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How to More Easily Expand Your Creativity and Spot Limited Thinking

Tuesday January 11, 2022

Back when I was studying my personal energy levels, one of my earliest experiences taught me an important lesson about low energy:

As we lose energy, we tend to experience a lot of pressure to redirect our focus to one thing.

That one thing could be: One conclusion, one main idea, one person, one solution, one outcome that is near-certain.

We can also say that introversion in general is like this: Where extroversion focuses on “the many,” introversion focuses on “the one”.

Here are some additional, specific singularities of this sort, which I’ve also mapped onto the introverted cognitive functions:

  1. A single narrative or account that led to this point. “This all started when…” (Si)
  2. A single relational perspective that describes the characteristics of this point. “This is unfair because…” (Fi)
  3. A single logical structure or logical conclusion that must be reached about this point. “Conclusion X is a logical certainty because…” (Ti)
  4. A single metaphor, example, or analogy that maps to this situation exactly. “Let’s compare this situation to a…” (Ni)

For INTJs, I would say that we tend to believe more of 1 & 3 when expressed by others, and create more of 2 & 4 on our own.

(Looking at other types, for example the INTP or ISFJ, I’d say that the opposite is more likely.)

When used to make important arguments and reach important conclusions, these points should almost certainly be given additional time for examination. Why? Because they typically represent a discarding of multiple perspectives and a redirect of total energy into one perspective. This is an important moment of energy exchange, and there may be no turning back, depending on the various structures that apply to the situation.

These actions will tend to work against creativity, in the sense that creativity represents the ability to express oneself “outside the box,” against the approved narrative, counter to the dominant impression, reformative to the known logic, and counter-intuitive to existing analogy.

So: Watching out for “the one” should by definition help one to be aware of limited thinking, and spot new opportunities for creativity.

We can say, “OK, that’s a good example,” or “Fine, that’s very logical,” with the follow-up:

“…and also, I want to make sure we have a reasonable amount of time to consider the various perspectives here before dedicating all of our attention to one conclusion.”

And at this point, there are a lot of really helpful steps that can be employed to celebrate “one-ness” of conclusions, while also bringing in new ideas. The result is often something like “a new, different expression which is still satisfactory or even surprising in its one-ness”, rather than a “separatedness” or a disintegration, which I suppose a really introverted person would tend to fear.

Filed in: Fi /34/ | ISFJ /6/ | Ti /29/ | Si /18/ | Publications /44/ | Ni /42/ | INTP /6/ | Energy /120/ | Essays /52/

Own your procrastination with Whole Productivity, a new system → Get my free INTJ COVID-19 Guide → Explore your gifts with my INTJ Workbook → Other Publications → ...and the fake word of the hour: "Tarfonent." Which I believe is a term used when speaking about trial versions of poorly made software.