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Creative quotes and quotations
On Being Different...


Almost by definition, a creative person, working on new things must not only see things differently, but also be different in many other ways. This may not make life easy, but then nobody said that the creative route led to luxury and riches. It does, however, require the strength of character and courage to stand alone, to go against the tide of criticism.

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artists*, belief, being, chaos, courage, criticism, deviation, living creatively*, individuality, people, resistance, seeing, vision


‘As soon as you can say what you think and not what some other person has thought for you, you are on the way to being a remarkable man.’

James M. Barrie

‘The creative person is both more primitive and more cultivated, more destructive, a lot madder and a lot saner than the average person.’

Frank Barron

‘Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.’

Cecil Beaton

‘My experience is that inventors come in all sizes, all nationalities, all ages. The only thing I’m sure of is that inventors are always stubborn.’

Robert W. Dilts

‘Diversity is a great force towards creativity.’

Michael Eisner

‘Every man of genius sees the world at a different angle from his fellows.’

Havelock Ellis

‘Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist.’

Ralph Waldo Emerson

‘I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverge in a wood, and I
Took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.’

Robert Frost

‘The intelligent man finds almost everything ridiculous. The sensible man, almost nothing.’

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

‘There are one-storey intellects, two-storey intellects and three storey intellects with skylights. All fact-collectors who have no aim beyond their facts are one-storey men. Two-storey men compare, reason, generalize, using the labour of the fact-collectors as their own. Three storey men idealize, imagine, predict–their best illumination comes from the above through the skylight.’

Oliver Wendell Holmes

‘The strongest man in the world is he who stands alone.’

Henrik Ibsen

People think of the inventor as a screwball, but no one ever asks the inventor what he thinks of other people.’

Charles F. Kettering

‘Many people fear nothing more terribly than to take a position which stands out sharply and clearly from the prevailing opinion. The tendency of most is to adopt a view that is so ambiguous that it will include everything and so popular that it will include everybody. Not a few men who cherish lofty and noble ideas hide them under a bushel for fear of being called different.’

Martin Luther King

‘Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.’

Martin Luther King

Common sense means living in the world as it is today; but creative people are people who don’t want the world as it is today but want to make another world.’

Abraham Maslow

‘I used to think that anyone doing anything weird was weird. I suddenly realized that anyone weird wasn’t weird at all and that it was the people saying they were weird that were weird.’

Paul McCartney

‘If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.’

George S. Patton

‘Everything great in the world is done by neurotics; they alone founded our religions and created our masterpieces.’

Marcel Proust

‘Perhaps the only thing that saves science from invalid conventional wisdom that becomes effectively permanent is the presence of mavericks in every generation - people who keep challenging convention and thinking up new ideas for the sheer hell of it or from an innate contrariness.’

D. M. Raup

‘The reasonable man adapts himself to the world as it is; the unreasonable man tries to change the world to what he wants it to be. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.’

George Bernard Shaw

‘We forfeit three-fourths of ourselves in order to be like other people.’

Arthur Schopenhauer

‘The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out the conservative adopts them.’

Mark Twain

‘If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.’

Henry David Thoreau

‘It requires a very unusual mind to undertake the analysis of the obvious.’

Alfred North Whitehead



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