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Cover image for Seven Common Characteristics of Creative Thinkers

Seven Common Characteristics of Creative Thinkers

jamiepo profile image Jamie ・3 min read

"In the Information Age, intellectual property can be the most important asset in a business." Mary Stewart (Launching the Imagination, 110).

Who is and isn't creative? I think everyone is, to some degree. I also think creativity can be cultivated. Below are the common characteristics of creative thinkers according to Stewart.

Receptivity
"Creative people are open to new ideas and welcome new experiences." Judgement is something we project on people due to conditioning we've received whether that be by others or our own observations. While we can determine probability based on past events, we have to be open to the idea that we may be missing information. Just because someone is short one day, doesn't mean this person is inherently ill-tempered, it means that for that encounter their reaction was situational, and temporary to you. However, it could very well mean that they have adapted this temperament. What's clear is, we don't know. Be open to new ways of thinking about things.

Curiosity
"Researching unfamiliar topics and analyzing unusual systems is a source of delight for most creative people." While undertaking unknown concepts, with the intent to fully understand, can be scary, it's necessary if you want to learn, what you have set out to learn. This thing has to be self-realizing or self-serving, it cannot be what someone else wants you to learn, or what you think someone else thinks you should know, you have to want to learn it. Because you might reach a learning curve doesn't mean you should abandon this journey. Conflict or tension is present in almost everything in my opinion. During your process of learning, it's important to be honest with yourself.

Wide Range of Interests
"...an artist who has a background in literature, geology, archery, music and history can make more connections than a narrow-minded specialist." Stewart makes being a specialist sound unworthy, while it can be the opposite, however, creative people have the propensity to learn about various different areas of life. This assortment of knowledge enables us to make more connections. It's important while learning to make clear goals for your self and organize effectively.

Attentiveness
Alt Text
"Realizing that every experience is valuable, creative people pay attention to seemingly minor details." My belief is that everything is interconnected. I'm constantly finding myself connected to objects like paper or materials like cement, because i think, how they can be transformed. Pay attention to the details, they're how you get to a functional big picture.

Connection Seeking Alt Text
"Seeing the similarity among seemingly disparate parts has often sparked a creative breakthrough." This harks back to making connections, once we are receptive to new ideas, we see how even opposites are connected.

Conviction
"Creative people value existing knowledge". Our knowledge base is built upon. Scientists build upon old ideas to extend their work, sometimes transforming those older ideas and creating something new. I've always hated the adage "Don't re-invent the wheel". I've always felt as though the wheel needs to be re-invented, especially as time progresses, however, there is something to leaving the wheel the way it is. There are some fundamentals that might not be absolutely true, albeit they can give us direction nonetheless.

Complexity
"The risk-taker gets the job started; the safe-keeper gets the job done." There are a plethora of things/emotions that occur when completing a project. There's excitement, there's fear, there's passion, there's critical analysis, you may have to start over a few times, you might abandon the project, you might need to follow certain steps to get the work done, the project might require you to experiment. Either way you must continue to have focus, determination or direction and consistency. Whatever you need to do to regroup- do it.

Citation
Stewart, M. (2008). Launching the imagination. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.

Cover art
pexels.com/@steve

Discussion

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rohansawant profile image
Rohan Sawant

"I've always felt as though the wheel needs to be re-invented, especially as time progresses"

Wise words!

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jamiepo profile image
Jamie Author

Thank you. We should change things for the better 🤷🏾‍♀️

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guitarino profile image
Kirill Shestakov

Beautiful article. We share many similar thoughts.

I always noticed that the environment where my ideas are accepted without judgement led to the most creativity, whereas when the ideas are criticized without need, I lost motivation to strive for innovation.

I think part of it also has to do with kindness. In a kind environment, people are encouraged to be creative and express themselves. Kindness may require introspection, looking into your own experience, understanding its limits, and seeing moments when you felt the most and the least inspired, in order to apply them to others.

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jamiepo profile image
Jamie Author

I’ve been in toxic spaces as well and I’ve learned from them and was happy to move on. People who go out of their way to offend you are discontent within themselves. I resonate with your last statement especially. It’s so hard to step into the other person’s shoes but it’s so important to give others the freedoms you wanted. Thank you for that reminder.

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ghost profile image
Ghost

I think we should also recognize the pitfalls of those, because being "creative" is not better or worse than the alternative.

Receptivity: Open your head to new ideas but not so much that the brain falls, if we are not careful we may take false input and without discipline we can easily feed with the wrong data.

Curiosity/Wide Range of Interests: For the output is a double edge sword,
we can turn this to a CON if not careful, any task require some minimal level of knowledge/practice to be useful, if we spread too thin be became useless in every front.

Attentiveness: I agree with the content, not the title, "creative" kind is less fixated on topics, "pragmatic" kind can be very attentive, but more focused in their areas of expertise. They may only have a hammer but is a hell of a hammer.

Connection Seeking: Tread carefully, because you may start finding connection that doesn't exist, everything is connected but not connected to each other, if you are not careful you could end up dwelling in metaphysics, the powers of crystals and believing the earth is flat.

Conviction: I don't think this is exclusive of the "creative" kind. Just how drastic is the change and how wide the net of possible outcomes.

Complexity: This point is not very clear to me, but makes a important point, we really enjoy stating things, kinda like advancing them and dislike keep going to the end (or is just me). We tend to have a bunch of almost finished projects because we get excited about something before we finish the past thing, we hate keep doing "the same thing", we love variety, but we know the devil is in the details, but we don't care about those details! we want the big picture! we want to connect this big thing with the next big thing and see how it works with the rest of big things.

An extra of mine: We usually don't care about the usefulness of some knowledge or project, we often do silly amusing things, just because we can, or is a challenge, we have to be careful not to only do silly amusing things and get our feet on the ground sometimes, we can't be on the clouds all the time. And earch step from the concept to the finished thing gets harder and harder for us but we have to learn to push though (or if you are lucky find someone who enjoys that part :) ) but as someone unlucky that way, is good to face your limitations.

I use "" in "creative" because I'm not sure is that simple of a descriptor, very pragmatic and focused people find very specific and creative solutions. To me is more about the "big picture"/"detail oriented" kinds, is about how broad the interests, how we understand a system: some from start to finish in orderly fashion or get confused; some from top to bottom with prinkles of details or we get lost.

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jamiepo profile image
Jamie Author

I agree that there are considerations to everything. We should critique information presented to us. Hopefully, that’s how we get to the truth. Pitting creativity against pragmatism is not what this post is about. In order to deliver you need pragmatism and that can come about creatively.

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Igor Gavelyuk

I like your logo (avatar), it damn ill. Btw I made same kind synthetic logo and I love it. Great article 👍