The common characteristics of creative minds are that they are curious and they think out-of-the-box.
Curiosity leads people to experiment with different ideas and explore alternatives. Their thirst for knowledge would lead them in the quest of looking at how things work. Sometimes even taking apart equipment to see how each function works. This helps them to think of solutions that normal people cannot think of.
Creative people are also willing to challenge the status quo. They tend to ask questions differently from others.
Instead of just asking, “Why?’ they typically also ask, “Why not?”
By not placing a limit to what they can do or think of and by not practicing self-censorship of their mind, they are able to come out with ideas that very few can dream of. The minute you start to place limits (or censor) yourself, you will start to close of the possibilities that are available to you. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon believes in unrestricted thought process and places a high premium on creativity and innovation. He even takes short retreats at the end of every quarter where he isolates himself to minimize distractions that could undermine the creative thought process. In doing so, he takes time to evaluate trends and gain inspiration from various sources such as hobbyists and even hackers to enhance the goods and services of Amazon. His retreats have proven to be fruitful as seen from the evolution of novel ideas and products such as Amazon’s fulfillment center for third-party sellers.
Lastly, creative people have to be dreamers, and they dream of not just lofty things, but also about ideas that can revolutionize industries, economies, countries, and even the world. It would seem absurd and idealistic to a normal person, and many a time, creative people are just called crazy or insane. But it is this unconventional thinking that helps push the boundaries of innovation. Because when they come up with unconventional ideas, they will push forward to test if it works, and this in itself would open many possibilities to great innovations.