- Are you willing to break rules when necessary?
Creative ideas come from breaking rules. And I don’t mean parking in a no-parking zone, but preconceived notions about how things are observed and executed. Sometimes, though, great ideas do literally break the rules.
Uber and Airbnb, for example, both initially pushed some boundaries about what was permissible in their respective industries (unsanctioned taxi driving and home rentals).
- Do you ask a lot of questions?
Questions are an important part of creativity. They can reveal opportunities as well as problems that need solving and the best ways to solve them.
Who should you ask questions of? Start with yourself, of course. Then customers and prospects (and those they interact with). And anyone who might give you insights, new ways of looking at the problem and even great creative ideas.
- Do you seek out new experiences?
Imagine if you lived in a small apartment and never went outside, never traveled, never visited anyone or had anyone over to visit. How good do you think the quality of your ideas would be?
Conversely, the more different people, places and things you expose yourself to, the more raw material you will have to inspire your thinking and creativity, and build your ideas out of.
Highly creative people have few things in common, but they are virtually always curious — about themselves, others and the world around them.
- Do you have a good sense of humor?
To see the funny side of things, you have to look at people and things a little differently. That is, after all, the essence of creativity! Also, just being funny, joking around and laughing is a great way to get your creative brain in gear!
- Do you like to daydream?
Daydreaming—staring into space, thinking about nothing in particular—is a great way to put the power of your subconscious to work on coming up with ideas.
And as you’ve probably heard, your subconscious powers the majority of your brain (around 83%).
- Are you willing to fail?
It’s an illusion that creative people come up with better ideas. Actually, they simply come up with MORE ideas than the average person—so they are likely to have more great ideas than the average person.
Did you ever notice how people who came up with great ideas or inventions in the past tirelessly kept at it, failure after failure, until they had a breakthrough? Like Edison trying thousands of different ways to create a workable lightbulb? (How many great ideas have been lost to the world for lack of just a few more tries!?)