Contradictions of Creativity

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has listed nine contradictory traits that are frequently present in the dozens of creative people he has studied. The seeming contradictions make creative people hard to understand. I identify with all of these except number 5.

Some of my favorite seeming contradictions:

  • smart and naive
  • playful and productive (responsibility and irresponsibility)
  • attentive to real detail yet fluent in imagination and fantasy
  • genuinely humble yet displaying a strong sense of pride
  • rebellious and conservative
  • very passionate about their work, but extremely objective about it