It’s a myth that all creative geniuses are simply born that way.
To a certain extent, they are made too.
Any natural talents and abilities are nurtured through habits that allow them to blossom.
There’s a good chance that you already exhibit many of these.
Perhaps you too are a creative genius in the making.
Let’s find out!
What it means to be a creative genius
Chances are you are already far more creative than you give yourself credit for. Because creativity isn’t what a lot of us expect.
You don’t have to be amazing at arts and crafts. You don’t need to play musical instruments.
Creativity is more of a fundamental skill.
It’s simply being able to use your imagination or your ideas in order to create something new.
In this sense, creativity is inventiveness.
That could be in science, the arts, politics, business, education, and more. In fact, creativity can be found in all areas of life.
A creative genius is someone who manages to make new things or come up with new ideas frequently.
They’ve mastered the skill and do it on repeat.
10 signs that you’re a creative genius in the making
1) You’re curious
Einstein famously said:
“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”
Whilst arguably he was being fairly modest, this highlights an important feature that all creative geniuses enjoy:
They share a fascination for learning.
They genuinely like trying to understand new things and figure them out.
This link was highlighted by research from expert on team dynamics, Marcial Losada.
He found that the most successful business teams are the ones who ask questions far more than they defend a point of view.
If you enjoy reading, watching documentaries, or generally exploring the world around you — this natural intrigue is a sign of your creativity.
2) You’re open-minded
So if being hungry for knowledge is one vital ingredient, then staying open to whatever you may discover is the other side to that.
It stands to reason that it’s difficult to develop creative solutions when you are closed off.
That’s why the most creative people stay as open to new perspectives, ideas, and thoughts as possible.
This enables them to see things from a different angle.
You know what they say:
There’s no such thing as an original idea.
The reality is that all creative breakthroughs come from building upon what has gone before.
When you are open to embracing outside points of view, this helps keep you do that.
3) You’re enthusiastic and positive
Having a positive outlook doesn’t just make you happier. It also makes you more productive.
Studies have found that your mood can impact how hard you work. Research by Oxford University showed happy workers were 13% more productive.
Meanwhile, other studies have concluded that people tend to be more creative when they feel intrinsically motivated.
It’s almost like positivity acts as a natural source of fuel for creativity.
And anecdotally, we know this to be true.
When we come home tired, stressed, and in a terrible mood, it’s unlikely to be when we have all our best ideas.
4) You can get deeply absorbed in a task
Have you heard of flow state?
It’s when time flies and your concentration levels are effortlessly intent.
Creative people have the ability to immerse themselves in an activity with great concentration levels and focus.
Essentially, they can direct their energy in efficient ways.
But here’s a very important part of it:
They also know when and how to switch off.
They are really good at self-regulating their energy levels. And that doesn’t mean always being switched on.
They retreat, recharge, and rest often. They enjoy daydreaming and going within.
This reflective and meditative state is the yin to their yang. It is what allows them to keep their creative juices flowing.
So go ahead and have that nap, it really is productive.
5) You practice divergent thinking…aka you think outside the box
Divergent thinking is often referred to as lateral thinking. It’s a term coined by the American psychologist J. P. Guilford, back in the 1950s.
In a nutshell, it’s simply: “cognition that leads in various directions.”
And being able to take many routes with your thinking has long been linked to creative problem-solving.
It makes sense.
The more thoughts and ideas we are capable of imagining, the greater our chances of coming up with new and creative solutions.
You already engage in divergent thinking when you do activities like journaling, free writing, brainstorming, or improvisation games.
Meanwhile, our ability to think laterally has also been linked to the next sign on our list…
6) You’re playful
As children, we learn through play. It helps us to become more inventive.
The same goes for adults too.
Play is another thing that can encourage us to be more divergent in our thinking. That might be playing board games, doing puzzles, or doing brain teasers.
There are even apps and games designed by neuroscientists to enhance creativity.
But having a playful approach to life is significant for another very important reason:
It takes the pressure off.
We can explore without consequence. Rather than the outcome feeling so serious, it becomes experimental.
And this is significant if we are going to dare to try out new things, regardless of how they might turn out.
As we’ll see next, having less fear of failure encourages us to be more open.
7) You care more about the process than the outcome
Life can create a lot of pressure on us to succeed.
We want to get good grades, win that promotion, and make enough money to take care of ourselves and our families.
So it’s understandable that this creates tension. But in the process, we often focus far more on the outcome than the process.
We have an end goal in mind and we can get incredibly attached to it.
Creative geniuses are better at taking risk rather than being held back by fear.
We’ve all heard those stories where someone’s dreams came true simply from turning a passion or hobby into a money-making enterprise.
Perhaps this is the reason why:
They were able to nurture their passion and creativity as they were less rigidly focused on the outcome.
In his book ‘Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention’ Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, highlights the paradoxical conflict between attachment and detachment in your work.
Because one of the main drivers of creative genius is an attachment to the work — aka this enthusiasm that keeps you moving forward.
But you can’t be so attached that you are unable to remain objective and critical.
Taking it all too seriously might prevent you from evaluating honestly. And this evaluation could be what helps you to identify the important missing pieces.
8) You love to break from routine
Routine can be a wonderful thing. It often helps our lives to run more smoothly.
Structure can also help us to feel safer and more in control, which we tend to prefer as it’s hardwired into our nature.
But the catch is that it can come at the cost of creativity.
Creative geniuses are far better at embracing chaos. And rather paradoxically, they are often better at creating order within that chaos.
It’s hard to discover new things when you are loathed to break from your routine.
If you always do things a certain way, there isn’t room to entertain a new possibility of doing things.
A break from routines helps your mind to wander a little further and explore new horizons.
9) You’re introspective
Evaluation and critical thinking are significant in creativity.
That’s why creative geniuses can spend a lot of time deep in thought.
They not only examine the external world but also their own internal world.
Creativity researcher Frank X.Barron tried to pinpoint what was responsible for creative genius.
He noted that creative people were more introspective.
Yet on the flip side, as explained in Quartz:
“In openly and boldly confronting themselves and the world, creative-minded people seemed to find an unusual synthesis between healthy and “pathological” behaviors.”
So even though creative types have a good understanding of themselves, as we’ll see next, they certainly can have their quirks too.
10) You’re a bit eccentric
When we think of creative geniuses we notice something that they often have in common:
They have certain oddities that would be considered strange.
Famous artist Michelangelo would rarely take his boots off, insisting on even sleeping in them.
Wartime British prime minister Winston Churchill apparently enjoyed walking around his office naked.
American inventor Nikola Tesla was a germaphobe who had OCD and was overly enamored with the number three.
These quirks existing within the most creative of people are no coincidence either.
Harvard psychologist Shelley Carson, argues that the most creative amongst us often have odd thoughts and behavior.
Creativity isn’t caused by eccentricity, in the words of Carson, it’s more that “certain cognitive mechanisms that may underlie eccentricity could also promote creative thinking.”
So-called cognitive disinhibition may be responsible for plenty of light bulb moments. As Shelley Carson explains:
“During moments of insight, cognitive filters relax momentarily and allow ideas that are on the brain’s back burners to leap forward into conscious awareness, in the same manner that bizarre thoughts surface in the mind of the psychotic individual.”
So embrace your oddities as just another sign of your creativity.
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