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Want to boost your creativity? Try some of these these habits that highly creative people do

“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions”

Albert Einstein

 

Pre-Reading Questions:

  1. Do you think creativity is important for your job or daily life? why or why not?
  2. Do you know people in your life who are very creative? What do they do, and what makes them creative?
  3. Is creativity strongly encouraged or discouraged in the area you live and work? Give reasons for your opinion.
  4. Looking at the quote above, what do you think it means? Do you agree or disagree with it? Why or why not?

Boosting Creativity, Boosting Success.

A few years ago, Carolyn Gregoire wrote an article in the Huffington Post, an online US Newspaper, about 18 habits that highly creative people do. This article soon grew into a book called Wire to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Mind.

Creativity is an important tool for living successfully. Creativity might help create the next big idea in your company. Or it might lead to the that small but important observation that leads to something . In today’s article, we will look at some of the suggestions that Gregoire wrote about a few years back, and look at useful expressions and idioms used in the article.

Although there is no such thing as a “typical” creative person, below are a few habits that many creative people do. I have included some of the habits below. If you want to see the full list, you can read the article here.

They daydream.

Creative people know that daydreaming is anything but a waste of time. To daydream means to “fantasize or indulge in a fantasy”. You can think of daydreaming as having a conscious, waking dream. Although daydreaming may seem pointless, a 2012 study suggest it could actually involve a highly engaged brain state. According to Gregoire, “daydreaming can lead to sudden connections and insights because it’s related to our ability to recall information in the face of distractions”.

They observe everything.

The world is a creative person’s oyster — and when the world is your oyster, you have all the opportunities in the world to achieve something. Careful observers see possibilities everywhere and are constantly taking in information that becomes fuel for creative expression.

 

They take time for solitude.

Artists and creatives are often stereotyped as being loners, and while this may not actually be the case, solitude can be the key to producing their best work. We need to give ourselves the time alone to simply allow our minds to wander. Allowing our minds to wander might lead to news thoughts that will lead to something new

They turn life’s obstacles around. And look for new experiences.

Even some of the worst events in someones life might have a silver lining. A silver lining is something good that has come after a negative event. For instance, you might be fired from your job, but because you have free time you can start on your next big project that might become something important. That was certainly true of Steve Jobs, who was forced to leave Apple and helped create Pixar into a massive movie studio.

Rather than failing, they use their failures to “fail up.”

The goal is to keep looking for new experiences. Sometimes they can be bad, and sometimes they can be great. Regardless, they are experiences. As Gregoire explains, “creative people love to expose themselves to new experiences, sensations and states of mind — and this openness is a significant predictor of creative output,”

Creative people keep on going despite all of the issues they face. Doing creative work is often described as a process of failing repeatedly until you find something that sticks, and creatives — at least the successful ones — learn not to take failure so personally.

 

 

They follow their true passions.

Creative people tend to be intrinsically motivated — meaning that they’re motivated to act from some internal desire, rather than a desire for money, fame, or awards. Creative people want to achieve something within themselves. Psychologists have shown that creative people are energized by challenging activities, a sign of intrinsic motivation, and the research suggests that simply thinking of intrinsic reasons to perform an activity may be enough to boost creativity.

Eminent creators choose and become passionately involved in challenging, risky problems that provide a powerful sense of power from the ability to use their talents,” write M.A. Collins and T.M. Amabile in The Handbook of Creativity.

They constantly change things

A diversity of experiences is vital for creativity says Scott Barry Kaufman, a psychologist at New York University. Kaufmann has spent years researching creativity. Creative people enjoy new changes in their daily lives, experience new things, and avoid anything that might be routine.

“Creative people have more diversity of experiences, and habit is the killer of diversity of experience” says Kaufman.

Post-Reading Questions

  1. Do you think you will start trying some of the activities suggested by the article in your daily life? Why or why not?
  2. Which trait on the list do you think might be missing on the list? Are there any traits you are surprised were on or not on the list? Why or why not?
  3. Does the education system in your country promote or prevent creativity? What are some pros or cons with the education system in your country, and how could these help make education better for everyone?
  4. Do you think there is a major difference between children being creative and adults being creative? Or, as some people say, “in every real man a child is hidden that wants to play?”

Vocabulary

to daydream (v) –  to fantasize or indulge in a fantasy.
The world is your oyster (idiom) – you have all the opportunities in the world to achieve something.
Silver lining (idiom) – something good that has come after or because of a negative event.
To take something personally (phrasal verb)- to read or interpret statements and see them as negative or hurtful
intrinsically (adj) – inwards, belonging to a thing by it’s nature.
Eminent (adj) – high in station, position

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