How Do Creative People Think? Part 2

Discoverers Vs Explorers

The creative process has its charms – it can be challenging, energizing, delightful and relaxing, but it can quickly turn into agony. What do you do when you finally get an idea that you were looking for? Is that the moment when your creative process ends? Is there something like the end in the creative process at all?

As far as I have noticed, there are two ways in which creative people treat their ideas. Depending on their attitude towards their ideas, I tend to call them Discoverers and Explorers.

creative thinking, creative writing
photo by trent szmolnik on unsplash

Creative Thinking Minimalists

Discoverers are the creatives who during their thinking process, embark on one idea or a set of ideas and then stop. If they are satisfied with the idea, they will lose interest in considering other options. Yes, the first idea that comes to your mind may be the right one, but you cannot know that unless you explore other possibilities as well. To be a great creator, you must train your brain to think in volumes. You cannot be an Olympic athlete if you practice two times a week. To win a medal, you need to train hard, every day, for hours! If you want to be a winning creative, you need to create continuously. You need to produce heaps of ideas so that when you are asked to showcase your work, you can select the best among them. Be persistent, enjoy the creative process and always try to generate as many ideas as you can. Ideas are like a weed (I love this analogy!) – more you cut them, the lusher they become.

Creative Thinking Maximalists

Explorers are true creatives. They never stop looking for ideas. Even when the job is finished, their mind will wander back to their initial task, and they will think of a few additional ways to improve the concept that they already have.

Explorers are curious, they never stop questioning themselves and the world around them. They recognize endless possibilities everywhere they look and can find the most unexpected solutions to their problems. They can be found in any type of company, not just in creative business. They are innovators like Jobs, Branson, Bezos and many other successful entrepreneurs.

Explorers, however, tend to get caught in a trap: sometimes they cannot stop developing their ideas. They tend to go into unnecessary details and complicate things to such an extent that the idea loses its impact. ’Less is more’, a famous architect Mies Van der Roe once said – this should be the Explorers’ mantra. The creative process can go on forever, but at some point, you have to stop if you want to get the job done.

Are you a creative Discoverer or an Explorer?

If you like this and previous posts please share them with your creative friends or visit the NCY Podcast and listen to latest shows about creativity.

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