Creative Thinking: What is it, Why is it Important, and How to Develop it?

Creative thinking - Think out of the box


So what is creative thinking?

Creative thinking is the process of nurturing your imagination allowing you to “think out of the box”. 

Being able to train your mind to think creatively helps you invent, problem-solve, create and communicate in fresh, new ways. Moreover, studying art and design, along with diverse disciplines, provides a rich tapestry of perspectives and techniques, enriching your creative thinking process even further.

Creative thinkers are in high demand in the job market and creative thinking is one of the key skills needed in future jobs according to a recent report by the World Economic Forum. 

So, let’s develop your creative thinking skills!

In this article, we will take you through a step by step process of how to improve your creative thinking skills. You will learn about different ways used to help you become more open-minded, innovative and creative. 

Article Outline


Every person can improve their creative thinking skills. By doing so, it will help you create, interpret and come with solutions to challenges in your daily life routines at school, university, organization or simply at home. 


“Everyone is born creative” – Hugh Macleod


A group of CEOs were asked “What is the skill you most value in your people?” as part of a survey, they said creativity, the ability to solve problems, come up with new solutions, and use brainpower to figure things out.


Before we get into the techniques, let us explore why is it important to become a creative thinker.

Everyone Should Become a Creative Thinker

Being able to train your mind to think creatively helps you invent, problem-solve, create and communicate in fresh, new ways.

When you think open-mindedly you become a happier person ready to accept exciting surprises from life. 

8 reasons why creative thinking is an essential skill for everyone 

The following are 8 reasons why you are advised to be creative in your everyday life: 

  1. Thinking creatively adds value not only to your life but also to the life of others. Translating your thoughts into beautiful work, projects ‘yourself’ clearly into the world you live in. 
  2. Creative thinking helps you become self relying and more confident. You can think on your own without the help of others making you a stronger, truly-happy person. 
  3. By thinking creatively you become true to yourself. You accept who you are without worrying about other peoples’ judgments. 
  4. Thinking open-mindedly gives you a reason to wake up every morning to start exploring new ideas and thoughts. It makes your life worth living. 
  5. Creative thinking can bring out hidden talents that you have not noticed before. Instead of just nagging about a problem, it helps you discover new opportunities that you haven’t been aware of. 
  6. Thinking ‘out of the box’ makes you feel satisfied at all phases of your life. You never feel that you have reached a dead end instead you are always ready to explore new challenges. You have the ability to see what others can’t see. 
  7. Being creative helps you express your feelings allowing you to be whatever you want to be in this world. 
  8. The more experienced you get with thinking creatively, the easier it becomes to master difficult situations you may face in your life. 

As explained, creative thinking has many advantages but most importantly it will make you a happier and better person so start practicing!


Check out the below infographic extracted from a global study done by Adobe.

The effect of creative thinking on businesses - infographic


6 Ways to apply creative thinking in your everyday life 

Successful people today are great creative thinkers.

Practicing creativity on a daily basis guides you to become a great success in the future.

The most important thing is to feel free when trying to apply creativity in your life. Creativity is having the power to expand your imagination bringing the most out of your potentials. 

The following are 6 ways to apply creative thinking in your life: 

  1. Risk Taking: Being adventurous and ready for life’s challenges pushes you a step forward to creativity. 
  2. Playing: Trying to play and be funny at times gives you the chance to manipulate the given problem accordingly to what you need.  
  3. Regularly asking Why: Being curious and nosy, wanting to ask questions all the time opens endless doors and possibilities. 
  4. Generating large quantity of ideas: By producing a big number of possible solutions, a smart, unique, unexpected answer might be discovered. 
  5. Day Dreaming: Wondering about things related to your project frees your mind to expand its horizons and explore new ways out there. 
  6. Reading: Going to the library and spending hours reading can nurture your imagination and grow a strong creative thinker. 

Therefore, by working on being a risk taker, a day dreamer and a good reader you are forcing your mind to grow in all directions.

So follow the above steps to WOW your way to become a high-standard creative thinker as opposed to being a boring, traditional thinker with limited abilities! 


See also: Innovation Design Thinking


Thinking Hats: Approach Creative Thinking by de Bono 

The “6 Thinking Hats” is a system designed by Edward de Bono as an approach to promote creative thinking. It is a tool used to enhance real thinking to make the process more productive and focused.

The ‘6 Thinking Hats’ separates thinking into 6 different roles, each role identified with a colored symbolic thinking hat. This approach helps to redirect thoughts by mentally switching from one hat to the other. 

6 Thinking Hats – by de Bono

The following are the 6 thinking hats and what each color represents: 

  1. “White Hat”– stating facts and information, things you already know.
  2. Yellow Hat”– looking at the bright side, being optimistic and positive, adding value and benefits.
  3. “Red Hat”– expressing feelings and emotions, your reactions and opinions.
  4. “Blue Hat”– managing and controlling, looking at the bigger picture.
  5. “Green Hat”– exploring other alternatives, generating new ideas and solutions.
  6. “Black Hat”– being realistic and practical, being cautious, finding where things might go wrong, discovering dangers and difficulties. Black Hat is usually called the ‘devil’s voice’.

The above 6 hats, when combined together, allows your mind to think clearly and objectively.

For example, you can start by grabbing the “Blue Hat” asking yourself questions such as: what is our goal? Are the 6 guidelines observed clearly? What is the subject addressed? This helps you get an overall view of your problem.

Next, you can grab the “Red Hat” expressing what you feel towards the problem and asking yourself who might be affected by this problem.

Then, you can grab “Yellow” and later “Green Hat” to invent new concepts and solutions.

Finally, you can switch between the “White” and “Black hat” in order to validate your solution by using information that you already know. 

Start training your mind to switch directions from one hat to another to solve problems efficiently, effectively bringing out benefits too! 

Here’s a video to explain the process:

Another Creative Thinking Approach: Lateral Thinking 

Lateral Thinking is a phrase invented by Edward de Bono that means thinking about a problem in a different way than what is usually used.

You can check out Edward de Bono’s book on the topic:


Lateral thinking is far from logical thinking most people use today.

It is expanding your thinking limits, freeing yourself from boundaries giving you the chance to explore things you never knew existed. 

The following are 5 steps involved in Lateral Thinking: 

  1. Change the focus of your thinking, allowing your mind to discover new options. Don’t be afraid to try something new. 
  2. Break free from limits of traditional logical thinking of reason. Think messy, think all over making every small detail count. 
  3. Develop new ideas and shape them to fit the situation you have on hand. Generating ideas is not sufficient; implementing these ideas according to what you need is what it takes to be a success. 
  4. Use diverse unrelated data to help you come up with new concepts. Break down data, group them together or even try data you have never imagined might work. By experimenting without judgment, unexpected solutions may arise!  
  5. Look beyond obvious alternatives. Sometimes, opportunities are hidden and can only be discovered by thinking ‘out of the box’. 

Creative thinking is the ability to free your mind to create, interpret and visualize possibilities.

See also: How to become an exceptional critical thinker

Whether you decide to use lateral thinking or the 6 hats thinking approach, work your way to become a WOW creative thinker!   

Things to Avoid which will impact your Creative Thinking

Creative thinking pushes passion allowing you to love and live beyond your limits.

However, sometimes situations happen in life that restricts your freedom. It’s up to you to break down these walls and live up to your full potential, with the support and resources from Customwritings to help you overcome any obstacles.

The following are 8 things you are advised to avoid in order to be able to unleash your creativity: 

  1. Complain about a problem: 

    Don’t just nag about a problem instead try to discover opportunities that might be hidden deep within.

  2. Worry about what others think: 

    Don’t waste your time worrying about other peoples’ judgments. Be happy with who you are and don’t be afraid to show it.

  3. Stay in your ‘comfort zone’: 

    Living up to your potential is not easy but make sure you give it a go! Don’t take the easy way out because you will never know what great things you might be missing! 

  4. School limiting your creativity: 

    Society wants robots. It does not prefer you to think for yourself. Schools are programmed to help society limit youth potential. Don’t fall for the trap. Allow your mind to explore new, fresh places that it has never been given a chance to explore before. 

  5. Hold back when you have a good idea: 

    Instead of just accepting what you know innovate something not created before. Unleash your creativity to flourish throughout your life and career.  

  6. Ego: 

    Focus on what’s right rather than who’s right. Eliminating your ego allows you to change the way you think becoming more flexible and open-minded. 

  7. Stop learning: 

    Being smart is not being able to generate an idea but it is being able to recognize the value of the idea and make it happen. Keep looking for answers putting what you know into reality! 

  8. Assume certain perceptions: 

    Naturally, in your everyday life there will be certain boundaries already set previously. Don’t assume they will always be there instead work your way to break them down and free yourself to make a change for a better world! 

We suggest you try to avoid the 8 points mentioned above in order to free your mind to think creatively.

It is a step forward to raise hidden talents that will push our world to lasting global success!


How to succeed in your career based on your enneagram

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to succeeding in your career. Some personality types thrive when put in front of a crowd, but for others, it’s their worst nightmare! Similarly, some personality types have the potential to be amazing employees but their personalities may be able to show success in a different way. 

Understanding your career personality type is a great way to figure out how to succeed in your career. Using your Enneagram type, you can learn personality-specific ways that you can thrive. For example, type five does well when they can work independently and can use “heads down” (no meeting) days to get the space they need to be productive.

Ready to find your career Enneagram? Check out the infographic below to get started.

Career Enneagram - Creative thinking

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