So, check out this pot hanger my husband made for me. I’d been wanting something for our growing collection of cast iron, something non-obtrusive and away from the work hub. I think he nailed it, don’t you?
My husband’s a talented guy and can fabricate or fix just about any idea I present. He’s very left-brained, technical and linear. I, on the other hand, am right-brained, imaginative and full of possibilities. We’re a great team. And while I chagrin at making this all about us, I must admit we are an excellent example of today’s topic: the many sides of creativity.
Have you ever taken the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)? It’s an assessment that categorizes personalities into 16 different types. Some consider it unreliable since it stereotypes us into one group or another, and we all know people aren’t made that way. Others swear by its usefulness, feeling it offers insight into both their business and personal relationships. Either way, MBTI is an interesting study, if only for curiosity’s sake.
Allow me some narcissism and let’s talk about me first. Apparently I’m a puree of INFP and ENFP. Social, open-minded, empathetic and independent; traits full of creative flavor. Years ago, as a budding entrepreneur, I paid $49.95 for a certified MBTI assessment with the idea it would guide me in using these God-given traits. It helped a lot. I felt a greater understanding of my sporadic, all-across-the-board thinking and practiced channeling it into more focused action. Sometimes I’m successful at this, sometimes not.
(Incidentally, I’ve since self-administered personality tests and regularly fall into completely different categories. Apparently, this is common. It’s also characteristic of creative thinkers, which is conversation for another day.)
Now let’s talk about my husband
My husband is a solid ISTJ, meaning he’s reserved, systematic, logical and practical. These are highly honorable traits but on the creativity scale, they usually don’t make the popular vote. My husband is the first to label himself as creative as a handful of nails.
But I’m not so sure.
Here’s a common scenario as we together renovate our 100-year-old house. I come up with the best brainstorm ev-er, which usually means it’s artistically detailed (remember artistry is a skill, creativity is a way of thinking) and structurally demanding (because when your husband has the mechanical skills to do almost anything, why not?). Inevitably he says “No, it can’t be done.” That’s the utilitarian, cautionary side of him.
But then this ISTJer of mine starts mulling on it. He examines the facts. He percolates ideas. Soon enough he figures a way to make it happen and he masterminds the project even better than I imagined (did I mention dependability is another personality train of ISTJs?).
My husband is an innovative problem solver. He thinks both inside and outside the box. He’s inventive in recycling and repurposing. My pot hanger? With the exception of the S-hooks, it’s made completely of items he gathered from the barn.
Yes, my husband is very creative.
Remember we’re all creative!
What are your natural traits? Are they commonly associated with creativity? Tell us a bit about yourself and how you practice original thinking in your life.
Want to learn more?
Gifts Differing is an in-depth study for those who already know their MBTI type. It’s well organized and easy to read, plus you don’t have to be a psychologist!