Studies show high IQ and creativity does not necessarily go hand and hand. Truly original creative thinking is sourced by nonintellectual factors. The average creative thinker scored 23 points lower than top scorers on IQ tests. Most even have problems sticking to rigid rules to find the answer.
Creative thinkers have what is known as a free wheeling imagination. Which tend to think outside of conventional problem solving methods. Many wonder if creative thinking is fueled by ones constant daydreaming about unconventional what ifs.
Creative thinkers seem to be both hard working and constructive daydreamers. And have a strong non conformist streak. Although most but not all are loners.
Studies also show creativity doesn’t happen over night. Many spend years mentally and physically perfecting their skills. Childhood is the place where most thinkers began. Pretend games are creativity in its purest form. As you grow older you are taught by community and formal education to confine your thinking to certain rules and parameters. Because anything beyond just doesn’t make sense. Albert Einstein once said “it is a miracle that this method of instruction has not totally strangled the curiosity of these delicate minds”. Part of a child’s natural curiosity is to fantasize, to think beyond the norms that set formal educational boundaries. One way to cultivate creative thinking is to strike a balance between challenging a child and exposing him or her to new ideas and things.
Studies many adults who grow up to be creative thinkers did not have a happy childhood. According to some experts the reasons being it is their way of dealing with disappointment while maintaining equilibrium with their peers. Of course there are happy childhoods that become creative thinkers also. Many of these homes encouraged free discussions of unique ideas and exposed these young adults to intellectually challenging environments.
There are obvious barriers to developing creative thinkers. Such as formal education system with teaches us to learn by rote. Which teaches us a narrow set of rules, recipes and formulas that gives us a preset answer. Thus restricting our natural curiosity to seek a better way. There is our immediate peer circle which quite often don’t share our vision of possible solutions that defies the accepted norms. Then there is the individual themselves whose success as a thinker is determined by their belief in themselves.
Charles Kettering the inventor of the self starting automobile engine once said, every exam we fail in school is counted as a failure. We inventors can fail 999 times, the only times it counts is when we finally get it right.
The mind is the only tool you have that gets better with constant use.