Living between the black and white edges

September 10, 2006

Are creatives really all that special? Mark seems to think so and has a post outlining the top 10 characteristics of creative personalities. Looking through the list each of the ten have one thing in common – an ability to manage ambivalence. Now before I go any further, I am one of those people who believes that everyone is creative – it’s a matter of finding out how your creativity manifests itself that’s the tricky bit (and that’s also very doable). So many people spend their lives working at creatively draining pursuits which reinforces the stereotype that there are certain professions where creativity lies and others where it doesn’t.
Put it like this – a successful bank robber is a pretty creative individual in my humble opinion, as are obsessive and neurotic people who have to choose an outlet to express themselves in that way. But I digress.
The point I was attempting to make before I got side tracked is that the ability to manage ambivalence i.e. recognise that perfection doesn’t exist – is a central characteristic of maturity. Think about it for a minute – perfectionists are only perfect at one thing – being imperfect…the rest of us muddle along making decisions; weighing up options; managing the fantasies and realities – all of that is a creative edeavour and I would venture so far as to say that maturity is an expression of that creative ability to be in the multi-coloured pieces between the black and white edges. The real trick is finding an outlet for that ability and that’s where coaching can be really helpful. Mark coaches creative types and I wonder if he’d ever admit to meeting non creative types in the creative industries? I know I have, and I’ve also met amazingly creative and resourceful people in the “non” creative industries. Our creativity doesn’t have anything to do with what we “do” – it can do, but aligning personal and occupational creativity is the real challenge and one that I love when working with clients. How many people do you know that live between the black and white edges?
PS: Speaking of creativity I’ve added a link to my Flickr photos in the side bar!