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Posts archive for November, 2009

How healthy is perfectionism?

November 18, 2009

Does perfectionism drive you towards success or away from failure?  A recent article in Scientific American Mind (www.scientificamerican.com/mind ) suggests that there are ‘positive’ or ‘healthy perfectionists’ who are motivated towards success and, ‘unhealthy perfectionists’ motivated by a fear of failure.   Hogan’s Development Survey measures perfectionism on it’s Diligence scale.  Medium to high risk scorers are likely to demonstrate both healthy and unhealthy perfectionist behaviours with the unhealthy ones more likely to come out when under stress and pressure.   

Positive or healthy perfectionistic behaviours include organised, conscientious, striving for excellence, good organisation, striving to meet goals and deadlines.  However the negative perfectionist behaviours include anxiety, inefficiency, shying away from new challenges, critical, inflexible, pedantic.  

Intuitively I feel that the positive perfectionist behaviours are those that drive us towards success and the negative ones away from failure. However logically it also makes sense that some people may experience the reverse.  Could this be due to having an optimistic or pessimistic mindset?

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playtime enhances creativity, innovation and well-being

November 9, 2009

Are you feeling creatively stifled or in a rut?  It’s well known that organisations like Google and Innocent have play rooms to enhance creativity and innovation.  Recent research by Bekoff suggests that adults who do not play are at risk of becoming unhappy and exhausted and may not understand why they feel this way.  I know that if I don’t get to play enough at the things I really enjoy I soon begin to feel unmotivated and lose my ‘joie de vivre’.  Stuart Brown founder of the National Institute for Play (USA) says we should all find time for play and suggests the following types of play:

  • Body play – some form of active movement with no deadlines or expectations – just have fun
  • Object play – have fun creating something you enjoy
  • Social play – get together with others and play verbally – from small talk to lively debate

So I’m currently enhancing my creativity through…..

  • body play – walking/cycling in beautiful countryside and a couple of weeks ago swimming at dawn in the warm Caribbean – just letting the mind wander.
  • social play – I’m organising a murder mystery dinner next weekend for 40 friends – letting the imagination run free on character allocation and interpretation!
  • object play – creating my costume for the murder mystery dinner!

I’d love to hear how you are playing to enhance your creativity and innovation?

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