Highly creative people often feel misplaced in our logical, linear world. But they feel different for a reason. Research confirms that their brains have structural differences that cause them to think and act uniquely.
Creative people operate on a more intuitive and imaginative level than their counterparts who seem to excel in logical, analytical endeavors.
The average person may find it hard to understand a creative person’s mental process. In fact, there are a number of different things that an average individual will most likely never understand about a creative person!
Number 1 — They Are Playful, Yet Disciplined
A playful attitude is one of the hallmarks of creativity, but this lightheartedness and excitement are also mirrored by a major paradoxical trait — perseverance.
When working on a project, creative people tend to exhibit determination and focus. They will work for hours on something — often staying up late into the night — until they are satisfied with their work.
They realize that real creativity involves combining both fun and hard work.
Number 2 — They Are Extroverted AND Introverted
While we often fall into the trap of categorizing people as solely extroverted or introverted, creativity requires combining both of these personality types — making creative people ambiverts.
They are both expressive and withdrawn, sociable and quiet.
Interacting with others can generate ideas and inspiration, and retreating to a quiet place allows creative individuals to fully explore these sources of creativity.
Number 3 — They Are Realistic Dreamers
Creative people like to daydream and imagine the possibilities and wonders of the world.
They can immerse themselves in imagination and fantasy, yet remain grounded in reality.
They are often described as dreamers, but that doesn’t mean that they live with their heads in the clouds.
Creative types, ranging from inventors to artists to musicians, can come up with imaginative solutions to real-world issues.
Number 4 — Their Minds Never Slow Down
An average person’s mind eventually stops thinking of ideas, unknown scenarios, and possible outcomes — and they are more likely to rest easy at night. But a creative person’s mind never slows down.
In fact, creative people have been known to complain about this phenomenon!
Creativity appears at random times of the day, and often during the night. Thus, creative people have a hard time getting to bed.
Many of the most famous writers, musicians, and actors are up to working during the late hours of the night. Their brains simply refuse to shut off.
Number 5 — They Follow Their True Passions
Creative people tend to be naturally motivated — meaning that they’re motivated to act from some internal desire, rather than a desire for external reward or recognition.
Psychologists have shown that creative people are energized by challenging activities — which is a sign of intrinsic motivation — and the research suggests that simply thinking of intrinsic reasons to perform an activity, maybe enough to boost creativity.
Creative people choose and become passionately involved in challenging problems that provide a strong sense of power from the ability to use their talent.
Number 6 — They Are Objective About Their Work
Being passionate about something does not necessarily lead to great work. Imagine a writer so in love with his writing that he is unwilling to edit a single sentence.
Imagine a musician reluctant to listen to their own performance and hear areas that need improvement.
Creative people love their work, but they are also objective about it and willing to be critical and take criticism. They are able to separate themselves from their work and see areas that need improvement.
Number 7 — They Have Difficulty Staying On Task
While a creative person has much to offer the world, it can be hard for them to focus on one task at a time. This is because so much new information is being processed in their minds at once.
Many creative people suffer from ADD, and it’s not hard to see why. It can be difficult for a creative person to focus on one thing when there are new ideas constantly flooding their brains.
They may also find it hard to finish long projects. Instead, they would much rather focus their attention on developing something interesting and new.
Number 8 — They Often Use Procrastination As A Tool
Creative people are notorious procrastinators because many do their best work under pressure. They will subconsciously, and sometimes purposefully, delay their work until the last minute — simply to experience the rush of the challenge.
Number 9 — They Lose Track Of Time
Creative types may find that when they’re expressing themselves, they get “in the zone,” or what’s known as the “flow” state — which can help them to create at their highest level.
Flow is a mental state when an individual transcends conscious thought to reach a heightened state of effortless concentration and calmness.
When someone is in this state, they’re practically immune to any internal or external pressures and distractions that could hinder their performance.
Number 10 — Deep Thinkers
It should come as no surprise that creative people are deep thinkers. They internalize their thoughts, dive deep into philosophical questions, and want to get to the root of everything.
Creative people are intelligent and become knowledgeable about religion, politics, niche subjects, and the meaning of life in general. They tend to use their deep thoughts and the inner-most workings of their mind for inspiration for their work.
Number 11 — They Are Conservative, Yet Rebellious
Creative people are “out-of-the-box” thinkers by definition, and we often think of them as non-conformist and even a little bit rebellious. But it is impossible to be truly creative without having first internalized cultural norms and traditions.
Creativity requires being both conventional and unconventional. This means being able to appreciate and even embrace the traditional, while still seeking new and improved ways of doing things.
Creative people can be conservative in many ways, yet they know that innovation sometimes means taking risks.
Number 12 — They Are Highly Sensitive
Perhaps this trait makes them feel the most misunderstood. Creative people run differently than others, often fueled by emotions rather than logic.
In fact, throughout most of the day, they make decisions based on how they feel in the moment, or what their intuition tells them. They get hurt easily and often draw inspiration from their pain.
Number 13 — Their Emotions Change Constantly
Creative people can go from joyful to melancholy in a matter of seconds. Because they feel so deeply, everything affects them to the core of their soul, and they live in a world run by emotions and feelings.
Logic makes little sense to them, and they must endure the waves of emotions that run through them -because they have been wired to do just that.
They don’t bottle up their feelings — instead, they allow their work to provide them an outlet to express themselves.
Number 14 — They Need A Creative Space To Call Their Own
No matter what type of creative work it is — be it writing, drawing, building, playing music, or anything else — all creative people need an inspirational nook to work in.
They may find their flow in their room at home, in a studio, or perhaps in the branches of a tree in the backyard. Whatever space they work in, it needs to feel conducive to creativity — and ultimately, inspire them to turn their thoughts into reality.
Number 15 — They Turn Life’s Obstacles Around
An emerging field of psychology called ‘post-traumatic growth’ is suggesting that many people are able to use their hardships and early-life trauma for substantial creative growth.
Specifically, researchers have found that trauma can help people to grow in the areas of interpersonal relationships, spirituality, appreciation of life, personal strength, and — most importantly for creativity — seeing new possibilities in life.
Many of the most iconic stories and songs of all time 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.
Number 16 — They Only Work When They Feel Like It
The standard 9–5 workday doesn’t really vibe with creative individuals. They create when it strikes their fancy, and don’t appreciate a boss telling them when and what to do, why they need to work faster, and so on.
Creative people have a strong independent streak and thrive doing the freelance type of work.
Number 17 — They Sacrifice A Stable Life
While creative people may have a yearning to build a life and put down roots, they know that there’s always a chance that their lives could be uprooted at any moment.
Because they do not follow a set path, they have to be consistently open to saying YES quickly and without reservation.
They have to be willing to uproot their lives in order to follow the inspiration or the opportunity whenever it comes up.
Number 18 — They Never Give Up
Creative people do whatever it takes to make things work.
Even when they fail. When they’re being their own worst critic. When they are running out of ideas. When they are not finding inspiration. They still fight for it and try to find it.
They don’t give up on their dreams, and they are not afraid to do it all over again. Highly creative people thrive in their own world — which makes much more sense to them than the reality we live in.
If you know a creative person, you’ve probably gotten frustrated with their unique quirks and tendencies — they run on these oddities that others perceive as strange and nonsensical.
But, because of their personality and how they look at the world — they are able to create beautiful masterpieces out of seemingly nothing.