Psychology was one of my favorite subjects in college and I’ve always been fascinated by personality types. So, I was immediately attracted to the premise of Creative You by David B. Goldstein and Otto Kroeger.
This book aims to help you understand your creative process through the use of Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test results. (You probably look this test at least once in high school or college, but there are several free online versions if you don’t already know your type.)
According to Creative You, I’m an INTJ — also known as a Visionary. This personality type quietly follows “plan A” yet has a “plan B” for every possible scenario. They are vastly independent and enjoy the freedom that comes from creative activity. They process data from lots of different sources and put the pieces together like a giant puzzle that somehow manages to be a new creation. Unfortunately, they get easily overwhelmed by their diverse interests and ideas.
This description is eerily accurate as far as my work goes. I have piles upon piles of half finished craft projects and scribbled notes for articles I keep telling myself I’m going to someday write.
Creative You doesn’t offer any concrete suggestions to fix my tendency to leave things half finished, but suggests that I avoid working with other INTJs whenever possible since we’re likely to fail to consider how other people will respond our ideas and end up with a bunch of half finished concepts that never leave the drawing board.
In addition to the explanation of the 16 creative personality types, Creative You includes a discussion of cultivating creativity. The book touches on collaborating with others, as well as being creative in a workplace involvement.
However, the section I found most interesting was the chapter on how to encourage children to be creative if you have different personality types. My son loves to draw and write stories, but he’s much more of an improviser than I am and tends to walk around with his head stuck in the clouds. (If I had to guess, I’d say he’s an INFP or a Muser.)
It drives me crazy that he just starts making up stuff with no plan of where his story is going, but Creative You points out that you need to really make an effort to respect your child’s own process and not force them to do things the way you would.
Creative You also states that Intuitive Thinker (NT) parents like myself tend to come across as overly critical because they’re always pushing for improvement. So, I’ve been trying my hardest to celebrate my son’s accomplishments and stop insisting that his work would be better if he did things my way. Hopefully, he will thank me by dedicating his first novel to his loving mother!
Visit the Creative You website to learn more about the authors and to read a free excerpt from the book.
Disclaimer: A review copy was provided by the publisher.
Photo credit: Creative You