7 Qualities of Creative Thinkers
The more you do of what you’re doing, the more you’ll get of what you’ve got. Creative thinking requires that you continually dig deep into yourself and generate more, newer, better, faster, cheaper, different ideas that you can use to improve the important parts of your life.
There are seven qualities of creative thinkers. When you practice one or more of these qualities, you begin to prove to yourself that you are truly a genius, and you simultaneously disprove the negative hypothesis.
The first quality is that creative thinkers are intensely curious. They are always asking questions. They ask questions like “Why?” very much like children do all the time. Then they ask, “Why not?” “Why can’t we do it?” “Even if it hasn’t been done before, can it be done now?”
Practice Zero Based Thinking
The second quality of creative thinkers is that they practice “Zero-Based Thinking” all the time. They continually ask themselves, “If I were not now doing what I am doing, knowing what I now know, would I start?”
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And if the answer is no, they cut their losses, discontinue what they are doing and start doing something else. It is absolutely amazing how many people persist in something that they wouldn’t even get into if they had to do it over again. And they wonder why they are making so little progress.
Change Your Mind
The third quality of creative thinkers is that they have a willingness to change. They recognize that in a world such as ours, the unwillingness or inability to change is fatal. They prefer to be in charge of their lives rather than being caught up in the flash flood of change that is inevitable and unavoidable. The words of the truly flexible person, the person who is willing to change are simply, “I changed my mind.” According to researchers, fully 70% of the decisions you make turn out to be wrong in the long run. This means that you must be willing to change your mind and try something else most of the time. Mental flexibility is the most important quality that you will need for success in the 21st century.
Admit When You Are Wrong
The fourth quality of highly creative thinkers is their willingness to admit when they are wrong. Fully 80% of people burn up most of their mental and emotional energy defending against admitting that they made a wrong decision. Don’t let this happen to you. Truly intelligent, highly creative people are open minded, fluid, flexible and willing to both change their mind and admit that they are wrong when their earlier decisions turn out to be incorrect.
Continue to Learn
The fifth quality is that highly creative people can say, “I don’t know.” They recognize that it is impossible for anyone to know anything about everything, and it is very likely that almost everyone is wrong to some extent, no matter what they are doing. So when someone asks them a particular question that they don’t know the answer to they admit it early and often. They simply say, “I don’t know.” And if necessary they go about finding the answer. Here’s an important point. No matter what problems you have, there is someone somewhere who has had the same problem and who has already solved the problem and is using the solution today. One of the smartest and most creative things you can do is to find someone else, somewhere, who is already implementing the solution successfully and then copy him or her. The smartest person is not necessarily the person who comes up with the idea. It may be just a lucky flash of insight. The smartest person is the one who copies the idea first. And it is often the person to recognize the value of a new idea that makes a fortune from the idea while the originator makes little or nothing.
Creative Thinkers Are Goal Oriented
The sixth quality of creative people is that they are intensely goal focused. They know exactly what they want. They have it written down very clearly. They visualize it on a regular basis. They imagine what their goal would look like if it were a reality today. And the more they visualize and imagine their goal as a reality, the more creative they become and the faster they move toward achieving it.
Eliminate Your Ego
The seventh quality of highly creative thinkers is that they have less ego involvement in being right. They are more concerned with what’s right rather than who’s right. They are willing to accept ideas from any source to achieve a goal, overcome an obstacle, or solve a problem.
Creative Thinking Generates New Ideas
The most important part of creative thinking is your ability to generate ideas. And the greater the quantity of ideas that you generate, the greater the quality your ideas will be. The more ideas you have, the more likely you are to have the right idea at the right time. But generating ideas is only 1% of the equation. As Thomas Edison once wrote, “Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.” Your ability to come up with an idea, to test it and validate it, and then to implement it through creative thinking and execute it in your life to achieve results is the true mark of genius. Every single time you originate a new idea, write it down, make a plan for its implementation through creative thinking and then take action, you are behaving like a genius. And the more you manage your creativity in this way, the smarter you will become. And the smarter you will become, the more you will achieve in every area of your life. Your future will become unlimited.
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About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.