The Creative Self Personality Traits Creative Self-Portrait “Creativity is a birthright available to all but used by few.” Catherine Courage, CINTRIX Senior V.P. of User Experience Multiple Intelligences (Howard Gardner) Visual-spatial Musical-rhythmic and harmonic Verbal-linguistic Logical-mathematical Bodily-kinesthetic Interpersonal Intrapersonal Naturalistic Existential “18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently” "It's actually hard for creative people to know themselves because the creative self is more complex than the non-creative self," Scott Barry Kaufman, a psychologist at New York University who has spent years researching creativity, told The Huffington Post. "The things that stand out the most are the paradoxes of the creative self ... Imaginative people have messier minds." 1) They Daydream . . . 2) They observe everything (with insatiable curiosity). 3) They work the hours that work for them. 4) They take time for solitude. 5) They turn life’s obstacles around. 6) They seek out new experiences. Side Bar: Embracing Ambiguity Highly creative people tend to not see things in black and white—and instead see the complexities of the world and are drawn to them. 7) They “fail-up.” Video: Ira Glass on Creativity 8) They ask the big question. 9) They “people-watch.” 10) They take risks. 11) They view all of life as an opportunity for self-expression. 12) They follow their true passions (and are intrinsically motivated). Side Bar: Investment Theory Postulates that particular circumstances come together to produce highly creative outcomes. A person becomes intensely interested in a (usually underdeveloped) field and believes he or she can make a breakthrough. The person has the circumstances to devote nearly all time and energy to that work, entirely intrinsically motivated (not for external reward). 13) They get out of their own heads. 14) They lose track of the time. 15) They surround themselves with beauty. Side Bar: Affect Research Affect research indicates that a positive mood precedes the best creative work. Positive mood can also be a result of creative work (sense of elation) It can also accompany creative work. Main message: Being in a good mood encourages creative productivity. 16) They connect the dots. 17) They constantly shake things up. 18) They make time for mindfulness. Do any of you have items to add? A Darker Side of Exceptional Creativity, according to research Creativity is stimulated by social rejection Linked to trauma Linked to mental illness, particularly schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression Linked to biological vulnerability Exceptionally creative people tend to lack conscientiousness, be driven, ambitious, dominant, hostile, and impulsive. Trauma & Creativity Current summary of findings: Many highly creative people have suffered from severe traumas in life. Trauma is associated with functional alteration of the brain and affects the expression of genes that impact brain structure. (You’ve heard the cliché that traumatized people should “get over it,” but trauma alters the brain.) Altered stress hormones can also be passed on to offspring, according to this research on Holocaust survivors’ offspring and this research on how memories causing PTSD, phobias, and anxieties can be passed on through generations. The Honing Theory postulates that trauma has jolted the person out of a comfortable worldview, which he or she must continually re-assess in order to have a consistent view of the world. Creative people are also continually evaluating a task in relationship to worldview, and by the end of the task, worldview has changed (in major or minor ways). Explains tolerance for ambiguity. Trauma can be devastating, but it can also help people to grow in the areas of interpersonal relationships, spirituality, appreciation of life, personal strength, and -most importantly for creativity -- seeing new possibilities in life. Mental Illness & Creativity Examples: Beethoven, Hemingway, Churchill, many others. Most mental illness is caused by trauma, but it can be separate. Greater brain interconnectivity is associated with both creativity and mental illness. Mental illness can be debilitating (e.g., severe schizophrenia) or it can cause higher creative production (the mania phase of biopolar disorder). Most afflicted group of creative people tends to be writers (high incidents of bipolar, depression, schizophrenia, addiction, and twice the suicide rate as average). Personal Histories of “Exceptionally Creative” People Supportive but rigid and non-nurturing parents Childhood adversity or trauma Early interest in their field A highly supportive and skilled mentor Often the field they chose was relatively uncharted They devoted almost all of their time and energy into their craft, and after about a decade had a creative breakthrough of fame. Their lives were marked with extreme dedication and a cycle of hard-work and breakthroughs as a result of their determination. Steve Jobs: “How to Live Before You Die” The Power of Vulnerability, Brene Brown Listening to Shame, Brene Brown The Bias Against Creativity QUESTIONS?