4 signs you are a creative person

Abder-Rahman Ali — №28 with Preston Ni

“I have devoted 30 years of research to how creative people live and work, to make more understandable the mysterious process by which they come up with new ideas and new things. If I had to express in one word what makes their personalities different from others, it’s ‘complexity.’ They show tendencies of thought and action that in most people are segregated. They contain contradictory extremes; instead of being an individual, each of them is a multitude.” - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, “Creativity: The Work and Lives of 91 Eminent People” (HarperCollins, 1996)

The question that may arise here is: are you really a creative person?

Life is full of distractions nowadays. Most of us are loaded with daily tasks that have pressing deadlines. You may always have the feeling that you are behind, like you have not done enough, even if you are making slow and gradual progress.

However, you still have this shine of hope, especially when you remember what your father used to tell you in your childhood: “You are a very creative person.” At this moment, you wish you could find some sign that you are still as creative as your father said you were that night. You wish this because your world full of distractions is not allowing you to distinguish between "donkey work” and creativity.

Without further ado, let me present to you the four signs that will assure you that you are indeed that creative person.

1. You are passionate about your work

I deem passion to be the fuel of creativity. It is what keeps us moving forward toward reaching our goals and accomplishing our tasks. You will surely fall in difficult situations along your journey. Without passion, rather than choosing to proceed, you will easily choose to quit on the first hit.

Here is what Natalie Davis, a professor of History at the University of Toronto in Canada, has to say about passion:

“I think it is very important to find a way to be detached from what you write, so that you can’t be so identified with your work that you can’t accept criticism and response, and that is the danger of having as much effect as I do. But I am aware of that and of when I think it is particularly important to detach oneself from the work, and that is something where age really does help.”

2. You crave beauty in simplicity

Don’t get me wrong on this point. By simplicity, I don’t mean that you underestimate things. Steve Jobs once said:

“That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains”.

For instance, when Steve Jobs was designing the iPod, he required that users would never have to click more than three times to reach any song in the library.

Creativity shines when you are aiming for big things, but try to keep these things simple.

3. You daydream

This may be another surprise to you. Weren’t you told at school to stop daydreaming and go back to studying? Rebecca McMillan et. al. had a different opinion about this notion when they mentioned in their 2013 paper “Ode to positive constructive daydreaming” that “mind-wandering can aid in the process of creative incubation.”

There are many thoughts we surprisingly come across when we are falling in our daydream.

4. You lose track of the time

Do you remember situations when you realized that you had been working long hours without even noticing? This is a sign that you are in the flow of a task, you are enjoying the task, and your creativity is pushed to its limits.

Contrary to what we may have been taught about keeping an eye on time and using time management skills to possess creativity, losing such track is a sign of creativity.

As Kaufman says, “Creative people have found the thing they love, but they’ve also built up the skill in it to be able to get into the flow state. (…) The flow state requires a match between your skill set and the task or activity you’re engaging in.”

There sure are many other signs of creativity. Do you have any in mind?

Photo: Flickr/hktang CC BY 2.0

Abder rahman

Abder-Rahman Ali

Although coming from a technology-based background, Abder-Rahman is also engaged in productivity-related matters and likes to employ technology for the benefit of productivity, in a way that aids in dealing with this fast and distracted life. You can find more information on his thoughts and strategies on his blog.

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