8 Things Creative Thinkers Know that You Don’t

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. 

Read the original article.

Photo source: ColiN00B via Pixabay

About Carla Johnson


Carla Johnson is a world-renowned storyteller, an entertaining speaker, and a prolific author.

Over the last two decades, Carla has helped architects and actuaries, executives and volunteers, innovators and visionaries leverage the art of storytelling to inspire action. Her work with Fortune 500 brands has served as the foundation for many of her books.

In her latest project, Fast Forward Files, she contributes to a larger collection of thoughts by some of the world’s greatest minds -  Shazam co-founder Dhiraj Mukherjee, activist and entrepreneur Heather Mills and behavioral designer, technologist and mental-health champion Peter Trainor. 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.