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how can we know someone is creative?

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  • bfrank
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    First, understand: everybody is creative. Some of us just don't exercise our creativity as much as other folks to.

    Just as some folks don't exercise their abs or pecs or biceps or quadriceps as much as others. So these muscles just don't develop. If they are never exercised at all, they can shrivel or even atrophy.

    Creativity is a muscle of the mind. You might think of the 7 Neglected Muscles of the Mind: awareness, enthusiasm, optimism, empathy, wonder, tenacity, and creativity. Everyone has all these muscles, but if we don't use 'em, we lose 'em (or at least they grow weak and dwindle away).

    Remember, the body has over 600 muscles. Some of them are involuntary and work whether we are aware of it or not (stomach muscle and heart muscles, say). Memory and perception are such muscles of the mind. But others--the so-called striated muscles--you know, those pecs and abs--can be exercised and trained and developed. OK, maybe not everybody can be an Arnold Swarzenegger of the mind, or would even want to be. But everybody can be creative.

    So what is creativity? How can we know it when we see it?

    First, the creative thinker is a divergent thinker. Divergent thinking is simply coming up with a number of different ways to do something or to solve a problem. Inventors are divergent thinkers. Convergent thinking, on the other hand, is coming up with the one right answer, the one correct solution to a problem. People who are good at working jigsaw puzzles are exercising convergent thinking: they are coming up with the one right answer, the one correct solution to a problem. People who like to play with legos or erector sets, coming up with many different structures, then taking them apart and doing it again--these people are using divergent thinking.

    All young children are divergent thinkers. Watch them play with their toys (or sand at the beech, on empty bottles in your kitchen, or pebbles from a creek, or buttons from a sewing basket).

    But when they start to school, their teachers and parents may put most of the emphasis on finding the right answer (the answer in the back of the book, the way to pass the SAT). Youngsters who get too involved in divergent thinking may be labeled as "different" or even castigated as "oddballs." Divergent thinking may not be exercised.

    Second, the creative thinker is a synthetic thnker. Synthetic thinkers are always putting things together that don't seem to belong together. On the other hand, analytic thinkers take things apart, to see what they are made of and how they work. In school, "synthetic thinking is the ability to draw on ideas from across disciplines and fields of inquiry to reach a deeper understanding of the world and one's place in it." But school doesn't always reward synthetic thinking. "This is math class;" we sometimes say, "that's history class; and the other one is biology. Don't get them mixed up in your mind."

    Children are naturally synthetic thinkers. They're always seeing things that surpise us adults, maybe even embarrass us. The story of Noah from the Bible reminds them of Spiderman on tv or the way they play naked in the bathtub, or the way their border collie in the backyard chases delivery trucks, or the way Dad swears when he hits his thumb with a hammer. Maybe all of the above. Who knows why? Dad swearing may be Noah, or Yahweh, or the kangaroo in the ark--or the crow. That's just the way synthetic thinkers put things together.

    Of course, there are other kinds of creativity. But these two are a good beginning. We should watch for it in children; encourage it; provide exercises to help it develop, and feed it properly (good books, trips to the zoo, looking at the stars, walking on the Katy Trail). Just as we should also attend to those other neglected muscles of the mind, like wonder and empathy. Well, that's go beyond that. We should watch for it in ourselves. It will make for more well-round human beings and happier, more fulfilling lives.

    OK, maybe we won't all become Mr. America. Nor can we all become Picassos or Edisons or Oprahs or Bill Gates. (How can we know someone is a creative genius: now that's another question).

    But, you know, I'll bet we can all at least come up with several different ways to write those "Christmas letters" every year (please!). Or I'll bet we can apply something that we learned from Nova on PBS to the way we think about frying hamburgers. Well, maybe that's a little far-fetched. But you gotta let me exercise those divergent and synthetic muscles.

    Maybe if we called them div's and syn's, we might give them as much attention as we do delts and quads.

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  • Sha T
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    I think in some way we all are creative. We think thoughts, we make plans, we have ideas, we have dreams, we have desires, men and women create life everyday by making babies. I believe we all are creative in our on special way. Of course some people are more creative than others like when you see really young kids playing instruments with out instruction, or painting like a master, you know right away they are creative. But that still does mean that the rest of us aren't creative, it just takes us longer to find our niche, that's all, but in general we are all creative.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Before even speaking to the person, look at what they are wearing... Usually a creative person has fun colors and different sense of style.

    Sounds shallow but its true.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Hm mm... someone creative CREATES ("beaux-arts", literature, clothes design, car design, etc.)

    Then look at WHAT they create: is it nice, beautiful, does it tell you something i.e. is there any message in it etc. You know, even a computer analyst can be a very creative person, whilst a "copier" is by no means!

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  • 1 decade ago

    Everyone is creative. We all create in different ways. Every thought is a creation. Some create things that are more desireable to the masses. That's all.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    By what they do .Is what they are doing different ? Original? Are they creating something new that was not there before?Recombining things to make something new? Finding new solutions to old problems? Inventor? That to me is creative.

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  • huenke
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    ?confident, i'm inventive. i like to think of diverse from others & be diverse. in school, as quickly as we ought to do "inventive" writing & all, my thoughts take the reader to an entire new worldwide. additionally each and every time i'm bored and choose for to do something i think of of a few inventive video games & strategies? ?I additionally coach of my creativity with my words, poems, & movements. i like to place in writing poems? ?Chak De India...alwayz?

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    because they are always doing something--keeping busy--that's the best sign--creativity means different things--do you mean artistic???

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  • 5 years ago

    when you talk with them they have the best idea for that problem

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  • 1 decade ago

    uhm...wut do u mean?

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