfortable with the unknown. They want to have a plan, or at least have context for what’s going on. But creative thinkers roll with the flow and use them to learn. If they’re scared or uncomfortable in a situation, they use it as an opportunity to learn something new, including something about themselves. They understand that by keeping an open mind, they can learn from what others find scary or boring.
3. They’re flexible
This group is willing to try something so they can do things differently. They brush off the criticism they get for their weird and wild ideas. This lets them learn by looking at problems and situations from unconventional angles. They make room for ready change and take new situations in stride.
4. They take risks
Creative people like the feelings of uncertainty that come with taking risks. They’re willing to invest their time, money and resources when others aren’t so they can try new things, or rework existing approaches in a new way. Because of this, they have a greater chance of hitting their goals.
5. They delay gratification
Patience is a virtue for creative thinkers. They understand that holding out for the long game means they’ll gain a breadth and depth of looking at a situation that’s valuable. Their stick-to-it mindset means they’ll learn things that they’d miss if they rushed through the process.
6. They’re curious
Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it fuels the creative thinker. Curious people ask questions to learn the meaning behind the experiences they have. This gives them the chance to enhance what they already know so the next time they’re in that situation they have a broader point of view from which to deal with it.
7. They break rules
Always following the rules numbs your brain. Creative thinkers know that rules restrict their options and hurt their chances of find a new way to do things. This is how they come up with their new ways of working that are much more fluid.
8. They dream
Day dreaming isn’t a complete waste of your day. Making time to purposely dream about what could be is how creative thinkers come up with ideas. Dreaming about how an idea could play out with a relaxed mind lets them see extra opportunities, when others can help out and what the future could look like. It also sets their brains up to see their ideas through.
Creative thinkers are unconventional thinkers. But these are all things that you can practice in your own life and work. It may not come easy, at least at first, but it’s a skill that’s worth practicing and one that you will definitely see make an impact on your work and life.
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Carla is a world-renowned storyteller, an entertaining speaker, and a prolific author. Having lived, worked, and studied on five continents, she's partnered with top brands and conferences to train thousands of people how to rethink the work that they do and the impact they can have. Her visionary expertise has inspired and equipped leaders at all levels to embrace change, welcome new ideas, and transform their business.
Her work with Fortune 500 brands served as the foundation for many of her books. Her tenth, RE:Think Innovation, is a #1 new release that busts the myth that innovation is something that requires a specific degree or special training. In fact, Carla explains why, to be a successful company in today's hyper-competitive, customer-driven world, innovation must be everyone's business. Her goal is to teach one million people how to become innovators by 2025.
Consistently named one of the top influencers in B2B, digital and content marketing, Carla regularly challenges conventional thinking. Today, she travels the world teaching anyone (and everyone) how to cultivate idea-driven teams that breed unstoppable creativity and game-changing innovation.