Hard work (often more than 10,000 hours worth) is vital.
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.
Balance creative teams
The most creative teams are a mix of old friends and new blood.
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.
Similarly, reading multiple books at the same time vs serially lets your brain juxtapose new ideas and develop new connections.
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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