Supportive habits are a highway to long-term productivity and happiness. They are a solid solution for anyone who is looking to live a life with meaning and creativity.
Here are 11 habits that creative people have, accompanied by thought-provoking questions to support you in becoming one of them.
Habit 1: They proactively create (they don’t wait and hope)
Proactivity is the core characteristic of people who can’t stop creating. They are not afraid to take full responsibility for their own life and create their own destiny. For them, it is clear that everybody has the potential to live their dream life. They dare to scrape below the surface and connect to their hidden skills, talents, qualities and dreams. These people are creative, brave, self-disciplined and full of vision in life (1).
Self-reflection: Which aspects of your life could use more of your proactivity? What are the hidden talents, skills and dreams that you are ignoring at the moment? What needs generate creativity ?
Remember, we all have the potential to be people that can’t stop creating.
Habit 2: They surround themselves with the right kind of people
Incessantly creative individuals know very well that negative influences from others can hold them back. They are hanging out more with positive, supportive people. They associate with powerful people that can encourage them, who empower them and contribute to their growth. They are learning all the time with people who think alike and have the same dreams. Remarkable people who are stretching the boundaries and seeking improvement (2).
Self-reflection: Looking for where you want to go and the person you want to become set your standards for the people who are in your life and influencing you. As your vision of where you want to be in life gets the clearer, try to support it with the decision of letting go of the toxic aspects of your life.
“If you’re not willing to risk, you cannot grow. If you cannot grow, you cannot be your best. If you cannot be your best, you cannot be happy. If you cannot be happy, what else is there?”- Les Brown
Habit 3: They have a balanced self-renewal plan
Most people are like a lumberjack who didn’t sharpen his saw so his productivity dropped by 40% (3).
In his book “7 habits of Highly Effective People” Stephen R. Covey introduced the 7th habit- “sharpen your saw” in order to show us how to avoid the “lumberjack syndrome”. Dr. Covey suggests that in order for us to be highly effective we need to have daily routines that will nourish our body, mind, and spirit so that we can do what others don’t to achieve what others don’t have (4).
Highly effective people are individuals who understand that their health, social and love life, finances and every aspect of their life depends on their ability to respond in tune with their mission and vision in life. This becomes significantly harder to achieve if you haven’t slept enough, you eat junk food, don’t exercise, lie to your loved ones, don’t keep any promises, spend recklessly without planning or intention, and expect others to love you for who you while you don’t have any insight of “who you are”.
Having a balanced self-renewal plan, that consists of nourishing habits practiced daily, helps people who can’t stop creating be fuelled with energy and vitality so they are well and supported to move forward.
Self-reflection: When was the last time you sharpened your saw? What simple habits can you develop daily to support you in becoming more energized and creative?
Habit 4: They ask themselves the right questions
Have you ever asked your yourself: Why can’t I do this right? What is wrong with me? Do I deserve this? Will I be good at it?
People who are constantly creating try to stay away from such questions. They follow simple guidelines that suggest that bad (internal) questions usually lead to bad answers. For example, if you ask yourself: “why can't I do this?” you are risking to hear something like “because you are an idiot”.
Our mind, especially its part- the reptilian brain, rarely misses an opportunity to discourage us from being brave and creative. In order to go beyond this, people who can’t stop creating, become careful about their inner conversations and start asking themselves open and powerful questions, such as: what can I do to make this right? What do I need to do to get what I want? What can I be grateful for today? What will set me up for success?
Self-reflection: Looking at your own inner conversations: what better questions can you ask yourself?
Habit 5: They have the ability to see positive outcomes in seemingly desperate situations
When we think that we can improve our own life, we are right. Proactive people do their best to stay in this mind frame as much as possible. They know that blaming the circumstances, complaining and victimizing themselves will only keep them stuck and frustrated. On their journey to a successful life, they do their best to keep an optimistic view on situations and learn from their “failures” and difficult times (5).
Self-reflection: What circumstances in your life would use some optimism in this moment? What can you do next time you catch yourself complaining?
Habit 6: They have confidence they can handle whatever comes to them
Having ideas is the easy part. We can get a bunch of them simply by brainstorming. The tricky part is having ideas while putting them into actions and realizing them in spite of the challenges. Not many of us can handle facing challenges, or God forbid failure.
It takes an incredibly brave person to persist in times of trouble, that is why highly productive people learn to deal with hesitation, uncertainty, and disapproval from others.
They develop self-confidence, patience, and faith to support them, hold their ground and continue to dare greatly in life. They know that troubles pass and that the best is yet to come (6).
Self-reflection: What is your best that is yet to come? Which ideas can you turn into reality if you believe in yourself enough to overcome every obstacle?
Habit 7: They don’t back away from inspired action despite their limiting self-beliefs and fear
Everyone has doubts and fear, even the one who can’t stop creating. Even the most successful people in the world are not spared from these feelings. What they do differently from an “average joe” is that they don’t buy into them. They don’t trust the seductive and highly deceiving power of fear. They fear action but they do it anyway. The same is valid for doubts.
We are human which means that we are not perfect. We will always have limiting thoughts and feelings. And that’s ok cause we can have them but not let them stop us. Our freedom from them will come once we accept that we are not our thoughts or feelings and by doing so, we can rise above them.
Self-reflection: What thoughts and feelings do you buy into? What would support you in overcoming their limiting effect?
Habit 8: They are willing to take chances
“Probably some of the best things that have ever happened to you in life, happened because you said yes to something. Otherwise things just sort of stay the same.” ― Danny Wallace
You guessed it, “mighty creators” tend to say yes to powerful experiences more frequently than the average person. They are not full of excuses or hiding behind circumstances. They seize life, learn from experiences and stretch themselves beyond their limits by doing so.
Self-reflection: What is the next powerful experience you can say yes to?
Habit 9: They practice mindfulness
This might sound paradoxical, but productive people need to slow down and be present in order to be able to stay productive. Their effectiveness does not come from rushing around trying to do as much as possible the 24/7. This lifestyle would destroy them in no time.
Many high achievers, inspirational and creative individuals have some kind of meditation incorporated into their daily routine (7).
Self-reflection: What can you do to slow down and become more present right now?
Habit 10: They have a growth mindset
Productive people believe that their talents are precious and are worth developing. They also believe that their talents can be developed (through work, planning, strategies, mentorship and guidance from other people). This is at the core of their growth mindset and this is exactly why they achieve more than individuals whose mind is more “fixed”.
People who can’t stop creating worry less about looking smart and successful, that is why they have more energy and confidence to learn and grow (8).
Self-reflection: What is in your way of growth? What are the two things you can do in the upcoming 30 days to enhance your development?
Habit 11: They practice gratitude
Great creators often practice gratitude. They understand that, while they are feeling grateful, they can’t be sorry for themselves. This saves them from a lot of sadness, depressive moments in life and eventually from being stuck in self-victimisation. Gratitude supports them, they move forward in life, are happier, healthier and more satisfied with life.
Because it often involves other people, gratitude enhances the feeling of connection with others, the sense of belonging and significance. The benefits are almost endless (9).
Self-reflection: What can dignify with gratitude today? What beauty and joy can you see in life right this moment?
You are millimeters away from becoming a person who can’t stop creating, all it takes is for you to give yourself a proper chance.
Keep learning, keep going.
You are so worth it.