• Are You Highly Sensitive?

    Are You Highly Sensitive?

    In an article of hers, Elaine Aron, Ph.D. describes some of the basic qualities of the personality trait of high sensitivity. Here is the article: You may belong to the 20% of us who innately prefer to think before acting. Are you famous for being slow to make decisions? Do you need more down time than […]

  • The Conscious Pursuit of Personal Growth

    The Conscious Pursuit of Personal Growth

    The post title above comes from the subtitle of Steve Pavlina’s book Personal Development for Smart People. What do these ideas of personal growth and personal development mean? One of the most influential psychologists who defined the human potential movement, Abraham Maslow (1908–1970) noted, “Self-actualization means using one’s intelligence. “It does not mean doing some […]

  • High Ability, High Sensitivity, High Anxiety

    High Ability, High Sensitivity, High Anxiety

    “All forms of self-expression that tap into curiosities, talents or deeply held interests, when pursued to excellence, are deeply nourishing.” That quote by Kenneth W. Christian, PhD is from his book Your Own Worst Enemy: Breaking the Habit of Adult Underachievement. There are many deeply rewarding aspects of being gifted and talented, creative, with exceptional […]

  • Getting Past Fear of Failure

    Getting Past Fear of Failure

    By Kenneth W. Christian, Ph.D. Three fears lead directly to underachievement: fear of failure, fear of success, and fear of making a mistake. Any of these fears can paralyze initiative. When all three are working, initiative grinds to a halt. How many of these fears plague you? Usually, we experience some of each. If even […]

  • Can Depression Help Us To Be More Creative?

    Can Depression Help Us To Be More Creative?

    “Though my dark side is dormant right now, it continues to play a big role in whatever capacity I have to be creative.” Jessica Lange said of her depression years ago that “it was really a tough one. And when I came out, I felt like I had gone through something and come out the […]

  • Creativity and madness: The Abnormal Psychology of Creativity

    Creativity and madness: The Abnormal Psychology of Creativity

    By Cat Robson Just what is ‘normal’ for a creative person? After trying clumsily to conform to what others consider normal for much of my life, I’m beginning to appreciate my own moods and personality. Are creative people like us ‘abnormal’?  In his paper The Abnormal Psychology of Creativity, Steven James Bartlett writes…. Norwegian painter […]


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  • Too much pursuit of happiness, too little creativity? - Part 2

    Too much pursuit of happiness, too little creativity? – Part 2

    [See Too much pursuit of happiness? (part 1)] Does happiness always enhance creativity? A study by June Gruber of Yale University and others (“A Dark Side of Happiness? How, When, and Why Happiness Is Not Always Good”), notes “Emotional states exert significant effects on memory, judgment, decision-making, and creativity.” Her study also reports that “moderate […]

  • Happiness research gives hope in a dispiriting zeitgeist

    Happiness research gives hope in a dispiriting zeitgeist

    Learning to be happy “It’s almost as if this happiness stuff has anticipated the hard times to come. As we’re going into this recession, perhaps depression, it’s interesting to note there’s been this big upsurge of work on happiness just prior to that.” That is David Van Nuys, PhD, aka Dr. Dave, in one of […]

  • Keeping positive about our darker edges

    Keeping positive about our darker edges

    “Life’s just much too hard today / I hear ev’ry mother say / The pursuit of happiness just seems a bore / And if you take more of those / you will get an overdose / No more running for the shelter / of a mother’s little helper” “Mother’s Little Helper” by The Rolling Stones, […]

  • Can being unrealistic about ourselves be good?

    Can being unrealistic about ourselves be good?

    Brain/mind researcher Jill Ammon-Wexler comments about self-concept: “It’s commonly assumed that normal, well-adjusted people have realistic views of their own potential. “And it is also commonly assumed that those who do not have realistic self-concepts are very possibly neurotic or unbalanced. “Are these assumptions true? I’ll have to say absolutely not. “As a psychologist, the […]

  • Self-esteem and expressing our talents

    Self-esteem and expressing our talents

    Our concepts about identity and self-worth, and how we regard and value ourselves, may have more impact than anything else on being able to fully explore and realize our unique abilities. Wally “Famous” Amos says his personal mission statement “is simply to help people feel better about themselves. I think that self-esteem is at the […]

  • Dakota Fanning and the Eudaimonic view of happiness

    Dakota Fanning and the Eudaimonic view of happiness

    “Acting is what I love to do. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I don’t think of it as work. It’s really fun for me.” Dakota Fanning has also said, “It’s fun to know what I want to do – you know, when I grow up. I have friends who say, ‘Oh, maybe I’ll […]

  • Living More Fully and Creatively Without So Much Inner Static

    Living More Fully and Creatively Without So Much Inner Static

    As creative people, we may experience higher intensity emotions, imaginations, sensitivity and thinking. But we may need relief at times from our teeming brains and active inner lives to reduce stress and be more creative. ~ ~ Martina McBride talked about creating her album “Everlasting“: “I wanted to make a record that was easy, where […]

  • Authentic happiness doesn’t necessarily mean "pleased"

    Authentic happiness doesn’t necessarily mean “pleased”

    Sylvia Boorstein, Ph.D. is author of Happiness Is an Inside Job: Practicing for a Joyful Life. Here is an excerpt from her ShrinkRapRadio.com podcast interview: Happiness has quite a specific meaning. It doesn’t necessarily mean “pleased.” We often, I think, equate “pleased” with “happy.” Things are going my way. I feel pleased, that’s good, I’m […]

  • The creative personality - "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner

    The creative personality – “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner

    The excellent TV series “Mad Men” is a drama about the lives – both inner and outer – of executives, writers and secretaries in an advertising agency in the 1960s. It has garnered numerous Emmys and other awards. The show was profiled in a magazine article by Bruce Handy, who writes that “at its core […]

  • Publish your expertise to help people

    Publish your expertise to help people

    Share your expertise effectively to help others. Millionaire expert marketing leader Brendon Burchard notes, “Information marketing is a mystery to a lot of people. “But when you discover there are only 12 kinds of products and programs you can create, it’s not so intimidating and you can finally tackle them to start making money and […]

  • Shamed and Unashamed - Overcoming Low Self Esteem

    Shamed and Unashamed – Overcoming Low Self Esteem

    Bad to the bone Psychiatrist Michael Lewis, author of the book Shame: The Exposed Self, considers shame to be so powerful because it’s about the perception of having a “defective self.. rotten and no good.” But, he notes, “We don’t want to live in a world in which there is no shame or guilt. We […]

  • 'Condition' or 'character'? How language impacts our understanding of the high sensitivity personality

    ‘Condition’ or ‘character’? How language impacts our understanding of the high sensitivity personality

    By Cat Robson In her Marie Clare article Are You Too Sensitive?, Helen Kirwan-Taylor discusses her process of self-discovery related to her own highly sensitive personality. “Once upon a time, HSPs might have been written off as shy or even neurotic, but Aron [Elaine Aron, author of The Highly Sensitive Person] believes these labels are demeaning […]

  • Dealing with self-sabotage: Getting past I'm not good enough

    Dealing with self-sabotage: Getting past I’m not good enough

    By Cat Robson My very well-meaning parents were far from Mommie Dearest. Nevertheless, they were raised to believe, for instance, that babies shouldn’t be picked up when they cried because comforting them would ‘spoil’ them. They were very sparing in their compliments, fearing we’d get swelled heads. We kids survived, but thriving has been a […]

  • Developing multiple talents is an adventure - but not a sure thing

    Developing multiple talents is an adventure – but not a sure thing

    In this American Express commercial, Liz Lemon of the tv comedy series “30 Rock” (played by Tina Fey, who is also the creator and a writer of the show) is called on for a series of executive and creative decisions, as well as being a mom. As a multitalented, multitasking marvel, Lemon handles the demands […]

  • Dee Rees On Filming A Universal Story Of Identity

    Dee Rees On Filming A Universal Story Of Identity

    “It was just a story I wanted to tell. Writing it was an expression of my own coming out. Getting it out there was willpower, feeling this is a universal story about identity and it has to be told.” Writer and director Dee Rees is referring to her movie “Pariah” – about a lesbian teenager […]

  • Lady Gaga on identity and creative expression

    Lady Gaga on identity and creative expression

    Lady Gaga identifies herself as a feminist, and says, “I find that men get away with saying a lot in this business, and that women get away with saying very little. “In my opinion, women need and want someone to look up to that they feel have the full sense of who they are, and […]

  • Ways to Turn Your Passion into Profits

    Ways to Turn Your Passion into Profits

    By Ali Brown As entrepreneurs, one of our most important duties is keeping our minds open to fresh moneymaking ideas. Holding regular brainstorm sessions can uncover fresh spins on our original ideas, and keep the passion alive—not only within ourselves, but for our customers and clients as well. But, if you want to have an […]

  • Growing from painful times into creative ventures

    Growing from painful times into creative ventures

    In her article How to Turn a Negative Experience Into a Positive Way to Make a Living Without a Job, Valerie Young talks about seven people who have found adversity to be a catalyst for new career opportunities, such as Scott Adams who used his “mind-numbing experience in corporate America as the inspiration for his […]

  • Maybe your idea of fun isn't mine

    Maybe your idea of fun isn’t mine

    As introverts, we may not have the same values or interests in “fun” activities as those who are more extroverted. That may be another reason highly sensitive people and introverts are less acknowledged, supported and even valued in our outgoing, sociable-oriented culture. (Introversion and high sensitivity are not the same trait, but they often go […]

  • Resetting our happiness set point

    Resetting our happiness set point

    Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., an experimental social psychologist, notes each of us is born with a particular “happiness set point” – “a baseline or potential for happiness.” She has conducted “the first controlled experimental intervention studies to increase and maintain a person’s happiness level over and above” this set point. In her book The How of […]


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