10 paradoxes on creative people from Creativity: The Work and Lives of 91 Eminent People, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, published by HarperCollins, 1996. 

(taken from

10 analysis and opinion from trying-to-be-creative-kennymoron.

read along.

(caution: this is only opinions)


mr. csikszentmihaly and a woman

mr. csikszentmihaly and a woman




1. Creative people have a great deal of physical energy, but they’re also often quiet and at rest.

well, I do think this is somewhat true since creative people sometimes spend their time to think (in unusual way) of something that not-very-creative people won’t even care to do. And yes, based on my observation people that I considered to be creative are like rechargeable battery that hyperactive, super talkative when the battery’s full and take sometime to charge the power it when it’s low (by being quite, thinking of something, at rest, or maybe meditating? who knows?)

2. Creative people tend to be smart yet naive at the same time.

in my opinion, I don’t think that creative people is naïve. it’s just that I think creative people have somewhat different way of thinking that not-so-creative people may considered naïve. And yes, I do think creative people tend to be smart but no always in terms of academic (in my point of view that is)

3. Creative people combine playfulness and discipline, or responsibility and irresponsibility.

yes yes yes, I agree with this paradox. I do think creative people may seems to be unorganized and irresponsible. However, they have their own way to be organize and responsible (in organizing song in their iTunes, perhaps?), even more than so-called responsible or organized people. And yes, creative people ARE playful.

4. Creative people alternate between imagination and fantasy, and a rooted sense of reality.

I agree, behind their extensive imagination and fantasy I believe that alternately inside, creative people is realistic. But now, what is considered realistic? Because I think creative people have different kind of ‘reality’ with normal or common people.

5. Creative people trend to be both extroverted and introverted.

hmm.. I’m 60% agree with this. Because we would not know what is actually inside the brain of creative people. They may be totally introvert but on the outside extrovert? because there is no objective measurement on what is considered extroverted and introverted. In addition, for creative people, I do think there is something else other than extroverted and introverted. They could play to be extroverted today and introverted the next day but I do think inside, creative people is either extroverted or introverted, but not both. Well, I actually don’t really know about this.. It’s only my opinion and weird analysis.

6. Creative people are humble and proud at the same time.

Yes, they humble and proud. They proud of being creative (in terms of work, thinking, and et cetera) but also humble with other people. This may be due to the broad mind that creative people have because narrow-minded people won’t be able to be humble but also proud.

7. Creative people, to an extent, escape rigid gender role stereotyping.

Well, creative people should be open-minded, they are open to everything, even impossible, weird stuff. So yes, creative people should not narrowed their mind with something like stereotyping. Being creative means to use the brain beyond any extend, so why limit the thinking scope with such insignificant stuff like gender role stereotyping? this world means more than that.

8. Creative people are both rebellious and conservative.

Conservative = not creative? I don’t think so. However, creative people does not have to be rebellious. and yes, I agree with this statement because like a two-sided coin, creative people have two different side (or maybe more? some-kind of a dice maybe?) both rebellious and conservative at the same time. But I think sometimes people just view creative people from one side (which is the rebellious side) so people just relate creative with being rebellious. But maybe it is also because the ‘creative people’ only want people to see one of their side (because creative people sometimes have weird way of thinking, not in a bad way though) even though they actually the combination of both. It’s complicated (like friendster said) but it is true.

9. Most creative people are very passionate about their work, yet they can be extremely objective about it as well.

Yesssssssss, creative people does not mean being all-so-subjective. In terms of their work, I do think creative people could be super objective since they could see something from different kind point of view. By looking their work objectively, the creative people could feel what the ‘objective people’ see and think about their work. As a result, they could even use their creativity to greater extend by trying to make ‘objective people’ could think subjectively about their work. Well, it’s only based on my opinion.

10. Creative people’s openness and sensitivity often exposes them to suffering and pain, yet also to a great deal of enjoyment.

Yeah, suffering and pain could be such an enjoyment for creative people. I do think sometimes creative people think backward and by suffering from pain, they may get the enjoyment from being able to share the suffer and pain that the others feel. Because what is the point in being creative if creative people only enjoy it for themselves? Because openness and sensitivity means care about other people, even though it equals to suffer and pain. Oh what a world..


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