top of page

18 Things Highly Creative People do Differently

This post is an excerpt from an article on

The Huffington Post which I saw on one of my

favorite blogs: The Lettered Cottage on 3/8/14

"As scientists now understand it, creativity is far more complex than the right-left brain distinction would have us think (the theory being that left brain = rational and analytical, right brain = creative and emotional). In fact, creativity is thought to involve a number of cognitive processes, neural pathways, and emotions, and we still don’t have the full picture of how the imaginative mind works. And psychologically speaking, creative personality types are difficult to pin down, largely because they’re complex, paradoxical and tend to avoid habit or routine. And it’s not just a stereotype of the tortured artist – artists really may be more complicated people."

They daydream.

Creative types know, despite what their third-grade teachers may have said, that daydreaming is anything but a waste of time.

They observe everything.

They see possibilities everywhere….that becomes fodder for creative expression.

They work the hours that work for them.

…individuals with high creative output will often figure out what time it is that their minds start firing up, and structure their days accordingly.

They take time for solitude.

…this links back to daydreaming – we need to give ourselves the time alone to simply allow our minds to wander.

They turn life’s obstacles around.

Many of the most iconic stories and songs… have been inspired by gut-wrenching pain and heartbreak – and the silver lining of these challenges is that they may have been the catalyst to create great art.

They seek out new experiences.

…intellectual curiosity, thrill seeking, openness to your emotions, openness to fantasy. The thing that brings them all together is a drive for cognitive and behavioral exploration of the world, your inner world and your outer world.

They fail up.

Resilience is practically a prerequisite for creative success. Doing creative work is often described as a process of failing repeatedly until you find something that sticks.

They ask the big questions.

Creative people are insatiably curious – they generally opt to live the examined life and even as they get older, maintain a sense of curiosity about life. Whether through intense conversation or solitary mind-wandering, creatives look at the world around them and want to know why, and how, it is the way it is.

They people-watch.

They’re keen observers of human behavior.

They take risks.

Creativity is the act of making something from nothing. It requires making public those bets first placed by imagination. This is not a job for the timid.

They view all of life as an opportunity for self-expression.

Creativity is nothing more than an individual expression of your needs, desires and uniqueness.

They follow their true passions.

They’re motivated to act from some internal desire, rather than a desire for external reward or recognition.

They get out of their own heads.

…inducing psychological distance -- that is, taking another person’s perspective or thinking about a question as if it was unreal or unfamiliar -- can boost creative thinking.

They lose track of time.

Flow is a mental state when an individual transcends conscious thought to reach a heightened state of effortless concentration and calmness.

They surround themselves with beauty.

A study recently published…showed that musicians – including orchestra musicians, music teachers, and soloists – exhibit a high sensitivity and responsiveness to artistic beauty.

They connect the dots.

If there is one thing that distinguishes highly creative people from others, it’s the ability to see possibilities where others don’t – or, in other words, vision.

They constantly shake things up.

Diversity of experience, more than anything else, is critical to creativity.

They make time for mindfulness.

Creative types understand the value of a clear and focused mind – because their work depends on it. Many artists, entrepreneurs, writers and other creative workers have turned to meditation as a tool for tapping into their most creative


Written by Carolyn Gregoire

Photo: cover shoot of Kid's Gotta Do CD "Parade" with Matt Kalicky & Dave Leyden

Follow Us
  • Instagram
  • Facebook Basic Square
Recent Posts
bottom of page