Thanks for all the comments on the last post about how you feed your creative genius. I promised to reveal some of mine…
I will do that. But on the next post. Today I want to talk about what makes creative people creative – and give you a little creativity test I designed especially for you!
Characteristics of Creative People…
Creative people aren’t necessarily the best educated or have the highest I.Q. In fact, because of the way the formal education system is designed, it often squelches creativity. Much of what is taught is simply memorization, which inhibits creativity. And the way math and other sciences are often taught also focus only on the logical side, to the detriment of creative thinking.
We take beautiful, bright five year olds—full of creativity—and tell them to sit up straight in desks, not talk, and raise their hand when they want to go to the bathroom. Eventually the school system beats their creativity into submission. If I could give you three things to save your child’s creativity it would be these:
1) Help them discover a passion for reading.
2) Let them experience other parts of the world through travel.
3) Place them in a Montessori-type learning environment.
Creative People Are:
The characteristics you see above provide creative people with a very rich diet of stimulation, variety, and situations. They are exposed to a steady stream of new opinions, languages, cultures, and attitudes. They see a much broader spectrum of society, people in general, and the world. They see the same thing handled in many different ways, so it opens up the mind to problem solving, lateral thinking, and innovation.
I can tell you that just being back in Sydney, where they drive and walk on the other side of the street, is a good charge for my mental stimulation. In Miami it is winter, here it is summer. Interestingly, in Miami I sleep on the right side of the bed, here I sleep on the left side of the bed. What's up with that!
These creativity skills we’re discussing will serve you well in school, relationships, and work. In fact, creative people have a very strong likelihood to be successful and wealthy. They are great for inventing things, solving challenges, and envisioning new markets.
Creativity is one of the other ways to develop genius, other than what is measured on a standard IQ test. In fact, recent research in the fields of perception, psycho-biology, and neuroscience have revealed that there is more than one area of intelligence. In fact, they have discovered at least six— each one hard wired into a different area of the brain. The people that we consider geniuses (like Mozart, Einstein, and others) have succeeded on tapping into a second area of intelligence, or possibly a third. Most everyone else, works in mostly one region of the brain, and uses less that 10 percent of their brain’s capacity.
What’s Your CQ?
So how are your creativity skills? Take the test I designed to measure your CQ – your Creativity Quotient.
1. Do you fail a lot, because you are willing to try many new, high-risk endeavors?
2. Are you highly self-motivated?
3. Do you have vivid colorful dreams, many of which you remember in the morning?
4. Do you enjoy learning about other cultures and nationalities, exploring other languages and customs?
5. Have you traveled international extensively?
6. Do you ask a lot of “what if” questions that challenge current accepted norms?
7. Do you hear a song for the first time, or the start of a sentence, and know how they will finish it? Or likewise, know the outcome of a TV show or movie, five minutes into it?
8. Are you more emotional than most people?
9. Do you have a career that involves writing, acting, painting, singing, or other artistic endeavors?
10. Are you the kind of person who isn’t happy and productive unless you’re doing at least four or five tasks simultaneously?
11. Do people tell you that you’re a “clothes horse,” or dress stylishly or alternative?
12. Do you look at a situation and see how things could be better arranged to work better?
13. Did you excel in creative writing or drama when you were in school?
14. Do you come up with a steady stream of original ideas in response to what happens to you each day?
15. Do you adapt easily to a new job, home, or school?
16. Do you daydream a lot, picturing yourself in different scenarios?
17. Do you often get struck with a flash of insight when you’ve left a problem to percolate in your subconscious mind?
18. Do you usually read four or five books at a time?
19. Do you take “disengagement breaks” from a creative project that you are momentarily stuck on?
20. Have you made a sharp change in lifestyle preference — such as going from a conservative dresser to a funky one, antique furniture to contemporary, metal rock to Opera—since becoming an adult?
Add up the number of times that you answered YES. Keep in mind that this little quiz is meant to measure only ONE area of your genius. You could score Zero on it, but still be a bona fide genius in other areas. In fact, many people who have two or three college degrees will score very low. That’s because the education process has subjugated their creativity.
The point of this test is to determine where you are exactly in the creativity sector only. I believe that you can develop your genius in all areas. So even if you feel like creativity is not one of your strengths—it can be learned. We just need to know your starting point. With that in mind, here’s how I would categorize the scores:
0 – 5 You are below even creativity levels of the masses. You may be highly educated, or just someone who is very strong in logical, analytical processes. You are missing a great deal in life, because you haven’t let your creative kid come out to play in a long time. You will see major benefits in doing some of the things I’ll suggest in the next post. It will open a whole new universe in your problem solving and innovation abilities.
6 – 10 You are about average in creativity. Which is a polite way to say mediocre. While you are certainly on a level with the rest of society, that’s no place to stake out a comfort zone. Work on tomorrow’s post with the goal of getting into the above average or genius levels, where the real stimulation and rewards take place.
11 – 15 You are above average in your creative skills. Which is always a good place to be, but there is still room at the top. Particularly if you scored 11 or 12. A small improvement from this level makes for significant rewards both personally and professionally.
16 – 20 If you scored 16 or higher, this is where the cool kids with the pumped up kicks live. You’re in the creative genius category. You have likely already done most of the things we’ll discuss tomorrow, or are currently doing them. While you may pick up a notch or two, your biggest rewards will come from developing your other areas of genius, which we’ll be exploring in some future posts.
So how did you score and what do you think of the test? Please share any revelations or insights you have below. And be creative for God’s sake! 🙂 Next post, I’ll reveal my top secret, thermo nuclear creativity stimulators!
P.S. For you guys wondering, that statue pic of Mozart is from the Burggarten park in the center of Vienna. The Mozart Memorial erected in 1896, is a master work in marble by Victor Tilgner.