Why Are We the Way We Are? A List of Things Creative People Do Differently
If you're a creative person, you might've wondered, perhaps especially in your youth, what the hell was wrong with you. Maybe you were the "weird" kid in class that was always looking out the window, or maybe you were teased for your bizarre taste in clothes. We've all been there -- it kind of goes with the territory if you're creative, and according to this article from the Huffington Post, many of us do a lot of the same things because we're creative. Continue on for a scientific look at things highly creative people do -- learn a little bit more about yourself, as well as get inspired to try something new.
I've spent more than my fair share of time in the principal's office, detention, or getting lectured by some sort of authority figure for doing things described in this article by Carolyn Gregoire of the Huffington Post. In fact, I still get chided (ever so lovingly) from time to time by my friends who have long since "grown up" and taken personal responsibility by the horns, as well as having felt the strong pull of the status quo telling me to hurry up, follow directions, and not to wear wool socks with sandals and sweat shorts (unless I'm in Portland -- Portland let's me be weird).
Creatives have a distinctive nature. Many of us have gone years wondering what exactly makes us so restless, difficult to relate to, or even difficult to understand. Gregoire investigates the neuroscience behind creativity and found that --
Psychologically speaking, creative personality types are difficult to pin down, largely because they're complex, paradoxical and tend to avoid habit or routine. And it's not just a stereotype of the "tortured artist" -- artists really may be more complicated people.
Okay -- maybe "complicated" isn't something you'd put in bold on your online dating profile, but check out this list of characteristics and behaviors typically found in creative personalities and see how many of them you do daily.
- They daydream.
- They observe everything.
- They work the hours that work for them.
- They take time for solitude.
- They turn life’s obstacles around.
- They seek out new experiences.
- They “fail up.”
- They ask the big questions.
- They people-watch.
- They take risks.
- They view all of life as an opportunity for self-expression.
- They follow their true passions.
- They get out of their own heads.
- They lose track of the time.
- They surround themselves with beauty.
- They connect the dots.
- They constantly shake things up.
- They make time for mindfulness.
Gregoire does a great job expounding upon each behavior scientifically, adding quotes from scientific articles and artists alike. For instance, to explain why creatives people watch, she quotes Scott Barry Kaufman, a psychologist at New York University, as saying that, "For a lot of writers, people-watching is very important -- They're keen observers of human nature." He also states that Marcel Proust's books were written through observations he had over a lifetime of people-watching.
My biggest takeaway from this list (overall) is that it's good to be different. Nearly everything on the list challenges the traditional modus operandi, wondering if there isn't a better method, new idea, or different connection to be made. The act of creating is more than slapping paint onto canvas or tossing some actors onto a set -- it's a delicate, vicious, scary, lonely, hopeful, hopeless, and utterly complicated and seemingly impossible process. But most of all, it's intimate and personal. So, understanding yourself a little more will absolutely help you when it comes time to get creative -- this list is a good starting point.
If you want to learn more about Gregoire's findings, you can check out her full article here.
[via Go Into the Story]