9 signs you’re a creative thinker with an endless supply of ideas

Do you identify as a creative?

Do you ever fear you’ve lost your creative spark, only to find it revisit you again?

Many creatives can relate.

You may go through seasons where you fear your creativity has left you, but the spark can and does come back.

Here are nine signs that you are a creative thinker with endless ideas, and things you can do to encourage your spark:

1) You find inspiration everywhere

As a creative thinker, you find inspiration anywhere and everywhere.

You find yourself deeply affected by a film, thinking about it for days.

You take an idea from a book you read and connect it to another idea you read or heard elsewhere.

You have a conversation that makes you think of other conversations, and it inspires you to change your mind or adjust your thinking.

You may find yourself equally moved by the beauty of the natural world, a well-designed building, or a masterful piece of music.

You find beauty and enlightenment in strange places. You see things that might not be immediately obvious.

Your mind is open and ready to find inspiration anywhere, and the sources of your inspiration are often eclectic and varied.

2) Inspiration can strike you at any time

If you’re someone in a typically creative field, inspiration doesn’t just come to you when you sit down to write or draw or make something.

It could strike when you’re brushing your teeth, driving down the highway, or having a conversation with a friend or child or significant other.

Ideas can come to you at any time, and they can just as easily leave the scene if you don’t have a way of capturing them.

If you have your phone with you, try taking a minute to jot down your idea in your notes app. You could just as easily do the same in a notebook dedicated to ideas.

In itself, having a flow of ideas that can come to you anytime and anyplace is a valuable thing that should not be taken for granted.

3) You often daydream and allow your mind to wander

You find yourself daydreaming often, thinking about future plans and possibilities.

Daydreaming can be a strength. It can help you dream big and get specific.

Allowing your mind to wander is not just freeing – it can be incredibly useful, too!

It can help you make connections and come up with ideas and solutions you might not have otherwise.

But maybe you feel that your daydreaming and mind wandering distract you from other tasks at hand.

I understand the impulse to harness these qualities in a more productive way.

Again, writing down your ideas and coming back to them later could help in focusing on the task at hand.

On the other hand, maybe you want to encourage more daydreaming!

Try doing the activities that encourage daydreaming for you – and this time, tune into your mind’s wandering.

Keep your phone or notebook handy so you can write down what comes to mind!

4) You find yourself starting more ideas and projects than finishing

The sheer amount of ideas and projects you have going can be overwhelming at times, and you might not finish every project you start.

This is okay.

You don’t have to finish every single thing you start and it’s good to explore your interests and know when to quit if something is not worth pursuing to you.

How do you know where to draw the line, and which ideas and projects to continue pursuing?

Something I think about often is the Japanese concept of Ikigai.

What does this have to do with the creative process?

Allow me to share what I’ve learned…

5) You find joy in the creative process

zodiac signs whose personalities break all astrological stereotypes 9 signs you're a creative thinker with an endless supply of ideas

I was introduced to Ikigai as being at the crossroads of what you love, what you’re good at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for.

But there is debate about whether this is an authentically Japanese view or a Westernized one.

According to Ikigai Tribe, Ikigai is not a “lofty and formidable goal to achieve.” It does not have to involve a talent or payment, or be something the world needs.

Rather, Ikigai is essentially “a reason to get up in the morning” or “a reason to enjoy life.” It’s “embracing the joy of little things and being in the here and now.”

At the time, the way I was first introduced to Ikigai was helpful. It gave me some new insight on finding purpose, which you might find helpful as well.

But it’s important to note that a more authentic representation of the Japanese concept focuses on simplicity and joy.

A creative thinker finds joy in the process of generating ideas and then bringing their ideas to life. They can find joy in the small things, whether in work or life, and this keeps them going.

6) You’re curious about the world and ask genuine questions

Curiosity is a telltale sign of creativity. It’s what drives you to explore, experiment, question, seek answers, and discover new insights.

How do you know you’re a curious soul?

One measure is that you ask questions with an open mind and a genuine interest in learning something new.

With this mindset you find yourself learning new things often and coming up with fresh ideas and insights along the way.

Lifelong learning is not the easiest undertaking and should not be taken for granted.

We tend to have long-held beliefs and opinions by the time we’re adults and can become stagnant in our growth.

I have empathy for this. We all have our reasons for holding certain things close.

The problem lies in finding ourselves so attached to certain ideas and beliefs that we reject any new information that may challenge the things we hold close.

As someone who is curious, you can explore new ideas with intellectual humility and are always learning as a result.

In other words, you accept that you don’t know everything and you are open to learning and changing your mind with new information.

7) You’re open to ideas and solutions from anyone and anywhere

With intellectual humility comes the idea that others who come from completely different walks, beliefs, and politics might have important things to teach you.

Writing for The British Psychological Society, psychologist and author Elaine Fox sums it up well:

“Those high in intellectual humility agree with statements such as ‘I recognize the value in opinions that are different to my own’ and ‘I am open to revising my important beliefs in the face of new information.'”

This doesn’t necessarily mean you are constantly changing your mind or that you don’t know what you believe.

Although if you truly embrace intellectual humility you will likely go through periods where you are realigning your values and reassessing what you think and believe about key issues.

Even after ‘figuring things out,’ a telltale sign of creative thinking is that you continue drawing from different wells of wisdom, changing your mind when you outgrow old ways of thinking.

8) You might fail but you keep learning and growing

In our current social climate, it can feel shameful to discover you were wrong, especially with cancel culture and calling people out for things they said and did in the past.

But the truth is, it’s actually an honorable thing to recognize and sincerely admit you were wrong and/or have changed your mind about something.

Being wrong might be seen as a failure, but acknowledging your wrongs can be a step in the right direction.

In her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, psychologist and researcher Carol Dweck writes:

“Exceptional people seem to have… a special talent for converting life’s setbacks into future successes.”

Regarding the growth mindset, Dweck writes,  “Failure can be a painful experience. But it doesn’t define you. It’s a problem to be faced, dealt with, and learned from.”

9) You find the inspiration to continue on your creative path despite failure

You are not broken by challenges and disappointments.

With a growth mindset you are able to continue mastering your skills or redirect your efforts in a more productive way.

Yes, you might feel uninspired for some time.

You might grieve things not working out the way you wanted or expected them to.

But you’ve been here before, and you always recover.

You have the resilience to continue on your creative path in spite of failures and unexpected outcomes.

How do you know you’re a creative thinker with an endless supply of ideas?

The ideas keep coming, even when you encounter failure, challenges, and unmet expectations.

Challenges lead to new insight and growth, and allow you to come up with better ideas and solutions.

Tidenek Haileselassie

Tidenek Haileselassie

Tidenek is a writer who calls Ethiopia and other places home. She enjoys exploring places, including home, through a traveler’s eyes, and accidentally discovering things when lost.

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