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10 Paradoxical Traits Of Creative People

10 Paradoxical Traits Of Creative People
Editor's Note: This is one of the most-read leadership articles of 2013. Click here to see the full list. I frequently find myself thinking about whether I am an artist or an entrepreneur. I am simply trying my best to create my own unique path. It is safe to say that more and more entrepreneurs are artists, and artists of all kinds are entrepreneurs. Creativity is the common theme that drives both entrepreneurs and artists alike. Over this past Labor Day weekend, I found myself reading excerpts from distinguished professor of psychology and management Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s (pronounced me-HIGH chick-sent-me-HIGH-ee) seminal book Creativity: The Work and Lives of 91 Eminent People (HarperCollins, 1996). He writes: "I have devoted 30 years of research to how creative people live and work, to make more understandable the mysterious process by which they come up with new ideas and new things. 1. 2. 3. 5. 6. 7. 8. Without the passion, we soon lose interest in a difficult task. 10.

More About D-Language, And Why Facebook Is Experimenting With It It's been nearly a decade since Mark Zuckerberg launched what would become the world's largest social network. Since those early days, Facebook's infrastructure and code have evolved, with some of it collecting dust over time. On Friday, the company took a small step in a new direction when an engineer added 5,112 lines of code written in the D language to Facebook's repository. So what's all the fuss about? 1Reaction For a member of this family of object-oriented programming languages, D is a relative youngster. "It's the first battle signaling the end of Middle Earth, and the rise of the Age of D," Walter Bright writes with geeky optimism. Explaining the impetus behind the creation of D, my colleague Kit Eaton writes: It's been created because C++ had to maintain backwards compatibility with C, and that as C++ itself has expanded the language's new features have simply added to the complexity of the standard--a document that's now over 750 pages long. This is the idea behind D.

Why “Psychological Androgyny” Is Essential for Creativity by Maria Popova “Creative individuals are more likely to have not only the strengths of their own gender but those of the other one, too.” Despite the immense canon of research on creativity — including its four stages, the cognitive science of the ideal creative routine, the role of memory, and the relationship between creativity and mental illness — very little has focused on one of life’s few givens that equally few of us can escape: gender and the genderedness of the mind. In Creativity: The Psychology of Discovery and Invention (public library) — one of the most important, insightful, and influential books on creativity ever written — pioneering psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi examines a curious, under-appreciated yet crucial aspect of the creative mindset: a predisposition to psychological androgyny. Illustration by Yang Liu from 'Man Meets Woman,' a pictogram critique of gender stereotypes. Illustration from the 1970 satirical book 'I’m Glad I’m a Boy! Donating = Loving

Secrets of the Creative Brain As a psychiatrist and neuroscientist who studies creativity, I’ve had the pleasure of working with many gifted and high-profile subjects over the years, but Kurt Vonnegut—dear, funny, eccentric, lovable, tormented Kurt Vonnegut—will always be one of my favorites. Kurt was a faculty member at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in the 1960s, and participated in the first big study I did as a member of the university’s psychiatry department. I was examining the anecdotal link between creativity and mental illness, and Kurt was an excellent case study. He was intermittently depressed, but that was only the beginning. While mental illness clearly runs in the Vonnegut family, so, I found, does creativity. For many of my subjects from that first study—all writers associated with the Iowa Writers’ Workshop—mental illness and creativity went hand in hand. Compared with many of history’s creative luminaries, Vonnegut, who died of natural causes, got off relatively easy.

The Quartet of Creativity: 28-Year-Old Susan Sontag on the Four People a Great Writer Must Be by Maria Popova “A great writer has all 4 — but you can still be a good writer with only 1 and 2.” The most recently released volume of Susan Sontag’s diaries, As Consciousness Is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals and Notebooks, 1964-1980 — which was among the best psychology and philosophy books of 2012 — gave us the author’s collected insights on writing . In an entry dated December 3, 1961, twenty-eight-year-old Sontag itemizes: The writer must be four people: The nut, the obsédé The moron The stylist The critic 1 supplies the material; 2 lets it come out; 3 is taste; 4 is intelligence*. (* A bit of a redundancy between 3 and 4, since Sontag once observed, “Intelligence … is really a kind of taste: taste in ideas.” ) Pair this list with Ezra Pound on the 6 types of writers — even though Sontag famously listed Pound among her dislikes . Donating = Loving Bringing you (ad-free) Brain Pickings takes hundreds of hours each month. Brain Pickings has a free weekly newsletter.

This Is What Happens When Top Architects Design Doll Houses A 750mm square plinth is a pretty feeble plot of land for a house-building project. It’s a good thing the clients were pint-sized because that’s all the room architects were given by U.K.-based regeneration property developers, Cathedral Group, who recently commissioned 20 architects and designers to create whimsical dolls’ houses to raise money for KIDS, a U.K. charity for disabled children. Other than miniscule proportions the only design requirement was the integration of a unique feature to make life easier for a disabled child. Cathedral’s project was inspired by the dolls' house Edwin Lutyens designed for The British Empire Exhibition at Wembley in 1922: in his nod to innovation he used a traditional dolls’ house to illustrate his vision for the future of architecture and interior design. The Grimm House: RAAD, in collaboration with artist Lara Apponyi RAAD’s James Ramsey came late to the tea party: his agency was invited to participate one week before models were due.

18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently This list has been expanded into the new book, “Wired to Create: Unravelling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind,” by Carolyn Gregoire and Scott Barry Kaufman. Creativity works in mysterious and often paradoxical ways. Creative thinking is a stable, defining characteristic in some personalities, but it may also change based on situation and context. Inspiration and ideas often arise seemingly out of nowhere and then fail to show up when we most need them, and creative thinking requires complex cognition yet is completely distinct from the thinking process. Neuroscience paints a complicated picture of creativity. As scientists now understand it, creativity is far more complex than the right-left brain distinction would have us think (the theory being that left brain = rational and analytical, right brain = creative and emotional). While there’s no “typical” creative type, there are some tell-tale characteristics and behaviors of highly creative people. They daydream. They “fail up.”

The Power of Process: What Young Mozart Teaches Us About the Secret of Cultivating Genius by Maria Popova On the “powerful blend of instruction, encouragement, and constant practice.” “The trick to creativity … is to identify your own peculiar talent and then to settle down to work with it for a good long time,” observed Denise Shekerjian in reflecting on her insightful interviews with MacArthur “genius” grantees. “Success is the product of the severest kind of mental and physical application,” attested Thomas Edison. In The Genius in All of Us: New Insights into Genetics, Talent, and IQ (public library), David Shenk presents a rigorously researched blend of historical evidence and scientific data to debunk the myth that genius is a special gift serendipitously bestowed upon the chosen few and shows, instead, that it is the product of consistent, concentrated effort, applied in the direction of one’s natural inclination. Anonymous portrait of the child Mozart, possibly by Pietro Antonio Lorenzoni; painted in 1763 on commission from Leopold Mozart (public domain)

How Does IQ Relate to Personality? | Beautiful Minds Personality and IQ have traditionally been viewed as distinct domains of human functioning. However, research over the past three decades suggests that IQ is a personality trait. In an excellent book chapter, personality neuroscientist Colin DeYoung points out that many personality traits involve cognitive processes and abilities. It’s just that IQ is primarily measured with ability tests, whereas personality tests are primarily measured with questionnaires. But this is more a reflection of a lack of ingenuity on the part of psychologists than a real difference in domain of human functioning. It’s theoretically possible to measure personality traits through ability tests. To help us see that picture, I analyzed data from the Eugene-Springfield community sample, which consisted of 478 mostly White participants from Eugene and Springfield, Oregon. Consistent with prior research, IQ was most strongly related to openness to experience. © 2014 Scott Barry Kaufman, All Rights Reserved.

8 Subconscious Mistakes Our Brains Make Every Day--And How To Avoid Them Editor's Note: This is one of the most-read leadership articles of 2013. Click here to see the full list. Get ready to have your mind blown. I was seriously shocked at some of these mistakes in thinking that I subconsciously make all the time. Obviously, none of them are huge, life-threatening mistakes, but they are really surprising and avoiding them could help us make more rational, sensible decisions. Especially since we strive for self-improvement at Buffer, if we look at our values, being aware of the mistakes we naturally have in our thinking can make a big difference in avoiding them. Regardless, I think it’s fascinating to learn more about how we think and make decisions every day, so let’s take a look at some of these habits of thinking that we didn’t know we had. 1. We tend to like people who think like us. This is called confirmation bias. It’s similar to how improving our body language can also actually change who we are as people. 2. 3. or 4. Well, no. 5. 6. 7. The lesson here?

Scott Barry Kaufman, Ph.D.: After the Show: The Many Faces of the Performer "Do I contradict myself? / Very well then I contradict myself, / (I am large, I contain multitudes.)" - Walt Whitman Recounting his recording sessions with the young Michael Jackson, famed record producer Quincy Jones remembers that "Michael was so shy, he'd sit down and sing behind the couch with his back to me while I sat with my hands over my eyes -- and the lights off." What a contrast from his onstage extroverted, charismatic and bold performance! In the CNN.com article "The confusing legacy of Michael Jackson," Todd Leopold discusses the perplexing combination of seemingly contradictory traits displayed by Michael Jackson. In explaining his many sides, Jackson biographer J. I think that when you're talking about Michael Jackson and you try to analyze him, it's like analyzing electricity, you know? Creativity researchers aren't so confused. Creative people have a great deal of physical energy, but they're also often quiet and at rest. A recent study illustrates this point.

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