One of the measures of a truly successful individual is how innovative he or she is. Likewise, the creativity it takes to be truly innovative is what separates successful businesses from the rest. Creativity can accelerate a company's profits and growth beyond that of its less-innovative competitors. The added benefit is that the creativity and the resulting innovation are unique to the creator--the individual or company that came up with the idea.

Why rely on old ideas and innovations? Why not encourage creativity with new ideas--beginning with your own?

The good news is that, believe it or not, anyone can be creative. For some, it may take a little more practice than for others, but it is still achievable. Start with these inspiring things very creative people do everyday and give yourself a chance to find your own creative, innovative self.

1. Observe

Creative people are great observers--they catch details by using all of their senses. What others see as circumstances beyond their control, creative people see as endless possibilities. They love to people watch and are curious about other people's lives. They come up with some of their most creative ideas by observing others.

2. Make opportunities

Creative people change their failures into opportunities by assessing what went wrong and coming up with creative ways to prevent the same or a similar mistake from happening again.

3. Learn

Creative people have a passion for gathering new information through reading and experience. Their curiosity drives them to ask tough questions--why, how, what if--and seek out multiple perspectives.

4. Play

Creative people revisit their inner child daily. They understand that to play like a child is to remain creative like a child. Even as they age, they continue to find creative ways to be playful at work and home.

5. Foster flexibility

Creative people are in tune with their own internal creativity clock--which typically does not reflect your usual workday hours. They know when they are most likely to be creative, whether it is first thing in the morning or in the middle of the night, when most of us are sleeping. Through trial and error, you too can find your own internal creativity clock. Companies seeking creative types should consider this as well--flexibility is key.

6. Remain open-minded

Creative people are not quick to judge, but prefer to sit back, evaluate, and question their initial observations before proceeding.

7. Daydream

Creative people spend time alone daily to allow their minds to wander. Research has proved that daydreaming can bring out your best creative self because it can stimulate connections within your brain and provide insights you may not have considered.

8. Take risks

Creative people are risk takers. To imagine a product, create it, and then put it out there for all to see is risky, but creative people thrive on this kind of risk taking. It provides them with a sense of power and is intrinsically motivating and rewarding.

9. Nurture

Creative people know when it's time for a break. This provides them with their much-needed time to daydream, play, and observe. Research shows that a change in scenery can recharge your creativity. If you've hit a creative wall--for example, when you find yourself staring at your computer screen and getting nothing done--go for a walk.

10. Imagine

Creative people don't just think about success or a new product; they feel this success or new product with every fiber of their being using all of their senses--also known as imagery. Talk about inspirational. The good news is that almost anyone can use imagery to see and feel the possibilities and it can improve with practice even if you initially don't believe in it. And research has proved that as little as 10 minutes of imagery a day can reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and ameliorate pain. So start imagining today how success will truly feel.

Published on: Oct 10, 2014