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Who are the Explorer and Creative types and what are their personality traits

  • How does one identify the Explorer and Creative types? What are their personality traits and behavioural patterns? What keeps them ticking? These are some questions, amongst many, that the article provides answers to. 

This article looks at the importance of personality types/mind sets of individuals, as outlined in psychology. The author looks at the reasons of how did our ancient teachers use this knowledge to identify personality types, to optimise the value of their teachings and knowledge. Various different personality types, each having their own strength, contribute to our world. However, if we know what the personality type is then we can clearly help with choices that match their capabilities. As the article below suggests for fine arts i.e. drawing, music, dance etc., it is clearly the CREATIVE TYPES that will succeed to become masters!


Our ancient wisdom is used now as well. When a desirable comes to the guru to learn creative arts, or any stream of knowledge the guru gauges the person through conversation, attitude, body language, and time, before he accepts the person as student. (Note that Colleges and Institutions of learnings have strict admissions tests, and assessments for such determination)


Does he have a mind-set of the Creator Type?

Does he have the patience to break the monotony of continuous practice?

Does he have an ability to assimilate song, dance?

Does he show the perseverance to go through the grind to become an expert that requires practice of say over 10,000 hours?

Is he motivated to learn, and teach others to further the stream of knowledge in future?


Answers to such questions indicate if the guru, shishya and subject are compatible. If the answer is yes, the guru accepts him/her as a disciple!


Human beings have different mind-sets. Let us try to examine two namely The Explorer and the Creative mind-set. (Note there are various other personality types. However, we shall deal with the two kinds for our purpose of discussion on what suits the Creative development in human beings).


As the Explorer explores continuously, newer and newer different subjects, the Creator creates, by looking at just one subject, just one!


The EXPLORER MIND keeps discovering, whilst CREATIVE MINDS make.


The Explorer Mind Set

So what is the explorer? He belongs to the category of Christopher Columbus, the Vikings, Caption Cook, Amerigo Vespucci (who discovered America) and a long list of ...


Famous Psychologist Steve Neale states as follows -


“Explorer Pirates - they have big egos, want to be always seen to be right and often steal energy and good experiences from others.”


The Explorer is open to opportunity, any new learning, is always looking to grow/ develop and on the move, has a restless mind, loves trying new things/ experiences throughout their lives.


Explorers become strategists, individualists, leaders, rewriting the rules and play the game of life to win. Explorers like to confront, are great conversationalists, bringing forth different arguments in discussions, and debates and are seldom convinced of any other view point.


The explorer firmly believes the best way of life is to Go, Go and Go. The explorer dislikes monotony, and easily get bored. The explorer needs constant new challenges, or roles, or thoughts/ideas or events. The explorer mind cannot sit still.


Explorer personalities enjoy new learning, and find impulsiveness the most thrilling adventure of life.


As Adventurers, Entrepreneurs, Explorers are self-reliant and quick thinkers. The love for uncertain situations and flexibility to adapt to the moment is their passion. Explorers love workability and usefulness vs. perfection.


Explorers enjoy being on the leading edge of things – which meanschecking out the newest” of any kind. Explorers love risk taking for the fun and excitement of it. The time spent with Explorers, is therefore never boring or repetitive.


Doing the Work

Explorers are highly spontaneous, but when they need to work on something that’s repetitive it is a major challenge! 


Explorers are less likely to excel in school or professional careers, as they are, filled with required courses and boring standardized curricula. Jobs have some degree of routine unglamorous work.

Hence, Explorers excel in entrepreneurial work. Conversely, here are traits of the creative types.


The Creative Personality Types

This person is the exact opposite of the Explorer Type! For one these individuals are very patient.


If there's one thing that distinguishes highly creative people from others, it's the ability to see possibilities where others don't - vision. Artists and Writers have said that creativity is simply the ability to connect the dots that others might never think will connect.


An artistic type is creative, enthusiastic and highly sensitive to color, form, sound and feeling. They have a lot of enthusiasm and can stay focused on a creative project for long forgetting everything around them.


Neuroscience paints a complicated picture of creativity. Creativity is far more complex than the right-left brain distinction (the theory being that left brain = rational and analytical, right brain = creative and emotional).


In fact, creativity is thought to involve a number of cognitive processes, neural pathways and emotions.


“It's actually hard for creative people to know themselves because the creative self is more complex than the non-creative self,” said Scott Barry Kaufman, a psychologist at New York University who has spent years researching creativity. He told The Huffington Post, “The things that stand out the most are the paradoxes of the creative self ... Imaginative people have messier minds.”


Some Characteristics and Behavioural patterns of Highly Creative People


DREAM - Neuroscientists have found that daydreaming involves the same brain processes associated with imagination and creativity.



The world is a creative person's oyster - they see possibilities everywhere and are constantly taking in information that becomes fodder for creative expression. 


Work the hours that work for them

Many great artists do their best work either very early in the morning or late at night, or whenever the creativity strikes No matter when it is, individuals with high creative output will often figure out what time it is that their minds start churning and structure their days accordingly.

Time for solitude

Artists and creatives often stereotyped as being loners, but what they seek is- solitude i.e. a key to producing their best work. They need to give their minds the time to wander. They are highly reflective due to this trait.


They seek out new experiences. In some ways are like the explorer but their approach is different.


Creative people love to expose themselves to new experiences, sensations and states of mind - and this openness (as contrasted to the Explorer’s interest in facts.)-is a significant predictor of creative output. They "fail again and again."


Resilience is practically a prerequisite for creative success, says Kaufman. Doing creative work is a process of failing repeatedly until you find something that sticks. "Creatives fail and the really good ones fail often," Forbes contributor Steven Kotler wrote in a piece on Einstein's creative genius.


They ask the questions-big, small, to themselves and others. They people-watch.


Observant by nature and curious about the lives of others, creative types often love to people watch - and they may generate some of their best ideas from it. They're keen observers of humans, nature, and all other elements surrounding us.


Risk taking

Part of doing creative work is taking risks. "Creativity is the act of making something from nothing. This is not a job for the timid. Time, Money, Livelihood, Family are all placed on the betting table,” said Steve Jobs.


They view all of life as an opportunity for self-expression.


Nietzsche believed that one's life and the world should be viewed as a work of art. Creatives see the world this way, constantly seek opportunities for self-expression in everyday life.


“Creative expression is self-expression,” says Kaufman. “Creativity is nothing more than an individual expression of your needs, desires and uniqueness.”


They follow their true passions

Creative people tend to be intrinsically motivated - they're motivated to act from internal desire, rather than a desire for external reward or recognition. They are energized by challenging activities.


They lose track of the time

Creative types may find that when they're writing, dancing, painting or expressing themselves in the “Timeless Zone” or what's known as a flow state, which can help them create at their highest level. Flow is a mental state when an individual transcends conscious thought to reach a heightened state of effortless concentration and calmness. When someone is in this state, they're practically immune to any internal or external pressures and distractions.


They surround themselves with beauty

Creatives tend to have excellent taste, and as a result, they enjoy being surrounded by beauty. A study recently published in the journal Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts showed that musicians including orchestra musicians, music teachers, and soloists - exhibit a high sensitivity and responsiveness to artistic beauty.


They constantly shake things up

"Creative people have more diversity of experiences, and habit is the killer of diversity of experience," says Kaufman.


They make time for mindfulness

Creative types understand the value of a clear and focused mind because their work depends on it. Many artists, entrepreneurs, writers and other creative workers, such as David Lynch, have turned to meditation for tapping into their most creative state of mind.


Creative practices improve memory and focusbetter emotional well-being, reduce stress, anxiety, and improve mental clarity which lead to higher levels of happiness!


In conclusion, could it be said the CREATOR creates, and the EXPLORER keeps on discovering continuously the creations of this world?


Do mail me your thoughts bansibhai3@gmail.com


To read all articles by author 


Author is a Toronto based BANSURI musician,teacher,speaker, maker of flutes of various worlds, a published author. His writings rely on his experiences of learning music, as he continues on that beautiful never ending journey. His thoughts emanate from the discipline and study of music spans over decades. He is deeply influenced by the Indian Music Traditional guru-shishya parampara; his guruji Late Pandit Malhar Rao Kulkarni bansuri musician, Swami Parmananda of Kangra Valley Ashram where he spent learning ancient Vidhis of India, principally Chanakya Neeti. The priceless subject that strengthens thought processing abilities.A  subject forgotten as Chanakya did not write any of his teachings down as a matter of his principle. The views and ideas expressed are his own, the objective being to invoke the person to think differently, on simple issues that surround all of us in day to day life. Site is www.mybansuri.com

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