Cultivate A Creative Thinking Habit



One of the many things I love about my job is the opportunities it affords me to see the world from a different perspective. From other people’s ideas of a worthy goal to learning stuff that sheds a new light on something everyday.


A prime example (and in fact one of the first things for me) of this “new perspective thinking” was the idea that depression, anxiety and anger are –in the right context- a very useful thing.


Another example is what Jane Porter (of calls “a creative thinking habit”.


Habits are usually associated with negative things like smoking, nail biting, nose picking, and public displays of genital scratching… to name just a few. A habit is, of course, anything that one does a) regularly or b) as an automatic response to a particular stimulus.


There are plenty of examples of positive habits.


  • Dieting
  • Exercise
  • Smiling at people
  • Driving
  • Dancing at weddings
  • Waving at people who honk there horn at you


How good or bad a habit is depends on the results it gives you. With that in mind, let see what a “creative thinking habit” is and how we cultivate it.


Accord to work of Robert Sternberg, psychologist and psychometrician, creativity comes in a range of strength, from “big-C” (which is the realm of super genius’ like Einstein, Da Vinci and Tesla) to “little-c” (where we find the more usual creativity).


As with all thing on a scale, we are naturally somewhere on it (whether through DNA or upbringing) and with practice we can work our way up.


Or as Jane Porter puts it…


What’s certain is that you don’t just magically land in “Big-C” land one day. It takes the cumulative effect of thinking creatively every day, so much so that you don’t even realize you’re doing it. In short, creativity becomes a default mode. “Creative people are creative … not as a result of any particular inborn trait, but, rather, through an attitude toward life,” says Sternberg. “They habitually respond to problems in fresh and novel ways, rather than allowing themselves to respond mindlessly and automatically.”


So what does it take to become a creative thinker?

Investment theory of creativity

Any good money man will tell you the key to success in stocks and trade is to buy low and sell high. On the surface, this rather glib and over used cliché seems meaninglessly obvious. Underneath the ‘P.T. Barnum’ style of this statement lies a hidden truth behind creativities’ secrets.

To “buy low” means to buck trends, to go against the crowd. If a share price is low then it’s because nobody believes it. This is not to say you should bet on long runs and hope for the best, but all the most creative people or ideas have face opposition. They are creative because they persevered… regardless of what others believes.

This is exactly what Sternberg recommends…

The takeaway here is that creativity isn’t just a habit cultivated over time. It’s also, to some extent, an act of bravery. Says Sternberg: “One has to be willing to stand up to conventions if one wants to think and act in creative ways.”

So if you want to be more creative then practice seeing the world from as more different perspectives as you can, be brave and persevere.

Leave a Reply