Copyright 2005 by Dr. William G. Covington, Jr.

Creative people operate within a "dialectical tension between involvement and detachment" write psychology professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Passion can only come where strong emotions are present. Emotions will not be activated when one is working on a project about there this is apathy. Creativity is fed and sustained by love. Passionate work gives a person the opportunity to define himself through an expression of energies.

Seize opportunities. Creative people see opportunities where less perceptive people don't. They do not accept things as they find them, they creatively improve situations and leave the place beter than they found it. Risk is built into life. Julia Sorel noted, "If you're never scared or embarrassed or hurt, it means you never take any chances."

Apply what they've observed. Understanding alone does not make an impact. It's when ideas are acted upon and follow-through occurs that results are found. Creative people know how to take ideas that don't appear to be applicable and show how they are by the actions they take. Automotive executive Lee Iacocca noted, "Often the most creative people are also the most prepared."

Persistently keep producing. It's better to make some progress than remain static. People who leave a mark are those who consistently do something even if it's only a small amount. Henry Ford knew this was true. He commented, "Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs." Habit comes about through repetition. Taking positive steps toward a destination indicates persistence as a lifestyle. Erich Fromm noted the significance of persistence when he wrote, "I shall become a master of this art only after a great deal of practice."

Actively seek fresh input. Reading, conferring with knowledgeable colleagues, searching the Internet, and listening to presentations from people who have made a mark are ways of staying fresh. Goethe used this idea in his day when he wrote, "If you would create something, you must be something." Acquiring new knowledge and reminding one's self of the basics is a way of managing what goes on in the mind. If the right input is received, the desired actions will follow.

Consider environment. Creative people know the importance images, smells, and sounds have on the process of producing desired results. Investing time and/or money in managing a creative environment is wise.

Celebrate the process. Creating something beneficial is fun. It leaves a little part of you that enhances the quality of life for other people in some way. German historian Barthold Nieburhr expressed it by saying, "It is better to create than to be learned; creating is the true essence of life."

Author's Bio: 

Dr. William G. Covington, Jr. has published widely on creativity, management, the media, and systems theory.