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Creative Talent: The Explorer

Explorers journey to find new lands and discover new routes. Their worlds are full of pulsating possibilities.

Explorer: Results and Contributions
-Ability to see external patterns, trends, and relationships

-Tireless generation, promotion, and initiation of new enterprises, new business ventures, and new ideas

-Inspiring ingenuity and discovery in others

-Imagination full of connections and associations

-High-spirited team-building and successful change initiatives because of their enthusiasm, energy, and passion

-Helping others push past what is accepted and expected

-Possibility thinking to envision future

The strengths of the Explorer’s creative talent lies in their bold imagination and ability to see patterns, relationships, connections, and trends in what is happening in the external world. They are gifted with tremendous insight and with the power to inspire. Explorers have the advantage of knowing and being recognized in the world of work as creative and original. Their life is often about being creative “almost all the time.” Said one Explorer, “I think in a creative environment and love to let creative energy flow. Creativity is key!”

Explorers are the quintessential idea generators, brainstormers, and catalyst for change. They use a lot of “what-if” talk and are always looking at the future and emerging possibilities. They are often heard to ask “In what way might we….?” Or “How else could we see this problem.” They will question and challenge others to reach higher and father. They will look for “happy collisions” that connect seemingly unrelated ideas, people, or circumstances.

Explorers find self-expression quite natural and easy. They use speculative and imaginative terms to get their ideas across. They can keep the total situation in mind as the creative process develops and can continuously redefine the problem as it unfolds. They can rapidly generate alternatives and quickly consider and discard possible solutions.

Explorers tend to have a broad range of interest and abilities and a wide array of friends. They get their energy from being with other people. Explorers are usually full of new and different ideas and possibilities, and they love to talk about them. In fact, Explorers often need to talk with others in order to experiment and play and come up with new ideas. Explorers work best in groups, since the majority of their ideas come from interacting with other people. One Explorer, a very successful entrepreneur, admitted that she is usually stymied trying to generate ideas on her own. However, when she adds another people to the mix ideas start to flow-and most of the ideas are her own. She just needs the stimulus of another person to start the flow.

I need another person, often just in the room. They may not be able to get a word in edgewise because I may do all the talking. But without that other person in the room, I cannot think of a thing on my own. I hear ideas in others, and I articulate them.

Said another Explorer, who recently became a self-employed consultant,

"I need to work with someone else. I like to explore ideas on my own, but I feel that they are only made real by introducing them to someone else. The greatest challenge of the last six months (since starting my own business) has been to recognize that I need to work with others in development, not only in delivery, and then to develop networks and an approach to planning that supports this need."

Explorers relish new projects and new experiences. They usually have plenty of new challenges since one of their biggest fears is being bored. Said one telecommunications entrepreneur with this talent, “I need to be learning and exploring all the time.” Individuals with this talent are stimulated by difficulties and can be most ingenious in solving them. The telecommunications entrepreneur, upon being told that his Rotary group couldn’t possibly get a BMW automobile as a raffle prize for an upcoming fund-raiser, immediately took up the challenge, went to the local dealer, and got the care! Said one Explorer, another entrepreneur, “I love challenges….Tell me something can’t be done and I will find a way to do it. Tell me ‘you can’t get into that account, and I’ll get into it.”

Explorers enjoy collection information from the world around them and exploring ideas and possible approaches to a situation. They like to figure out how to unlock every door and find fresh outlets for new ideas. Their original minds help Explorers see beyond the boundaries and have different perspectives. They tend to do things differently than other people. Here’s one example of an Explorer “thinking out of the box,” or actually on top of the box:

I once worked as a production foreman for a tall and physically intimidating production manager. He was in the habit of using his physical presence to intimidate subordinates in order to “win” arguments. Faced with this approach in a heated discussion, I ask him to wait for a moment while I pulled a packing crate across the floor and left it at his feet. Standing on the packing crate (now towering above him), I asked him to please continue!

Explorers tend to be independent and flexible, divergent and integrative in their approaches, and positive and passionate about their work. They value vision and inspiration above everything else. They will follow their visions confidently into all sorts of opportunities, ventures, explorations, promotions, and projects. They are usually comfortable acting on their hunches. They may also frequently use humor to reframe a problem and to get people to see it differently. The question they tend to ask during creative problem solving can help reframe the challenge and generate multiple alternative ideas and solutions. These include the following:

• In what ways might we…..?
• How else could we see this?
• What would happen if….?
• How could we do this differently?
• What could we do about this if we had all the resources we needed?
• What if we…..?
• What’s the big picture?
• What would be ideal?
• Could you imagine…?
• How would Superman or Wonder Woman (or other cartoon character) see this problem? What would he or she do about it?

Acting as a catalyst for change, they frequently initiate and promote innovation efforts. Explorers can be very successful, enthusiastic change agents. Their high energy, optimism, and enthusiasm are contagious and can carry the team through tough times. Explorers stimulate the team to consider all options and angles, to look for the positives, and to search for new routes for grown and expansion.

Their visions of the future are most often inspiring and address global concerns. They can process information from many different sources simultaneously. Explorers have the ability to rapidly scan much information from general impressions; they can walk into the middle of a meeting and almost immediately pick up where the group is. Their intuition is usually finely tuned. Their imagination is full of connections, associations, streams of consciousness, and vague images.

Explorers are versatile and flexible. They tend to be intolerant of rules and formulas. Instead, they prefer to stay alert to fresh opportunities and new developments. For this reason, they may be more comfortable working outside of large, more formal organizations. They like to heartedly dive right in, frequently without a detailed plan, because the answer is bound to emerge. Plans aren’t needed since they can constrict and limit options. Said one Explorer, “It just happens. The right direction will emerge. We will sift, and sift, and sift, and wow! The right design appears.”

The introverted decision-making auxiliary talent is important in giving explorers focus and direction. It also affects the types of data they take in and how they go about making sense of them all. If their Explorer talent is supported by the Inventor’s talent, they may be independent, analytical, and somewhat impersonal in their relations with people. They are constantly and rapidly scanning the environment for opportunities and taking in data about concepts, ideas, and things. They are concerned about product quality, dependability, flexibility, and innovation. With this combination, Explorers look at challenges from a system wide point of view. They are more apt to consider how others may affect their projects than how their projects may affect others. They look for experts with whom to explore their futuristic ideas and plans, favoring theoretical conceptual and technical possibilities. They provide a clear strategic vision for where the organization needs to go.

If they are supported by the Poet’s talent, Explorers are more enthusiastic and concerned with the possibilities and potential of people. They are skilled at handling political and interpersonal issues. They are adept at handling groups and at getting people to work together. Explorers with this combination of talents do not mind the need to bargain and adjust to people’s needs. They pay attention to the way people are responding to their suggestions or presentations; they know that important decisions cannot be uncoupled from personal views and desires of powerful people. These Explorers are adept at reconciling different opinions and views and finding common ground. They are likely to take on a missionary zeal to help the world see the power of their visions. Their desire is to promote a flexible organization with long-term goals. Explorers with the Poet auxiliary talent want to bring out the best in others, and they filter their decisions through their set of internal, personal values to come to conclusions that usually take others into consideration.

With either combination of talents, Explorers can make many creative contributions as team leaders. Their enthusiasm brings people out and stimulates their ideas. They have a passion and liveliness that keeps the group creatively energized. Life is a fascinating game for Explorers, and they are one of the key players. They can help the team avoid the rigidity of facts and keep them focused on the potential for change, improvement, and new directions. With their leadership, the team can learn to be more flexible and explore a broad range of interests.

Explorers are also open to the ideas of others, since they are eager to develop a wide understanding of the problem. They know how to give and receive encouragement and support. They are thus skilled at bringing individuals with different perspectives together to examine the various points of view and then to generate new approaches to the challenge. They can set a tone of acceptance, which is very important to the creative process. Their passion and optimism can appeal to the group’s imagination and curiosity.

Richard Branson, CEO and founder of British Virgin Group, who has developed new ways of challenging the airline and retailing business, is one example of an individual who might have this creative talent. Another is anthropologist Margaret Mead, who broke new ground in a variety of different arenas to study the cultures of the world. Other examples might include Walt Disney, the artist Judy Chicago, advertising giant Jay Chiat, and entrepreneur Ruth Mosko Handler, cofounder of Mattel, Inc.

Explorers are terrific at initiating entrepreneurial ventures. They are full of ideals for new businesses and have the creative impulses to get them going. They are comfortable with the amorphous, fluid, early stage of projects and star-up ventures. They like to figure out how to structure the deal and then bring others into it. They are the mavericks who are not afraid to take risks and make mistakes and learn. They are constantly looking for opportunities to explore, expand, and grow, one entrepreneur, in reflecting on his business career, saw the pattern of always looking in every job for the career opportunities that others might have overlooked:

"I always asked myself how could I find some benefits from this situation. Part of this constant question comes from my fear of being bored. Part comes from the fact that I need these challenges to keep growing. And, of course, the recognition and advancing of my career didn’t hurt either!"

Explorers tend to really enjoy the thrill of starting up a new business and the mask tasks involved in getting it off the ground. Says one successful business owner,

This business calls for me to do a hundred things at once. You have to be a juggler because you are dealing with so many different things. I’ve always been able to juggle a million things at once….You have to always be proactive because if you are not proactive, the train passed you by….and you have to keep on being creative. You can never lose the competitive edge.


Explorer: Blocks to Optimal Creativity
-Irresistible pull of the external world

-Unfocused energy and overextension of self

- Tendency to be easily distracted and become impatient

- Failure to address facts and details

- Preference for idea generation over implementation

- Overwhelming or silencing others

- Biases of their auxiliary talent to certain types of data

- Not understanding or appreciating facts, history, or resistance to change

- Burnout and loss of their creative edge

As with all talents, several forces can impede the effectiveness of the Explorer’s creativity. These blocks include lack of focus, organization, and direction; randomness and inconsistency, ignoring details; impatience; and preferring idea generation to implementation. After reviewing some of the key blocks, you will find strategies for overcoming them in the next section.

Explorers are driven by what is happening in the world around them. They sometimes find themselves at the mercy of external conditions since outside possibility have an irresistible pull for Explorers. They may get so caught up in talking with others, generating ideas, getting fresh inspiration, and helping solve problems that they fail to keep track of time and get their own work done. They may get easily distracted and appear unpredictable, scattered, disorganized, irresponsible, or impulsive. They may seem to go off on tangents whenever inspiration takes them. They hate to admit that something is impossible since they believe they are the master of possibilities. Explorers may often find themselves overextended and overcommitted and may end up squandering their energies. Their strengths do not necessarily lie in completing projects.

Explorers tend to dislike schedules and routine and may be unrealistic about the time required to take a vision real and to do the work. If their auxiliary talent is not well developed or fails to operate on a given day, Explorers may find themselves ignoring deadlines and commitments. Said one, the president of a consulting company, “Getting ideas is not the challenge. The challenge is implementation.” Explorers may refer to wait until the last moment since that pressure inspires them. They find process or systematic method tedious and boring. Admitted one Explorer,

In general, I will say that my response to “challenges” is inconsistent from the point of view that sometimes I simply walk away, sometimes I get mad and create chaos (although less often these days!), sometimes I work through the challenge in a methodical and painstaking way, and sometimes I have an inspired idea and it carries me through on a wave of enthusiasm.

The natural passion and fast pace of the Explorer can overwhelm and exhaust a group. While relishing the new ideas that can come from difference of opinion, they may often find that they squelch conflict, though usually not consciously. Their high energy level and enthusiasm for new ideas may lead others to be afraid to voice differing opinions. Or others may not feel that Explorers want to hear their opinions since they may mistake their enthusiasm for conviction. In addition, Explorers may be guilty of not listening as they get carried away with their own ideas.

Their auxiliary talent may also cause problems. If it’s the Inventor’s talent, Explorers may find themselves railroading ideas through without concern for the group’s feelings. On the other hand, a Poet’s talent may dampen an Explorer’s passion for change because of a concern for the possible impact of the change on values, relationships, and people.

Explorers may be too focused on the future without really understanding the present situation, its facts, and realities. It may be difficult for them to concentrate and to prove others the viability of their ideas. They can overrate possibilities and then underestimate the time needed to produce results. Overlooking details and specifics can cause problems when changes are initiated. Explorers can have a difficult time understanding reactions to change that differ from their own. They often don’t appreciate the reasons that cause people to resist, and they may fail to take those reasons into consideration in the chance of initiative. Explorers may be too impatient to take the time to carefully convince others of their ideas. Said one entrepreneur with the Explorer talent, “My energy can exhaust other people….I just won’t take no for an answer.” She went on to add, “I also don’t have patience for people with no sense of urgency, who just plod along, who can’t keep up with me, or don’t even try to keep up with me. That drives me crazy.”

In addition, routine details may often get in the way of an Explorer’s creativity. Said this Explorer, in commenting about what gets in her way, “It’s the mundane thing of running a business that get in the way. Youo need to be close to the details, but you can’t get so close that you get sucked in, bogged down.”

In valuing new and fresh approaches to challenges, Explorers often end up reinventing processes over and over again because information gets discarded once it is used, instead of being stored for a similar situation. Explorers may not learn to rely on their experiences or even feel the need to learn from experience.

Explorers may get overwhelmed by having to deal with too many details, bureaucracy, or idea generation. Sometimes they get so involved in possibilities and the future that they fail to pay attention to their own physical and emotional needs. As one Explorer said, “A big problem for me is getting tired out, burned out. That’s a real problem for creativity. You need a fresh outlook.” A major challenge for them is to keep their competitive edge and innovative spirit.

When they are mentally exhausted or physically tired, Explorers may become defensive or obsessed with details and overvalue the relevancy and use of facts. If others attempt to control them, they may become rebellious and scattered, even critical, and fail to follow through on commitments. Explorers may also become obsessed with their body and concoct all sorts of imaginary pains and illnesses. Obviously, these symptoms can greatly interfere with their creative contributions.

Explorer: Enhancing Your Creative Talent
- Trust your strengths

- Develop greater self-awareness

- Find the right creativity tools and techniques

- Find ways to capture ideas

-Get help in organizing and executing ideas

-Access your auxiliary talent for balance

-Practice good time-management techniques

-Reflect and grow

-Become more conscious of and practice your own creative process

-Learn to communicate with the other talents

Depending on their particular situations, there are several steps Explorers can take to gain maximum benefit from their creative talent and improve their effectiveness of their creativity:

• Trust your strengths. Make sure that the team recognizes the need to explore new ideas and possibilities. Encourage the team to share these skills and to hold off focusing on the end result until they have examined many different alternatives.
• Develop greater self-awareness. Making a candid assessment of your strengths and areas where you need to focus your attention as a creative individual is a critical step toward greater self-awareness and creativity. Be honest with yourself about blocks and barriers from your experiences, your knowledge, and your creative talents. Ask for and listen carefully to feedback from colleagues, friends, and family about your talents and what might be getting in the way. Be clear about what might be keeping you from being your creative best and making your greatest contributions.
• Find the right creativity tools and techniques. Make tools and techniques to expand options and promote breaking out of mental models are built just for people with the Explorer’s talent. You probably enjoy these tools and techniques-particularly brainstorming, analogies, and associations-because they are fun and can have unexpected results. Make sure you are using these tools and techniques appropriately to get the most advantage out of them. For example, one of the reasons that brainstorming sessions often don’t produce the results they potentially can is that the team falls into analysis too quickly and does not follow the rules of brainstorming:
• Set some general boundaries around the purpose of the session.
• Generate as many ideas as possible. The more ideas the better; quantity will lead to quality.
• Defer judgment. Hold off criticizing until the session is over and the decision is made to move to analyzing ideas.
• Build on the ideas of others. Combine and improve on the ideas of your teammates.
• Encourage “freewheeling” of ideas. The wilder the idea, the better; it is easier to tame down than to think up.
• Write down every idea to ensure that none get lost.

In addition, make sure that you keep your creative edge and promote its growth. It’s easy for Explorers to fall back on past success and reputation. Several creativity tools and techniques can make your idea generation skills to an even higher level. These tools include techniques that make the problem strange and using analogies from nature-all of which make the original problem significantly different and cause you to look at it from a totally new perspective. These techniques will help you use your well-developed imagination in a new ways.

• Find ways to capture ideas. Explorers need to have a way to capture their ideas. One Explore has three tape records-one in the card, one by the bed, and one at work-to make sure that she doesn’t lose any great idea. Another also uses a tape recorder to get his ideas down; he then has the draft typed then so he can edit it and send it out for feedback. Another Explorer talked about needing plenty of space around her, to be able to write on the walls and see everything. H. H, Richardson, the famous American architect, had walks of cork in his room to which he pinned drawings.
• Get help in organizing and executing ideas. To balance your natural ability to generate lots of ideas and possibilities, find techniques to help you focus, select the best ideas, make decisions, and get them implemented. If you can’t find partners who support our efforts, tools can help. One Explorer, a successful CEO of a training company, credits his knowledge and frequent use of the management and planning tools of the Total Quality Management (TQM) programs with helping him to be more effectively creative. Using the tools of Gantt charting, force field analysis, and decision charts, he can better structure and apply the results of idea-generation sessions. The TQM tool known as Affinity Diagrams can be used to group ideas together and to organize the output of an idea-generation session. Nominal Group Technique is another TQM tool that can be used for voting on and then selecting the best option. One Explorer described his use of mind mapping, a visual technique that allows you to represent your thoughts using bubble of key words and organizing those bubbles in a web of connecting lines in all directions.
I get some colored pens and start mind mapping. The things that appeal to me about mind mapping are the ways that it facilitates the exploring of many alternatives and allows you to express them on a single page. You can also have fun drawing sketches and cartoons.

• Access your auxiliary talent for balance. Explorers can bring a needed structure to the creative process by using their auxiliary talent of the Inventor or the Poet. A well-developed auxiliary talent that helps you evaluate, organize, and judge can add stability to your incredible ability to take in all sorts of data. Accessing your auxiliary talent can increase your dependability and help you focus, settle down, and stick with a solution. Ask yourself, “What does all this information mean?” “How do I organize it?” “To what use can I put it?” “How does it fit in with my values?” As one Explorer said,
My auxiliary talent targets where and what I feel is important. There is so much I could pursue. I need focus. I have a dialogue between my ‘king and queen’ [his term for his dominant and auxiliary talents] about what to do next. It’s not an argument, but its exploring issues that need to be resolved. They will undermine me if they are not both happy or excited.
Refer to the Inventor or the Poet for strategies for further developing this talent.

• Practice good time-management techniques. To help ensure implementation of great ideas, learn to plan backwards: figure out when something has to be done, and then determine how much time you will need to complete all tasks in order to meet the deadline. Put limits on the time you allow yourself to explore ideas and then get ready to move on. Another suggestion is to identify what routines might help you be more efficient and avoid wasting time. Such routines can free up time for you to explore and do more of the activities you enjoy doing.

• Reflect and grow. Reflecting can help Explorers grow their creativity by learning from past experiences and mistakes. Explorers need to find a quiet place for reflection. Schedule time between meetings or planning sessions to process and digest information and to regain your energy. Sometimes writing in a journal or practicing relaxation techniques is also helpful. Earn to take a long walk, enjoy nature, and return t your grounded center. Said one Explorer, “I walk in the woods, pray, get away from daily habits, daydream.” The time you take reflecting may help you value facts and details and come to appreciate structure and planning. Another Explorer said, “I tend to work in bursts of energy. I need down time to recharge and for ideas to percolate while I’m thinking of other things.” One Explorer talked about the need to “step back from the dance floor and get up on the balcony.” Another business leader reflecting the Explorer talent indicated that it’s always important for her to take time to process experiences:

There are always problems that you have to resolve. And then usually out of that comes the evaluation process. It takes you thought all the other things you could have done to avoid the problem in the first place, what you should do to avoid it in the next time, and then from that, what you could do.

• Become more conscious of and practice your own creative process. Explorers naturally bring divergent approach to problem solving, but they can still benefit from becoming more conscious of how they come up with creative solutions. Experiment with writing down your reactions and how you solved a problem. Practicing keeping notebooks as Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Edison, and the poet Walk Whitman id. One consultant reflecting the Explorer creative talent talked about his technique called “inventive reading”:
I look for conceptual nuggets or building blocks in all kinds of books. Then I will look for concepts, frameworks, and patterns. Thought in a book will, for me, light up, and I know it’s part of a bigger pattern that I’m in the process of discovering.

Learn to alternate between exploring ideas with others and wrestling with the problem on your own. One Explorer describes her process this way: “I learn about and consider whatever the challenge may be. Next I find a quiet place and generate an action plan. Then I join with the group discussion and remain flexible, using all the ideas to find collaborative, out-of-the-box solutions.” Such alternating can help you develop independence and avoid biasing your own thoughts and feelings with those of others.

As part of your process, including a step that causes you to stop to determine if the question, challenge, or situation really calls for your creativity. There are times when you may want to consciously shut it off to avoid wasting your energy. Make sure you also give yourself time away from the problem. Not every problem needs to be addressed immediately. Said one Explorer, “If I’m really stuck, I won’t push it. I’ve learned that the world won’t fall apart if I wait two hours to find an answer!”

• Learn to communicate with other talents. Sometimes more grounded and practical colleagues find an Explorer’s stream of consciousness a bit tricky to follow. To your team members, your ideas may seem to come out of nowhere. Your team members may prefer a more step-by-step approach to understanding a situation and can be more focused on today than you are. To be more effectively creative, you might try stating up front in a meeting what you’re going to be doing-throwing out ideas or trying to come to a decision so that everyone is clear about purpose and expectations.

Learn to slow down and express yourself more clearly. Take time to listen. Developing better listening skills as well as techniques for speaking the language with the Navigator or Adventure creative talent can help you translate your vision into a reality that others can understand. Count to 10 before you speak. Give others time to talk. Develop patience, appreciation, and respect for the contributions of other creative talents. Having different creative talents on a team will result in different ways of presenting data and articulating thoughts. You may find gaps in plans that you hadn’t even considered. Be careful not to belittle others’ ideas or dismiss them too quickly, or make erroneous assumptions about their resistance to change. You can squelch exploration of conflicting opinions without even knowing it. Recognize that you can get carried away with ideas and possibilities. You need the assistance of others to be brought down to earth and to help you see details, chose among options, and accept the consequences of your ideas.

• Bring in partners, preferably those with different creative talents than yours. Many entrepreneurs work with partners who have complementary talents. The different talents can bring stability and structure to an effort, but especially new ventures. Such support will help your team or organization thrive. One Explorer has teamed up with a partner who can scope out in detail what needs to be done to execute his great ideas: “My partner is so skilled at defining and sequencing the tasks, he can do it three to five times faster than I ever could.”

• Get physical. Get in touch with your sense of taste, hearing, smell, and touch, and sight to ground yourself. Listen to what your body is telling you. One Explorer finds that running grounds him and gives him the time he needs to reflect and organize his thinking. Another finds that “working with my hands, whether it be building a deck, painting a wall, tilting a kitchen or a bathroom, is when I do my best thinking.” Said another Explorer, when asked how he gets in touch with his creativity.

I read a book or go for a bike ride or a swim-I find these activities relaxing both physically and mentally and find that both reading and sport prompt both physically and mentally and find that both reading and sport prompt me to begin to think more creatively, certainly less linearly. As I read, I am noticing the meaning of the text and experimenting with applying the beliefs, actions, models, attitudes, and story lines that appear in the text to real situations in my life…new perspectives leading to new meaning. The sport is more about being in touch with myself and clearing my mind from a clutter of external noise.

• Consider the biases of your auxiliary talent. Your auxiliary talent can lead to some block to your creative contribution. With the Inventor’s talent, you may overlook political and people issues. You may not see that individuals involve in a change initiative can have legitimate reasons to resist. You may not take the time to praise or connect with the individual affected. Instead, you may be focused on competence, achievement, and creating something new. Having the Poet as your auxiliary talent, on the other hand, can cause you to focus o your own values and to be more cornered with harmony and cooperation. You may end up generating positive, confirming alternatives or alternatives that you believe people want. Paying attention to and compensating for these biases will enhance your creative contribution.

Review the chapter on the Inventor (Chapter 8) or the Poet (Chapter 10) for more information on blocks, barriers, and strategies for further developing your auxiliary talent.

• Learn more about change and how to manage it effectively. Take course in change-management strategies or read books on the subject. Such study can help you understand the different roles in a change initiative and the steps needed for a change to take hold or for resistance to be overcome. Make sure that you consider such issues as the following:

o What do other team members need to get through this change?

o What does the organization need to implement this change?

o Who is going to take care of business while the change is being implemented?

o How do we bring in stability after the change has been made?

• Develop an appreciation for the past. Explorers tend at
times to discount the past and be impatient with those who cling to it and resist moving on. Yet the past can have incredible value. One possibility for learning to appreciate and value the past is to spend more time in historical hobbies. You may find historical research or collecting fine things restful and restorative. This interest in facts and historical data can help you stay grounded and put your creativity to even greater use.
• Take time to study and research the details. Because your insight and “aha’s” often lack evidence in facts and reality, your creativity can benefit from delving into details. The CEO of the training company, for example, commented on how getting into the details and doing research triggered new ideas and unexpected ways to significantly save on telephone expenses. Study and research into the facts can help Explorers get into their unconscious, an even richer source of imagination. Said one Explorer, “The nitty-gritty can be a jumping point for the more ideation.” Take a course in aesthetics to improve your skills at observation of sensory details. Check out the chapter on the Navigator and Adventure for more tools and techniques.

Explorers add energy and enthusiasm to any effort. Without an Explorer, the team would miss patterns, trends, and future possibilities. It might have a harder time generating many options and alternatives. Explorers are creative in the way they discover and generate new and different ideas. They have great instincts for new trends and connections. They provide passion, possibility thinking, and inspiration and will test the limits of the team’s imagination. They can be wonderful catalysts for change and innovation. By developing their abilities to organize and execute and by teaming with and appreciating others with different talents, Explorers can be even more effectively creative.

From Breakthrough Creativity by Lynee C. Levesque

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Dash the Stampede blogged
Dec 03, 09 7:08am

A pattern created from human nature in societies where there are so many more distractions, such as entertainment, drugs, alcohol, social activities- exist all over. Still, overall fact is, like a drug, they sooner or later will wear off. Then people shall desire something new, something even faster to give instant gratification towards them to divert attention from the harsh realities of life and boredom. This is simple aspect of human nature. These forms of entertainment have a faster pace than the time we spend working at something. Work is treated as something boring. You see it as slow and repetitive. When presented with the challenge, when called upon to summon actual effort, the same views shall come to it: It's not fun.

"When people are bored, it is primarily with their own selves that they are bored."
-Eric Hoffer

When we go far enough down that path, it becomes increasingly difficult to muster the patience to endure the hard work that is required to master any kind of craft that you'd like to. After all, to master a craft requires long and hard work. You have to spend time alone. When viewed as this, life becomes divided between that which is necessary, or work, and that which is pleasure. This is a mindset you must escape.

"Work banishes those three great evils, boredom, vice, and poverty."

Instead, master this time by yourself, the moments of boredom, to your advantage. If you have ambition towards something, true passion, then if you reach that goal, then you shall find far more satisfaction than anything you can from outside distractions. To get their, however, you obviously need to master some talent, increase your intelligence in a subject, to fulfill your ambition. To do this, you need two thing: Self-Discipline and Passion. You simply need to be able to deal with the repetitive activity, the slowness, and frustrations that come with the challenge.

Starting down this path, you have two different things shall happen to you. If you have a larger goal you've set out for yourself, then thoughts of that can assist you in enduring the boredom. When you have ambition towards something and treat it realistically, you can tell yourself then that whatever you are going through now means absolutely nothing in comparison to when you achieve your goal thanks to this. Concentrate on a single goal, task, whatever is necessary. Make sure your goal clear, detailed, an overall goal with the eyes of a realist. If you aim at the impossible you grow discouraged, which can lead you to having a defeatist attitude. Also, clear long-term goals allow for you to give direction to your actions, large and small. Decisions are far easier to make then.

The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.
-Ellen Parr

Second, as you become better at this task or craft, it'll start to become far more entertaining in itself. You begin to see clear improvement and, with that, you can obtain a far wider vision of things you hadn't previously had. You'll want to become absorbed in mastering it further, and in this absorption you forget your problems. However, unlike the outside diversions, this is one from within you. You grow with things, creating a lifelong skill alongside the mental discipline that is the foundation to success.

Always make sure your chosen career or craft excites you in some deep way. There is NO difference between work and pleasure. You get pleasure from mastermind the process itself and in the feeling of immersion that it requires to master.

"Boredom is nothing but the experience of a paralysis of our productive powers."
-Erich Fromm

Create a tolerance of repetitive, boring tasks, because if you do,it can allow you to excel in chosen fields and master your craft. Take a look at some of the true legendary people of the world. My personal suggestion will be one of the people I look to as an idol, Bruce Lee . He is well-known for many different things, but if you look earlier into his life, he spent a lot of his free time building himself up into the legend he soon became. Many people can't handle boredom, fearing starting out, the unknown, etc. They go to their distractions, dreams, and illusions, never aware of the higher pleasures that are there for those who master themselves and skills.

M.R. Hill

Title "Boredom is the Deadliest Poison" comes from quote from William F. Buckley

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Dash the Stampede blogged
Nov 01, 09 7:20am

Enneagram Type 9:
Peacemaker, Mediator, Naturalist, Accommodator or Abdicator

You want to be agreeable, peaceful, natural and comfortable. More importantly, you want to be calm and, if at all possible, to avoid conflict. You see yourself as accepting, unassuming and laid-back. You would like others to see you as humble, easygoing and approachable. Your idealized image is that you are content and harmonious.

Desiring union, harmony and unconditional love, you get along with most people that you meet. Considerate and gentle, you have an innate ability to make people feel comfortable and at ease. You are very accepting and readily empathize with others. Focused on the well being of others, you may at times lose sight of your own agenda. More intellectual than you let on, you have a natural gift for seeing many different points of view. You are able to see all the shades of gray in any given situation and have a way of diffusing conflict and being calm and steady in a crisis. Focusing on similarities rather than differences, you make an excellent mediator and peacemaker.

You don’t want to be drawn into conflict and avoid being pressured to react. Self-forgetting by nature, you repress your anger and neglect your needs in order to avoid the discomfort that comes with conflict. Because you may lose yourself in life’s simple pleasures, the needs of others, or the basic task of living, you may never go after what you truly want. You may struggle to find your one true passion. At times, you may be complacent and minimize anything that is upsetting.

Often the strong silent type, you have the power of patience, persistence and resistance. You see yourself as having stamina and take pride in your ability to endure. You tend to procrastinate and take longer than others to make up your mind. When you do make a decision, you are like an unstoppable elephant pursuing its goals. Not one to self-promote, you would rather be discovered than announce yourself. Others may underestimate you due to your casual and nonchalant attitude. This is nearly always a mistake–one that you are happy to let others make because you prefer not to flaunt your talents or appear egotistical.

You need simplicity, peace, harmony and to be appreciated. Because you are highly empathetic, you need to know that the people around you are relaxed in order for you to be able to relax. To truly be at ease, you need to have your creature comforts and are unwilling go without them. Publicly, you may go along to get along, but when in private you make sure that you have what makes you feel happy and comfortable.

You avoid conflict, complications and judgmental people. Being shut down, overlooked and not included by others are among your greatest fears. You are afraid of being loveless and of not receiving or being able to give love. Paradoxically, your avoidance of anger and conflict can lead to more conflict. You don't want to deal with anything until you are good and ready. It is hard for you to say no, so yes means maybe and maybe means absolutely not!

Your virtues are your acceptance, peacefulness and ability to see universal truths. Open and receptive, you easily relate to others. When you are at your best, you can be both personally and universally connected. Whether you prefer simple pleasures or intellectual pursuits, you are always seeking what is harmonious. You often show your love by working hard, and you can make great contributions to others. Down to earth, steady, patient and easygoing, you bring a sense of calm to any given situation. Steadfast and persistent, you are able to endure even the most tedious and difficult circumstances.

Your vices are indolence, inaction or sloth. This can lead to self-forgetting and neglecting your needs and/or the needs of others. Your inattention and forgetfulness can manifest as “crimes of omission”. You may also be stubborn or turn a blind eye to someone in need. Everyone thinks that you are on his or her side and can interpret your understanding as agreement. Overly avoiding conflict, you are most likely to hurt the people around you by not keeping promises due to your lack of follow through. This can make for a passive-aggressive stance in life where you don't see the impact of your inaction and can appear callous or indifferent.

Your attention goes to identifying with and merging with others. Your soft, pillowy energy tends to spread outwards and become diffuse. Because you sense and champion the needs and feelings of whatever group you are in, you are a natural group anchor. To avoid feeling tension and conflict, you may reach for substitutes for love by eating, focusing on the minutia or getting lost in unimportant tasks.

Spiritual Path
Your spiritual journey is to reclaim your sense of right action and awaken from the coma of self-forgetting. Spiritual growth will come to you as you reclaim, define and assert your sense of self in the world.

True love is action and not passive acceptance. To be truly loving requires that you define your values and take a stand for what you believe is important– regardless of the conflict it may cause. Indecisiveness and a fear of upsetting people can prevent you from taking appropriate action. Remember that no decision is a decision, and a “stitch in time saves nine”.

If you are the Enneagram Type 9 with the 1 Wing, you desire to appear elusive. You see yourself as pragmatic, clear, collected, funny, calm and harmonious.

If you are the Enneagram Type 9 with the 8 Wing, you desire to be natural. You see yourself as dignified, comfortable, loving, aloof, strong and kind.

Famous Type 9s
Loni Anderson, Bali, Annette Bening, Tony Bennett, Ernest Borgnine, Matthew Broderick, Sandra Bullock, George Burns, Art Carney, Keith Carradine, Julia Child, Connie Chung, Bill Clinton, Columbo, Gary Cooper, Kevin Costner, The Dalai Lama, Jeff Daniels, Oscar de la Renta, Clint Eastwood, Dwight Eisenhower, Queen Elizabeth II, Shelley Fabares, Peter Falk, Gerald Ford, Dennis Franz, Annette Funicello, Mahatma Gandhi, John Goodman, Tipper Gore, Elliott Gould, Charles Grodin, Woody Harrelson, Patty Hearst, Mariel Hemingway, Audrey Hepburn, Barbara Hershey, Anjelica Huston, Shirley Jones, C.G. Jung, Grace Kelly, Nancy Kerrigan, Lisa Kudrow, Stan Laurel, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Abraham Lincoln, Andie MacDowell, Mr. Magoo, Dean Martin, Jerry Mathers, Dan Quayle, James Earl Ray, Ronald Reagan, Ralph Richardson, Carl Rogers, Roy Rogers, Gena Rowlands, Eva Marie Saint, Garry Shandling, Martin Sheen, Tom Skerritt, Ringo Starr, Mary Steenburgen, Daniel Stern, James Stewart, Eric Stoltz, Billy Bob Thornton, Andy Williams, Tricia Yearwood, Renee Zellweger.

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Dash the Stampede blogged
Nov 01, 09 7:06am

Enneagram Type 8:
Leader, Solution Master, Maverick, Protector or Intimidator

You want to be open, honest, direct and straightforward. More importantly, you want to be independent, make your own decisions and direct your own course. You see yourself as assertive, decisive and resourceful. You would like others to see you as strong, fair-minded and magnanimous. Your idealized image is that you are protective and powerful.

You are charismatic and exude confidence. You have a take-charge, no nonsense, can do attitude. You have great pride in your ability to face, endure and overcome adversity, believing that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Your assertive stance and imposing presence make you a ‘force of nature’. You like challenges and usually overcome the kinds of obstacles that limit or deter others. You have a lust for life and want to experience everything to the fullest. You believe that ‘too much of a good thing is almost enough’.

Your word is your bond and you do not suffer fools gladly. People are occasionally intimidated by you and have a tendency to misinterpret your direct manner as insensitivity. Self-possessed, you easily speak your mind and can come across as too aggressive. You believe that being true to yourself means that you say what you mean and mean what you say. You stand up for your beliefs and perceive backing down as a sign of weakness – even though at times doing so may be common sense and in your own best interest.

Behind your tough exterior you are gentle, playful, childlike and innocent. Always one to laugh, you can see the humor even in the most painful and difficult of circumstances. You are also unusually devoted to and protective of those in your ‘inner circle,’ often secretly going without so that others will have what they need. Living by your own personal code of honor, you have a strong sense of justice which compels you to act whenever you see any kind of injustice taking place. This often inspires great loyalty from those who see you as a protective authority.

You need to be your own authority, and seek independence to be master and commander of your own life. You have the need to feel confident, self-reliant and in charge of your emotions. You don’t need to be liked, but you do have a strong need to be respected. You also need a sense of fairness and justice in your dealings with others, or you are likely to assert your willful and stubborn nature.

You avoid being weak, vulnerable, controlled or manipulated. Secretly, you fear being caught off guard, harmed and/or humiliated. Being mistreated and at the mercy of injustice are among your deepest fears. You resist and defy anything that is imposed upon you. Fearing deprivation, you avoid ever having to go without what you deem essential to your survival. You do everything in your power to avoid being dependent on anyone or anything. You have a distaste for mediocrity and anything that feels contrived.

Your greatest strength is your sense of justice and desire to protect the weak, vulnerable, down-trodden and under-represented. Big hearted and generous by nature, you willingly protect others even at your own expense. A person of your word, you stand up for what you believe in and deliver what have you promised. You have the ability to quickly assess a situation, cut to the chase and ‘call a spade a spade’, simplifying what initially appears to be complex and confusing. This ability to instinctively see the truth in any given situation and act decisively makes you a natural born leader.

Your vice is excess and going to extremes. Whatever you like, you want more of and whatever you do, you overdo at full speed. Quick to respond, you can over react and come on too strong. You can be too much, too intense, and unwilling to self-limit. This can lead to escalating conflict due to an over reliance on your own truth and self-defined justice. Under stress you can become myopic, believing your truth as ‘The Truth’. Seeing life as a battlefield or a contest of wills, you can become confrontational and have difficulty backing down or admitting defeat. You have a tendency to push things to the edge and sometimes may run over others in the process.

Your attention goes to issues of power— who has it and most importantly, if it is being used fairly. You instinctively sense a power vacuum and you often step in to fill it. You are not interested in subtle nuance but rather in the big picture, like a general surveying a battlefield. You can be relentless in your search for truth, justice, power and influence.

Spiritual Path
Your spiritual journey is to reclaim your sense of innocence. Spiritual growth will come when you can acknowledge a higher truth and a higher power. As the king or queen of the jungle, you can either take advantage of others with your powerful and commanding presence or make the jungle a safe place for everyone.

True strength comes from surrendering the need to have power and control. Remember that sensitivity to others and acknowledging your own tender emotions is a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness. Cynicism and insensitive teasing are red flags that you are feeling hurt and disempowered.

If you are the Enneagram Type 8 with the 7 Wing, you desire to appear commanding. You see yourself as outspoken, innovative, intense, daring, striking, attractive and tenderhearted.

If you are the Enneagram Type 8 with the 9 Wing, you desire to appear solid. You see yourself as earthy, simple, honest, practical, authoritative, solid, wise and considerate.

Famous Type 8s
Afghanistan, Leslie Abramson, F. Lee Bailey, Joe Don Baker, Lucille Ball, Charles Barkley, Humphrey Bogart, Napoleon, Charles Bronson, Meredith Brooks, James Brown, Richard Burton, Johnny Cash, Fidel Castro, Sean Connery, Jimmy Connors, Robert Conrad, Brian Dennehy, Danny DeVito, Mike Ditka, Bob Dole, Sam Donaldson, Kirk Douglas, Michael Douglas, Milton Erickson, Indira Gandhi, John Huston, Chrissy Hynde, Joan Jett, Lyndon Johnson, Brian Keith, Nikita Khrushchev, Martin Luther King Jr., Evel Knievel, Bruce Lee, Rush Limbaugh, Mafia, Mao Tse-tung, Lee Marvin, Malcolm McDowell, John McEnroe, Golda Meir, Dennis Miller, Robert Mitchum, Judd Nelson, George Patton, Sean Penn, Fritz Perls, Julia Phillips, Julianne Phillips, Suzanne Pleshette, Queen Latifah, Ann Richards, Theodore Roosevelt, Axl Rose, Mickey Rourke, Colonel Sanders, Telly Savalas, George C. Scott, Maurice Sendak, Serbia, Tupac, Frank Sinatra, Grace Slick, Spain, Joseph Stalin, Donald Trump, Pancho Villa, Ken Wahl, George Wallace, Mike Wallace, Denzel Washington, John Wayne, Zorba the Greek.

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