A Sense of Destiny

Some observers have been led to comment on a certain “childlike” or “primitive” quality in creative individuals. They are childlike and primitive in the sense that they have not been trapped by the learned rigidities that immobilize the rest of us. In their chosen field they do not have the brittle knowingness and sophistication of people who think they know all the answers. The advantage of this fluidity is that it permits all kinds of combinations and recombinations of experience with a minimum of rigidity.

One could list a number of other traits that have been ascribed to the creative individual by research workers. Almost all observer have noted a remarkable zeal or dive in creative individuals. They are wholly absorbed in their work.

Anne Roe, in her study of gifted scientists, found that one of their most striking traits was a willingness to work hard and for long hours. The energy they bring to their work is not only intense but sustained. Most of the great creative performances grow out of years of arduous application.

Other observers have commented on the confidence, self-assertiveness or, as one investigator put it, the “sense of destiny” in creative persons. They have faith in their capacity to do the things they want and need to do in the area of their chosen work.

John Gardner, Self-Renewal