What is a genius?
Many think of figures like Albert Einstein or Stephen Hawking, and there’s no doubt they fit the bill!
But genius doesn’t fit in such a tight intellectual box.
The truth is that there are many ways to be a genius.
One of the most vivid and unique is to be a creative genius.
If you’re demonstrating a lot of the following signs, you may well be a creative genius who hasn’t realized it yet or allowed society to undervalue your brilliance.
1) You’ve always had a wild imagination
Let’s start with first things first:
Every creative genius has a wild imagination right from the start.
You were that kid in kindergarten being told to quiet down while you spun wild tales of knights and goblins for your classmates.
You were that fifth grader who created an entire science fiction universe with its own language and levitation technology when other kids were still focused on winning toys out of cereal boxes.
You’ve always had a wild imagination, and you can’t help it.
Even when teachers, friends or family may have told you to get real and come back down to earth, you can’t help your vivid imagination from going down new paths and exploring new ideas.
You’ve always been unstoppably imaginative and if you were forced to never engage in fantasy and imagination again you just wouldn’t be you.
2) You’ve loved reading and exploring new worlds physically and figuratively since a young age
Another of the preparatory signs you are a creative genius (even when society tells you otherwise) is that you’ve loved exploring other worlds since a young age.
This often extends both physically and figuratively.
In other words, you loved finding new paths through the woods or discovering a new place to swim at the river and seeing different types of animals…
But you also loved diving into Treasure Island and then devouring every adventure, sci-fi and fantasy book you could get your hands on.
The common theme is that you have an urge to discover new horizons, cross frontiers and go beyond the limits of what’s available.
Since a young age you’ve been the type who was endlessly curious and couldn’t get enough of asking questions.
“This kid’s going places,” the summer camp counselor might have told your parents.
“What, with all his drawings of aliens and weird stories about a fantasy kingdom?” your skeptical dad might have said.
Think of somebody like Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin. Growing up in the 1950s to a family which had lost everything in the Great Depression, Martin yearned for adventure and new places from an early age.
Small town New Jersey had him feeling trapped, but he had to go to school and do things children do. So he started escaping to other worlds in his mind, selling stories for a penny each to other kids in the village and telling them the stories out loud with reenacting scenes and everything.
It must have seemed childish to his parents at the time, but Martin is now one of the most successful authors in any genre of all time.
3) You have a knack for creative endeavors and art forms that you pick up and master rapidly
The next of the key signs you are a creative genius (even when society tells you otherwise) is that you pick up new artistic and creative skills very rapidly.
This may be playing music, drawing, dancing, writing, woodworking or any other creative skill.
You find something creative you love and have a knack for and before you know it you’ve mastered it beyond people who’ve done it for years.
This kind of innate genius doesn’t come often and it’s very valuable and rare.
When you not only love something but are also extremely skilled at it, that’s a powerful combination.
Stick with it, because even if you get criticized for picking at your guitar all day, you may be on a journey of creative genius that most others just can’t yet grasp.
This brings me to the next sign…
4) You’re intensely passionate about projects and ideas that stun and amaze others
The next of the important signs you are a creative genius (even when society tells you otherwise) is that you’re intensely passionate and focused on projects and bringing your ideas to life.
You have creative ideas about your chosen hobbies or field that you want to bring to fruition.
Often, this may revolve around artistic and intuitive endeavors, but in some cases it may also be on the creative side of mathematics and physics.
For example, we can see how a figure such as Elon Musk has considerable mathematical and technological skills but also has a wild imagination and dreams big about projects and ideas that often seem pie-in-the-sky at first.
Yet years later, looking back at his predictions and projects, many have come true and are in the process of coming true.
5) You’re able to tackle problems in completely new ways
Being a creative genius is about far more than just thinking outside the box in terms of giant avant-garde art projects or new ways to plant city gardens.
It’s also about tackling large and small problems in totally unique ways.
This may be something as massive as global pollution or as corporate corruption, or something as seemingly small as improving traffic or bettering art education in public high schools by making the curriculum more accessible for students.
Maybe you come up with the idea of offering mental health services online, or invent an app that helps people cope with common issues they may experience with their vehicle.
In one way or another, your creative approach has you coming up with a unique approach that cuts through all the noise and finds brilliant new ways of solving things.
6) You see life and reality from angles others never consider
One of the other biggest signs you are a creative genius (even when society tells you otherwise) is that you see life and reality from many unique angles.
If we’re living in a parallel universe, you’d be the first to have it under investigation or at least write a screenplay about it.
Your creativity never lets your imagination rest and you are always thinking of life in new and fun ways that surprise other people and help them see situations and people in new and innovative ways.
You may direct a music video that changes the whole music industry, or make a board game that gets people away from their computer and back to hanging out with their friends and family in person.
You’re creative, so there’s really no limit to what you can do.
7) You have a verbal, spatial, visual or auditory talent that far surpasses any of your peers
It can be difficult to measure talent and assess it in comparison to other people, but the truth is that sooner or later it tends to emerge and be recognized.
For example, songwriters often have an almost innate creative knack for pairing melody and lyrics or encapsulating a theme or emotion within a few seconds of the sound of the chorus.
Others study all the technical aspects, understand how to do it on paper, but just can’t come up with that one big hit that catches everyone’s attention.
What led to the genius of the songwriter who was able to capture something timeless and the other who wrote a trash barrel song that never made it anywhere?
8) You’re able to connect, link and synergize concepts and ideas that others never saw any bond between
Next up in terms of the top signs you are a creative genius (even when society tells you otherwise) is that you are able to link and synergize concepts that seem totally separate to others.
For example, what if there’s a strong link between architecture and mental health? (There is).
How does the history of industrialization connect with the growth of capitalism and how is our current technological revolution similar or different from economic and industrial revolutions which have come before?
How is the Protestant Reformation linked or different from the move to individualism and modern technology?
What if we had the option on each block or apartment complex to begin cooking as communities instead of wasting money on packaged food and all eating junk separately in our lonely homes?
These are the kinds of questions that may start as simple thought exercises or musing over a cup of coffee.
But they can lead down some deep rabbit holes and into some really fruitful territory.
That’s part of why creative geniuses often remain unrecognized or dismissed for a long time, because society expects instant results and monetization, but some great ideas take years to percolate and grow.
9) You have different and intense sides of yourself that form certain tensions and complexities
There’s nothing cool or brilliant about having a split personality or multiple personalities. In fact Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) can be a serious pathological condition.
But it is true that many artistic and creative types contain inner tensions and different sides to themselves.
Artists famously may have strong mood swings or big ups and downs. That’s certainly true in the brilliant artists I know.
What’s also true is that they have different sorts of sides to themselves. It’s more than just having an inner clown, an inner sad guy and an inner manly man.
The creative genius has very different states of being and goes through big “periods” in his or her life.
Some periods may be spent alone a lot in nature, others desiring the company of people. Some may have very strong religious or spiritual phases (see Bob Dylan’s sudden conversion to evangelical Christianity, for example) or may go on long bouts of spiritual exploration.
“You often find yourself thinking one thing, then changing that thought to the total opposite. It’s almost like you’re an embodiment of multiple individuals.”
10) You’re intensely emotionally intelligent and mindful of your own experiences and those of others
Emotional intelligence is a quality that many creative geniuses and talented individuals possess in spades.
They are very adept at understanding and processing their own feelings and those of others.
Creative geniuses tend to be able to produce works of art and innovative designs that surpass others partly because of this ability to read, understand and be comfortable around strong emotions.
Many people have difficulty with emotions that overwhelm them or seem hard to process.
But for the creative type, the mess of their emotions and other people’s are also a beautiful mystery.
Even when they are also baffled by strong experiences, the creative genius tends to find some meaning or beauty even in the most bizarre of experiences.
Which brings me to the next point…
11) You absorb disappointment, heartbreak and trauma and turn it into healing, transcendent creations
Another of the strong signs you are a creative genius (even when society tells you otherwise) is that you are able to shape emotions and trauma into art and creation.
Many people run away from difficult or intense emotions. Creative geniuses tend to seem strong feelings and experiences as clay they can shape in many forms.
Whether that’s theater, brilliant advertising campaigns, a song that changes the world or a new way of doing business that revolutionizes our way of life, the creative genius is almost always feeling strongly.
They take this strong feeling and put it into creative endeavors and projects.
He may take his struggle with addiction and turn it into a film…
She may take her broken relationship and turn it into an amazing song that helps many people heal from heartbreak.
The creative genius is always at work transforming pain and trauma.
Unchain your creative ingenuity
Unchaining creativity is a matter of encouraging and giving time to your imagination and your creative side.
We can’t all be creative geniuses, but we can stimulate that creative, artistic side of ourselves.
For those who notice a lot of the signs above lining up with who they are, there’s definitely some indication that you may lean toward being a creative genius.
If so, I’d love to hear from you. Creative geniuses are fascinating and brilliant people!