Requires Being Capable Of Change
If I had to express in one word what makes creative personalities different from others, it’s complexity. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
The theory of creativity may be like chaos theory — so full of complexity that we don’tfully understand it. Creativity has probably been studied longer than chaos theory; we know a lot about both. But we aren’t yet quite able to put all the dots together.
My writing has been about Creative Decision Making, Using Positive Uncertainty. Positive uncertainty suggests not fully understanding the creative decision making process. One of the road blocks to creative decision making was identified as “paradigm paralysis”: the inability to shift one’s view or to change your mind.
Paradigm paralysis restricts flexibility and inflexibility restricts creativity. When both the act of creating and the context of creating are full of complexity, an open mind that is flexible and changeable is essential.
Chaos theory, systems theory, indigenous philosophies and eastern religions have taught us that everything is connected to everything else. That certainly complicates things. If everything is interconnected, how do we go about understanding one thing?
The human tendency to simplify complicates the interconnected complications. Paradigm paralysis is a form of simplification. It keeps things simple by keeping things the same: no change. Change and creativity are two sides of the same coin. Change stimulates creativity and creativity causes change. The status quo is the enemy of change and creativity.
In the 2015 book, Wired To Create, Scott Barry Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire list several characteristics of creative people: fluidity, flexibility, plasticity, divergence, and convergence. These characteristics suggest open-mindedness to experience and change, a nonconformist mind-set with independent thinking, and high conscientiousness. To me these characteristics indicate the complicated nature of creativity as a personality trait. All creative people are not created equal.
Creativity, like many wonders and mysteries of the world, is something to study, to enjoy and probably never to totally understand.
Creative people have messy minds. Creative people also tend to have messy processes.
Scott Barry Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire