You’ve always had a creative spark. Some part of your brain is constantly churning out new ideas, making unexpected connections, and originally seeing the world. But here’s the surprising truth: Creativity isn’t some mystical gift from the muses. It’s a skill that can be strengthened and honed. The latest research shows that cultivating certain habits and ways of thinking can make you far more innovative and imaginative.

So how can you boost your creativity? Stop waiting for inspiration to strike and start putting in the work. Exercise your brain by pushing past the obvious solutions. Expose yourself to new concepts and cultures. Daydream and let your mind wander. Surround yourself with creative, kindred spirits.

The creative mind is an active, restless mind, not a passive receptacle for random bursts of genius. With the right techniques and practices, you can become far more prolific, flexible, and visionary. Creativity is a muscle—use it or lose it. The good news is that, with regular exercise, you can build your creative strength and tap into your deepest wells of inspiration.

Here we explore 12 Characteristics of Creativity.

1. Openness to New Experiences

Characteristics of creativity, Openness to New Experiences
Openness to New Experiences

Want to ignite your creativity? Start by opening your mind to new experiences! Exposing yourself to different ideas, cultures, and ways of thinking is the fuel that sparks innovative thinking.

Try new hobbies, read books on unfamiliar topics, travel when you can, take a class on something that fascinates you, and strike up conversations with people from diverse backgrounds. The more you broaden your perspective, the more creative you’ll become.

New experiences create neural pathways in your brain, enhancing connectivity between different regions. This “cognitive flexibility” allows you to see unexpected connections and come up with unconventional solutions.

Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone. While routine has its place, an excess of familiarity and repetition dulls your mind. Shake up your usual patterns from time to time. Visit an art museum, learn to cook an exotic cuisine, or pick up a challenging hobby like photography or woodworking. Expose yourself to different sounds, smells, tastes, sights, and sensations. Your senses are portals to inspiration.

An open, curious mindset is the foundation of creativity. Make continuous learning and expanding your mental horizons a lifelong habit. Seek out new experiences and embrace different ways of thinking, and you’ll cultivate a steady stream of innovative ideas. Your creativity is just waiting to be unleashed—give it fresh fuel and watch it soar!

2. Tolerance for Ambiguity

Do you crave new experiences and thrive on uncertainty? Congratulations! You’ve got a high tolerance for ambiguity, one of the most important traits for creativity!

Creative people love open-ended problems and vague situations. Rather than seeing ambiguity as threatening, you view it as an opportunity. You’re comfortable with uncertainty and even find it exciting.

  • You ask lots of questions and look for many possible solutions.
  • You can brainstorm freely without needing strict rules or guidelines.
  • You see the potential in vague ideas and fuzzy concepts.
  • You don’t need detailed plans or schedules, and you work well without much structure.

Having a high tolerance for ambiguity means you can handle the uncertainty that comes with truly innovative work. You’re willing to take intellectual risks and explore new territory without needing to know exactly where you’ll end up.

This mental flexibility allows your mind to make unexpected connections and see new possibilities. While others may feel frustrated or overwhelmed by open-ended problems, you dive right in, ready to play.

Cultivate your ability to thrive in ambiguous situations. Learn to sit with the discomfort of not knowing. Speculate, hypothesize, and daydream! The more you practice open-ended thinking, the more creative you’ll become.

So embrace the vagueness—it’s the perfect environment for your creativity to blossom! With an adventurous spirit and an open mind, you’re ready to turn ambiguity into inspiration.

3. Intuition and Perceptiveness

Characteristics of creativity, Intuition and Perceptiveness
Intuition and Perceptiveness

Intuition and perceptiveness are two of the most important qualities for tapping into your creative mind. Listen to Your gut.

Pay attention to your intuition and go with what feels right. Your intuition is the subconscious accumulation of your experiences, knowledge, and insights. When a new idea pops into your head or you get a “gut feeling” about something, listen to it! Our intuition is usually right, even if we can’t logically explain why.

Notice the Little details.

Creative people tend to be highly perceptive, noticing subtle details, patterns, and connections that others miss. Take time each day to observe the world around you. Notice colors, sounds, smells, flavors, and textures. See how things interact and relate. Let your observations inspire new ideas and associations. The more you open your senses, the more perceptive you’ll become.

Find Unexpected connections.

Look for unexpected connections between things that at first seem unrelated. Some of the most innovative ideas come from merging domains that have never been combined before. Steve Jobs was famous for this, combining calligraphy and computer design to create elegant typefaces and the first Macintosh. Read broadly and expose yourself to new subjects to make fresh connections in your mind.

Daydream and Let Your Mind Wander.

Spending time daydreaming and letting your mind wander freely is essential for creativity. When your mind is unfocused, your subconscious has a chance to make new connections and associations that can lead to surprising insights and “aha!” moments. Some of the world’s greatest thinkers attributed their success to daydreaming and letting their minds roam unrestrained.

Following your intuition, noticing details, finding unexpected connections, and giving your mind the freedom to daydream are keys to unlocking your natural creativity. The more you cultivate these qualities, the more innovative and perceptive you’ll become. Now get out there, open your mind, and see what exciting new ideas emerge!

4. Intuition and Perceptiveness

Passion is the fuel that ignites creativity. When you love what you do, your mind is lit up with excitement and inspiration. You can’t wait to get started, and the work energizes you. Your passion gives you a natural high that makes challenges feel surmountable and success taste even sweeter.

Find Your spark.

To tap into your passion, pursue work that interests or excites you. Think back to topics that captivated you as a child or areas you got lost in. These natural curiosities often point to your passions. Experiment with different fields or projects until something sparks your enthusiasm. When you find that spark, feed it with learning and action.

Cultivate Enthusiasm

Approach your work with an eager and optimistic mindset. Enthusiasm is contagious and will motivate you and others. Some ways to cultivate enthusiasm include:

  • Focus on the rewarding parts of your work. The joy of creating, helping others, mastering skills, etc.
  • Surround yourself with other passionate people. Their energy will boost your own.
  • Take breaks when needed to recharge. It’s easy for passion to turn into burnout without rest.
  • Challenge yourself regularly. New challenges keep things exciting and help you grow your skills and knowledge.

Spread the passion.

Share your passion with others. Start a blog or podcast, mentor someone new to the field, or give presentations at work or local organizations. Explaining your passion strengthens your connection to the work and spreads inspiration. Passion is meant to be shared, not contained. Let your enthusiasm shine through, and you’ll find others catching the spark with you!

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The passion you bring to your work fuels creativity and achievement. Approach each day with optimism and share your passion wherever you go. When you love what you do, it shows in the energy, time, and care you put into your creations. Passion is what turns the ordinary into the extraordinary.

5. Flexibility

Characteristics of creativity, Flexibility

When it comes to creativity, being flexible in your thinking is key. Flexibility means being adaptable and open to different possibilities. Rather than getting stuck in rigid patterns of thinking, creative minds explore various options and combinations.

Make unexpected connections.

Creative people look for connections between seemingly unrelated ideas. They ask “what if” questions to find new ways of combining concepts that lead to innovative solutions. Try brainstorming without judging your ideas. The wackier, the better! You never know where a crazy concept might lead.

Embrace uncertainty

Being flexible requires feeling comfortable with ambiguity and not knowing exactly what the outcome will be. Rather than needing a strict plan, go with the flow! See where the creative process takes you. Some of the best ideas come from spontaneous bursts of inspiration, not carefully crafted strategies.

Challenge assumptions

We all have certain assumptions and biases that influence how we think. Flexible thinkers actively try to recognize and move beyond these mental blocks. Question why things have to be a certain way. Look at problems from multiple angles and perspectives. Consider alternative explanations and ways of doing things.

Stay open to feedback.

Being flexible means accepting input from others and adapting based on their comments or critiques. Don’t get too attached to any one idea. Listen with an open mind and be willing to incorporate feedback to improve your creative work. Some of the best collaborations come from building on each other’s ideas, not rigidly sticking to your preconceptions.

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Creativity requires the ability to bend, not break. By cultivating mental flexibility, you open yourself up to new ways of thinking that can lead to moments of genius. So keep exploring, embrace the unknown, and stay willing to change course. The possibilities are endless!

6. Originality and Non-Conformity

To boost your creativity, embrace your inner non-conformist! Defy Conventional wisdom.

Throw out the rule book and challenge what the critics say you “should” do. Who says you have to follow the crowd? Blaze your trail. Question assumptions and common practices. Disregard what “everyone else” is doing. Don’t be afraid to go against popular opinion.

Cultivate an Open and Curious mind.

The most innovative ideas often come from exploring uncharted territory.

  • Expose yourself to new subjects and ways of thinking. Take up hobbies in unrelated fields. You never know where connections will form!
  • Ask lots of questions about how and why things are the way they are. Don’t just accept the status quo.
  • Travel whenever you can. New sights, sounds, and experiences open you up to different perspectives. Your mind will thank you!

Make the Familiar strange.

Try looking at routine things in new ways. Take ordinary objects or situations and imagine them differently.

  • What creative uses can you think of for common household items like bricks, paper clips, or shoelaces?
  • Notice small details in your everyday surroundings that you usually overlook. How many windows are in your building? What shapes do you see in the clouds?
  • Rearrange the furniture in your home or office. A new layout can make the familiar feel fresh again and get your creative juices flowing.

Thinking outside the box and forging your path may feel uncomfortable at first, but that discomfort means you’re breaking new ground! Don’t be afraid to be original. Your creativity will soar, and the world will be better for it. Now go forth and defy conformity! The next groundbreaking idea could be just one “eureka” moment away.

7. Sense of Humor

Characteristics of creativity, Sense of Humor
Sense of Humor

A sense of humor and the ability to laugh at yourself are two of the most underrated qualities of highly creative people.

Laughter is the Best medicine.

As the saying goes, laughter is the best medicine. Being able to see the light and funny side of situations, not take yourself too seriously, and laugh in the face of mistakes and imperfections is so important for creativity. When you’re able to have a good chuckle at your flaws and faults, it takes the pressure off and helps you think more openly and originally.

Don’t Sweat the Small stuff.

Creative people realize that not everything has to be perfect and that some things are out of our control. They don’t sweat the small stuff or minor imperfections and instead maintain an attitude of “it’ll all work out.” This ability to go with the flow and not get worked up over little details allows their minds to wander freely without constraints.

Bring Joy to others.

A sense of humor and playfulness also enable creative people to bring more joy, fun, and delight into the world. They can see the humor and comedy in everyday situations and interactions and make others laugh by not taking things too seriously. This ability to spread humor, joy, and play is a gift that enhances creativity.

Overall, having a sense of humor, being able to laugh at yourself, not sweating the small stuff, and spreading joy to others are all qualities that feed creativity and allow innovative ideas to blossom. So, lighten up and have a good laugh—your creativity will thank you!

8. Curiosity

One of the most crucial characteristics of highly creative people is an insatiable sense of curiosity about the world around them. Their minds are always active, seeking out new insights and understandings. Curiosity is what fuels their imagination and drives them to push beyond the status quo.

As a creative person, your curiosity is one of your greatest assets.

  • You question everything and want to know why things happen.
  • You have a thirst for learning and expanding your knowledge.
  • You observe details that others miss and make unexpected connections.
  • You wonder about what could be and imagine possibilities that don’t yet exist.

Cultivate your curiosity. Make a habit of asking questions, exploring new topics that intrigue you, and exposing yourself to unfamiliar subjects. Notice the little details in the world and reflect on how things work or could be improved. Let your mind wander and daydream; some of the most groundbreaking ideas started as “what ifs”.

Take a beginner’s mindset. Even for topics you think you understand well, approach them with a willingness to discover new insights. Read books or take a class on something that challenges you. Strike up a conversation with someone from a very different background or industry. Fresh perspectives unlock creative breakthroughs.

Your curiosity is a gift, so use it! The more you exercise your curiosity, the stronger it becomes. Follow where it leads you, ask provocative questions, and unleash your creativity. The world needs people like you to imagine what’s possible and push progress forward. Stay curious!

9. Daydreaming and Constant Mental Activity

Characteristics of creativity, Daydreaming and Constant Mental Activity
Daydreaming and Constant Mental Activity

Creativity comes from an active and curious mind. Your brain is constantly making connections between ideas, memories, and sensations, even when you’re not focused on a particular task. This mental activity and daydreaming are surprisingly important for creativity and insight.

An Active Mind Wanders

When your mind wanders, it explores new neural connections and possibilities. Studies show that an idle, daydreaming mind activates the same brain regions involved in imagination, insight, and abstract thinking. Let your mind roam freely and see where it takes you! New ideas and revelations often arise from these unstructured thoughts and daydreams.

Embrace moments of mental rest and let your thoughts meander. Some of the most famous ‘eureka!’ moments in history arose from letting the mind wander. Take breaks to rest your focused mind and tap into your wandering thoughts. You never know what connections or creative ideas may emerge!

Capture Those Ideas!

The downside of an active, wandering mind is that we often lose track of those bursts of insight or inspiration. Keep a notebook, voice recorder, or phone handy to capture any flashes of creativity that emerge from your daydreams or idle moments. These notes and recordings can become a reservoir of ideas to tap into for your next project or work of art.

Let your mind wander; it may take you to surprising places! An active, curious mind that embraces daydreaming and idle moments opens itself to more creativity, insight, and inspiration. Capture those mental sparks, and you’ll have a stockpile of creative potential waiting to be unleashed!

10. Intrinsic Motivation

Motivation is the key to unlocking your creative potential. When you’re intrinsically motivated, creativity flows freely. Intrinsic motivation means you’re driven by internal rewards like passion, interest, and personal growth rather than external pressures or rewards.

Find Your Passion.

Do things that ignite your passion! When you love what you’re doing, you’ll get into a state of flow where creativity thrives. Think about activities that energize and excite you. Maybe it’s painting, gardening, or writing stories. Make time each week to engage in work that motivates you from within.

Cultivate Curiosity

Cultivate a curious mindset. Read books on topics that fascinate you. Take a class on something new. Strike up conversations with people who have different life experiences than your own. Exposing yourself to new ideas and ways of thinking sparks connections in your brain that lead to those “aha!” moments of creativity.

Value the Process

Focus on the process, not the product. Enjoy the act of creating for its own sake rather than being attached to the result. Take pleasure in the journey. When you’re immersed in the present moment, your creative juices will flow freely without judgment or expectation. You’ll generate more original ideas and make unexpected discoveries along the way.

Tapping into your intrinsic motivation is the key to unlocking your natural creativity. Do work you find meaningful, nurture your curiosity about the world, and relish the creative process. With passion and persistence, you’ll be generating innovative ideas in no time! Now go cultivate your creativity; the possibilities are endless!

11. An Active Imagination

Characteristics of creativity, An Active Imagination
An Active Imagination

An active imagination is one of the most powerful tools in your creative arsenal. When your mind is free to wander and make new connections, that’s when your creativity can truly soar!

Feed Your Imagination.

Give your imagination plenty of fuel to feed on. Read books, watch movies, explore new hobbies, travel, or simply observe the world around you. The more you expose yourself to, the more raw materials your mind has to work with.

  • Read fiction books and get lost in imaginative worlds.
  • Watch films in different genres to spark new ideas.
  • Take up hobbies like photography, painting, or learning an instrument.
  • Travel to experience different cultures and ways of living.
  • Sit in public places and observe people going about their lives.

Daydream Productively

Set aside time each day just to daydream. But don’t just drift aimlessly; give your imagination a productive goal or problem to focus on. This focused daydreaming leads to unexpected insights and “aha!” moments.

Let your mind wander over a creative challenge you’re working on. Picture different scenarios and solutions. Play around with various options in your mind’s eye. Often, the ideas that emerge from these sessions are far more innovative than you could come up with through logical reasoning alone.

Keeping your imagination active and engaged takes deliberate effort, but the rewards of enhanced creativity and problem-solving skills are well worth it. An active imagination is truly the key to unlocking your creative potential. Give your imagination room to roam, and you’ll be delighted by where it can take you!

12. Persistence

Persistence is the key to unlocking your creativity. When the going gets tough, the tough get going! Don’t give up in the face of failures or roadblocks. Push through and persevere.

Keep Trying

Persistence means continuing to work at something, even when it’s difficult or not progressing as quickly as you’d like. The path to success is rarely straightforward. Expect obstacles and setbacks along the way. Rather than getting discouraged, stay determined. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Maintaining a “try, try again” attitude will serve you well.

Start Small

Don’t feel overwhelmed by huge, ambitious goals. Break big dreams into smaller, more manageable steps. Celebrate small wins to stay motivated. Focus on continuous progress, not perfection. Start with something simple today, then build on it tomorrow. Momentum builds on itself. Before you know it, you’ll be achieving more than you ever thought possible!

Learn from your mistakes.

When things don’t go as planned, look for the lesson. Failure is part of growth. View setbacks as stepping stones, not stumbling blocks. Ask yourself what you can improve on next time. Be willing to try new approaches and make changes. Your creativity will blossom from a place of flexibility, not rigidity.

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With determination and grit, you can achieve amazing things. Stay dedicated to your vision and keep putting one foot in front of the other. Don’t get discouraged easily. Learn from your mistakes and try again. Persistence cultivates creativity! You’ve got this. Now go get started!

Harnessing Your Natural Creativity

Here are few ways to harness your creativity.

1. Tap into your innate creativity!

You were born creative. As children, we all have an innate ability to imagine, dream, and explore the world through art, stories, games, and make-believe. Unfortunately, for many adults, this natural creativity gets diminished over time through social conditioning and limiting beliefs. The good news is that you can reawaken your inner creator!

2. Play like a kid again.

Do you remember how much fun it was to play as a child? Re-ignite your sense of playfulness. Finger paint, build with blocks, act out stories, and dance like no one is watching. Play stimulates the imagination and lowers inhibitions, allowing your creativity to flow freely.

3. Daydream productively

Daydreaming gets a bad rap, but it’s actually highly creative! Take time each day to just sit, relax, and let your mind wander. Don’t judge your thoughts or try to control them. See where your mind takes you. You may stumble upon an innovative idea or solution to a problem. Many of the world’s greatest inventions were discovered while daydreaming!

4. Ask “what if” questions.

“What if” is one of the most powerful questions for sparking new ideas. Start asking optimistic “what if” questions about your areas of interest. “What if I could fly to the moon in an afternoon?” “What if computers could read our minds?” The sillier and more far-fetched the question, the more it will help you break free of constraints and open you up to exciting new possibilities. Your natural creativity is just waiting to be unleashed! Give yourself opportunities each day to tap into that innate sense of wonder and joy of imagining. You’ll be delighted by the creative results.


You now know that creativity is not some mystical talent reserved only for artists and inventors. Every one of us has the capacity for creative thinking—you just have to nurture it. Feed your curiosity, seek out new experiences, play and have fun, embrace constraints, and surround yourself with supportive people who stimulate your imagination. When you open your mind and release your inner child, that’s when your creativity can truly take flight.

So what are you waiting for? Go ahead—doodle, daydream, brainstorm, build, write, cook, and compose. Tap into that creative spirit and see where it leads you. The world needs more creativity, and you have so much amazing potential waiting to be unlocked. Now go unleash your creativity on the world!


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