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Creative people can get to the Upside Down – can you?

Posted on: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 Category: Blog (58)
2 min read

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is the psychologist best known for naming the concept of ‘flow’ – a state of concentration to the point where external stimuli no longer matter. He is a leading academic and has significantly contributed to the growing area of positive psychology, the art of happiness, and the understanding of motivation and creativity.  He is a leading academic and has significantly contributed to the growing area of positive psychology and the art of happiness.  Here are his top ten character traits of a creative person.  How many do you have?

  1. Bucket loads of energy – Not the “look at me, I can run a marathon” kind.  More an energetic perspective, an ability to focus and an ability to sleep often and a lot.  They control their energy – it is not scheduled.  And apparently, they like sex! A lot.
  2. They are immature and wise at the same time – while you need to have a half decent IQ, it has been found that much more than 120 does not directly correlate to success in life. The most creative people are both convergent (rational to a single answer) and divergent (there is no one solution) thinkers – they are truly flexible. You cannot be a good divergent thinker if you cannot tell a good idea from a bad one – and that is convergent thinking.
  3. They are playfully disciplined – they can combine responsibility with irresponsibility. There it is again – flexibility. They can be playful, yet they have a doggedness that drives them to keep trying.
  4. The can go to the Upside Down – they live in parallel worlds of fantasy and dreams and reality. They are very good at bringing things from the fantasy world into the real world.
  5. They are both 1st and 3rd circle – most of us live in one or the other. In psychology terms, extroversion and introversion are the most stable traits that allow us to differentiate people.  Creative people, you guessed it, are flexible!  They can be both at the same time!
  6. They are humbly proud – they are acutely aware of the work that has gone before them to help them get where they are. They also know the value of luck.
  7. They escape gender stereotyping – creative girls are found to be more dominant and tough than other girls and creative boys are found to be more sensitive and less aggressive than their male peers. They are psychologically androgynous – this means that they can be aggressive and nurturing, sensitive and rigid, dominant and submissive at the same time.  Essentially, they have double the psychological repertoire.
  8. They are conservatively rebellious – To rebel and challenge the norm, you have to first understand it. They take care to keep what is good and are not destructive for novelty’s sake.
  9. They are objectively passionate – They love what they do, and yet are happy to take criticism and be given new ways to think. Without being objective, we cannot progress.
  10. They are open – there is strength in vulnerability. They are open to pain and pleasure and they use these experiences to continue to progress.

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