Being Super Creative is a process of thought and a manner of being. Super Creatives often visualize complex results before taking action to solve the problem. They are more apt to diverge from the standard script; they know there is a better, fresher, more efficient way to get results. They like a challenge and prefer originality. They write their own rules. They live these principles at work, home, and during the must mundane of tasks. Being super creative has a lot to do with being painfully efficient but with purpose. Nothing associated with super creativity is accidental. Friends and associates sometimes think these people are “extra,” but they nevertheless seek them out often for advice and leadership.
I live and identify with the practices of Super Creatives, and I’ve sharpened these skills growing up in a uniquely Super Creative household as well as naturally being drawn to other Super Creative souls. Without realizing, I’ve used these principles to challenge norms and present fresh perspectives. I am always processing multiple outcomes and solutions when problem-solving. This way of living has contributed to my success in innovative product and brand development. It’s helped me do everything from think of more efficient ways to organize my closet to find ways to book the cheapest airline ticket. It’s often allowed me to ask, “why not?”
Here are a few aspects you’ll find to be true of most Super Creative people:
They Move Among Excellence. Super Creatives accessorize their lives expertly. We network and connect with those who are all-around excellent and seek and keep quality company. Your associates are your influencers. Super Creative people commune with the best because they know that iron sharpens iron. Keep a brilliant circle. Edit your social ecosystem often, and categorize your connections. Create your mental filing system: those who are engaged and interested; the barterer; the take-but-don’t-givers; the passive; the social climbers, and users. Open files as needed.
They Adopt Early. Super Creatives know about the evolving trends before anyone else does. They’re usually responsible for birthing and evolving them. Make it your priority to be in the know. Super Creatives are early adopters and move through challenging learning curves with comfort. They like the challenge of newness and the uncertainty of the unfamiliar — these qualities keep them thinking and fresh. By the time the majority are in the know, it’s usually old news for the creative.
They Don’t Ignore Pop Culture. Super Creatives never take the position of believing that common culture is irrelevant, beneath, beyond, or outside of their realm of understanding or tolerance. Fascinating observations and patterns can be identified from understanding pockets of society. Super Creatives watch, listen, learn, and mimic; they look for patterns of behavior. They’re in constant ethnographic mode. We observe, we’re inspired, and we’re ready to problem-solve or create.
Super Creatives Take Note. Keep quality writing instruments — pen or pencil, sharpener, eraser, and journal — on your person at all times; you never know when you’ll need to have a fast draw duel with Bansky. Be prepared to record your creative musings at all times, and if and when you have to sign a document, you’ll look super boss.
Become the Jack-of-all-Trades: Master The Ones That Count. Super Creatives learn it all and do it well. We stay curious. Today’s creatives are expected to blend skill sets effortlessly. If you don’t know how to do a certain something, Google it. When Super Creatives need to know more about “it,” they invest more time and effort to master it. With the accessibility of information today, there aren’t any more excuses. Super Creatives may not be an EXPERT at everything, however they are curious enough to engage and learn broadly. Imbibe information and the unfamiliar.
Cultivate a Circle of Culture: Be Socially & Globally Diverse. Super Creatives value culture. Develop friendships with interesting humans from around the globe who live lives that are unlike your own. Via your relationships with them, the way in which you see the world will forever be unique. I have a few great friends who live in Taiwan…I can’t read many of their Mandarin posts on social media, but from viewing their personal photo journeys, I’ve received great non-American perspectives. Those friends will make your life that much richer. Super Creatives have global social ecosystems. We love culture and understand the value of learning new ways of seeing.
Experience Life. Super Creatives always deviate from the standard script and schedule for the more interesting option. If you have a chance to do something amazing, don’t second-guess: do it. Book that last-minute flight, plan a visit on a whim, jump out of that Piper with a parachute. You live once and will never get that exact moment back again.
Be Classic. Super Creatives cultivate all things owned, worn, consumed, and loved. The things they spend time with are selected with care. Objects influence. Be influenced by good design and well-planned artifacts — this of course applies to good souls. The things you choose should be of value to you and last forever. People should leave positive lasting impressions.
Take it Light. My Dad used to say “Take it Light,” a ’70s phrase that I interpreted as travel light, which allows one to travel further. Don’t allow objects and clutter to occupy your physical space and your thoughts. Get rid of the heavy. Think light, live clear. Allow for more capacity to problem-solve and create.
Burn Bridges. Forget not burning bridges. If you must, the London, Brooklyn, and Golden Gate can all go down in flames. I question the notion that you have to preserve meaningless or BS relationships. Why waste your bandwidth on a meaningless connection? Burn it. You don't have to go out of your way to sabotage a draining, all-take-no-reciprocate relationship, but you also don’t need to spend any time nurturing a deemed-to-be-dead connection. Sometimes it’s as simple as not returning a text or DM. Save your energy for relationships that yield strong, purposed bounty. Often the fuel from that fire makes your pathway brighter.
Super Creatives Push Boundaries and Norms. Be the ignition. Be the instigator. Disrupt group think. Find another path to the solution. Be Original and Fresh.
Delanie West is a product developer and designer specializing in creative team management.