“The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will, and the solution comes to you and you don’t know how or why.” –Albert Einstein

Have you ever wondered what sets the creative genius apart from the rest of us?

Creative geniusThe innovative thinker has 5 character traits that contribute to their creative genius.

Being a bit of a rebel

The rebellious individual is always asking, “Why? Why do we do it this way? Why don’t we try it that way? Why does this work and that doesn’t?” Constantly asking questions that shake up the status quo is one of the key strengths of the creative rebel.

Open to many different types of people

The like interacting with many different types of people from a variety of socioeconomic, career and cultural backgrounds. They are sometimes a bit odd themselves but, are okay with that. Never feeling as if they fit in anywhere they seek out many different types of people in an effort to find out where they belong. Exposing themselves to many different types of people creates a lot of raw material for innovation.

Keen interest in events and trends

The person with an interest in what is going on in the world is exposed to many new ideas and trends. Their keen skills of observation and will spur them to seek the meaning behind the trends that shape events.The information they gather from observing and seeking to understand world events will come into play when they are coming up with an innovative solution.

Put themselves into uncomfortable situations

They will take the public speaking class even though they have been afraid of public speaking all their lives. Every time they push themselves to do something they overcome some fear and a limiting belief that held them back. In doing so they gain valuable experiences that will someday help them to come up with a creative solution.

The common thread connecting these four traits is “associational thinking,” which is the ability to draw connections between things that appear to be totally unrelated. (Fast Company)

I would add one more trait to this list and this is – being intuitive.

Intuition is the supra-logic that cuts out all the routine processes of thought and leaps straight from the problem to the answer. Robert Graves

Intuition is the intersection of creativity and genius

Intuition is the ultimate “associational thinking” process. It is the intersection of creativity and genius. It illuminates the mind with a brilliant idea that feels as if it came from “left field.” When creative inspiration strikes it appears in your awareness quite suddenly.

How “Eureka” moments happen.

The “aha” moment occurs after an exhaustive search of all the memory banks of your brain. Your brain has gone on a mission to seek and find the answers by looking in every file in your brain. When it finds the answer it brings it up from the depths of your memory banks where it has been safely stored for years and perhaps decades and flings it upon the screen of your awareness. That is why if feels like it “popped” into your mind. You had forgotten about this information until the brain searched and found it and brought it to the surface of your awareness very quickly.

To incubate ideas like a creative genius you will need to develop these five traits.

1. Speak up and ask questions. Bring out your inner rebel and ask, “Why?”

2. Expand your horizons beyond the group of friends you’ve had all your life. Expose yourself to different people and cultures.

3. Take an interest in world events. Seek to understand why things happen as they do on the stage of the world.

4. Push yourself past your limitations and fears. Constantly seek new experiences.

5. Develop your intuition. Set aside time every day to meditate, get quiet and allow it to percolate. Honor these flashes of genius.

These five traits are critical to associational thinking. The person who can take unrelated ideas and put them together in an entirely new concept is an innovator.  But innovation doesn’t happen in a vacuum. You’ve got to come out of your shell and place yourself in different environments and around stimulating people or you’re not going to come up with new and creative ideas. You’ve also got to stop trying to fit in and be like everyone else. If you’re a little a “different,” celebrate this characteristic.

Chances are you probably already possess some of these traits. The more you work on developing all of  them and feeding your mind new and stimulating experiences the more of an innovative thinker you will become.

Can you see how these traits contribute to being an innovative thinker? Which do you already possess and which ones do you need to work on?

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