By Eric Barker
September 24, 2014
IDEAS
Barker is the author of Barking Up The Wrong Tree

Work hard

Hard work (often more than 10,000 hours worth) is vital.

Via Creating Minds: An Anatomy of Creativity Seen Through the Lives of Freud, Einstein, Picasso, Stravinsky, Eliot, Graham, and Ghandi:

This type of Deliberate Practice and dedication is what it takes to become an expert. Formal education isn’t as important: most creative geniuses had the equivalent of a college dropout level of schooling.

Be curious and driven

For his book Creativity, noted professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi did interviews with 91 groundbreaking individuals across a number of disciplines, including 14 Nobel Prize winners. In 50 Psychology Classics Tom Butler-Bowdon summed up many of Csikszentmihalyi’s findings including this one:

Live in a big city

There’s a reason you’re more likely to find artists in cities. Cities are more creative and their inhabitants are too.

Via Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation:

Balance creative teams

The most creative teams are a mix of old friends and new blood.

Via Imagine: How Creativity Works:

Keep lots of ideas banging around in your head

Having multiple hobbies allows your brain to subconsciously compare and contrast problems and solutions, forming new connections at the margins of each.

Via Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation:

Similarly, reading multiple books at the same time vs serially lets your brain juxtapose new ideas and develop new connections.

Via Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation:

Work on projects because of passion, not money

This is what produces the best art and, eventually, the most success.

Via Daniel Pink’s very interesting book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us:

Everything you need to know to be more creative is here.

This piece originally appeared on Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

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