7 Creative Habits of Highly Successful People

It’s amazing to note that successful people across industries have one thing in common- they all seem to have empowering creative habits that enable them to achieve remarkable things.

When you look closely at their lives and accomplishments, you realize that the ability to create isn’t just about producing great art or making scientific discoveries. It’s a skill that can be honed in any area of life, and involves learning how to view things from different perspectives, find fresh solutions to problems, and express ourselves uniquely.

This article is an honest attempt to share what we have learnt looking at some brilliant men & women and learn a thing or two.

Here are the seven qualities which seem to have made all the difference between the highly successful people and the not-so-successful ones:

1. Find your calling


It’s well known that Michelangelo was beaten by his father whenever he caught him painting because he wanted his son to become a merchant, not some piddling artist.

Thankfully with changing times, societal / parental pressure is diminishing. So it’s a good time to ask, What sparks my curiosity?

Our creative calling often becomes clear when we embrace our passions instead of forcing ourselves to conform.

2. Trust Your Gut


Apple founder Steve Jobs studied calligraphy after he dropped out of Reed College. He told Stanford’s 2005 graduating class, “When we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts.” Learning calligraphy and studying Zen Buddhism gave Jobs an aesthetic sense that still distinguishes Apple products today. “You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny…”

To access creativity, become aware of yourself. Unearth and discover!  What would you do if you listened to the tiny voice inside? Would you be still doing what you are doing?

3.Nurture Creative Differences


Sir Richard Branson speaks about how he purposefully embeds “mavericks” into every Virgin company to ensure its success because he knows that yes men kill innovation.

Maybe you have to still reach a stage where you are hiring people – right or wrong, but least you could do is, ask people you trust, “How do you see me limiting myself?” and listen to what they say. Be open to suggestions, and breathe!

4. Nurture your inherent talent(s)

Jimi Hendrix was not only blessed with a unique gift for playing guitar, but he practiced ALL the time. He wore his guitar when he boarded planes and made scrambled eggs for breakfast. He became a master guitarist because he constantly sought to bolster his innate talent.

Like Jimi, we are all originals just by virtue of being our true self. What is required is to understand what comes naturally to you?  Followed by a commitment to discovering and enhancing your special skills, and you will excel.

5. Be Bold


Dublin, Wednesday 31th October 2013: Pictured at the The Web Summit 2013, RDS. Photo by Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media

Tesla/SpaceX CEO Elon Musk urged in his Stanford commencement speech, “Don’t just follow the trend. Now is the time to take risks… do something bold, you won’t regret it.”

That goes for all of us. What would you do if you had the courage to take a risk in your life?

6.Take a break


Creativity flows when yang (active hard work) is balanced with yin (gentle receptivity). Albert Einstein is thought to have developed the theory of relativity while riding his bicycle.

Just strolling around your building for 15 minutes can get the creative juices going.

In cognitive psychology, these breaks / repetitive mindless tasks such as gardening, running, swimming, sweeping, and showering are called “incubation periods”,   particularly helpful for allowing solutions to problems to pop into your mind out of nowhere.

If you’re stuck and need a little inspiration, take a hike. Literally..!

7. Celebrate Failures


Oprah Winfrey was told that she didn’t have “the it factor” for TV. She went on to reinvent and rule daytime talk shows and became one of the most successful women of all times. She told Harvard’s 2013 graduating class, “There is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction.”

Just by virtue of showing up and trying again, we naturally improve and succeed. What would you do if you tried something new and failed? Get up and try again!

Are there more you’d add to the list? Do you have a creative habit that’s helped you succeed? Share in the comments below!

John D’mello, Pineapple Consulting



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