This is from an interesting article over on Psychology Today. I'll give the list here, but plz go soak in the details over there; there's much more than what I excerpted below. :) One surprise in here: expect the experts to be negative. (hmmmm.... that explains a LOT doesn't it?!)
1. You are creative.
The artist is not a special person, each one of us is a special kind of artist. Every one of us is born a creative, spontaneous thinker. The only difference between people who are creative and people who are not is a simple belief. Creative people believe they are creative. People who believe they are not creative, are not.
2. Creative thinking is work.
You must have passion and the determination to immerse yourself in the process of creating new and different ideas. Then you must have patience to persevere against all adversity. All creative geniuses work passionately hard and produce incredible numbers of ideas, most of which are bad.
3. You must go through the motions of being creative.
When you go through the motions of trying to come up with new ideas, you are energizing your brain by increasing the number of contacts between neurons.
4. Your brain is not a computer.
Your brain is a dynamic system that evolves its patterns of activity rather than computes them like a computer. It thrives on the creative energy of feedback from experiences real or fictional.
5. There is no one right answer.
Reality is ambiguous. Physicists discovered that light can be either a wave or particle depending on the viewpoint of the observer. The only certainty in life is uncertainty. When trying to get ideas, do not censor or evaluate them as they occur. Nothing kills creativity faster than self-censorship of ideas while generating them.
6. Never stop with your first good idea.
7. Expect the experts to be negative.
The more expert and specialized a person becomes, the more their mindset becomes narrowed and the more fixated they become on confirming what they believe to be absolute. Consequently, when confronted with new and different ideas, their focus will be on conformity. This is why when Fred Smith created Federal Express, every delivery expert in the U.S. predicted its certain doom. After all, they said, if this delivery concept was doable, the Post Office or UPS would have done it long ago.
8. Trust your instincts.
One professor said Einstein was "the laziest dog" the university ever had. Beethoven's parents were told he was too stupid to be a music composer. Charles Darwin's colleagues called him a fool and what he was doing "fool's experiments" when he worked on his theory of biological evolution. Walt Disney was fired from his first job on a newspaper because "he lacked imagination." Thomas Edison had only two years of formal schooling, was totally deaf in one ear and was hard of hearing in the other, was fired from his first job as a newsboy and later fired from his job as a telegrapher; and still he became the most famous inventor in the history of the U.S.
9. There is no such thing as failure.
Whenever someone tells you that they have never made a mistake, you are talking to someone who has never tried anything new.
10. You do not see things as they are; you see them as you are.
Interpret your own experiences. All experiences are neutral. They have no meaning. You give them meaning by the way you choose to interpret them.
11. Always approach a problem on its own terms.
Do not trust your first perspective of a problem as it will be too biased toward your usual way of thinking. Always look at your problem from multiple perspectives. Always remember that genius is finding a perspective no one else has taken.
12. Learn to think unconventionally.
Albert Einstein once famously remarked "Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand."
Creativity is paradoxical. To create, a person must have knowledge but forget the knowledge, must see unexpected connections in things but not have a mental disorder, must work hard but spend time doing nothing as information incubates, must create many ideas yet most of them are useless, must look at the same thing as everyone else, yet see something different, must desire success but embrace failure, must be persistent but not stubborn, and must listen to experts but know how to disregard them.