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Catalysts for Creativity

The Unfolding Duality

Everyone likes a challenge—but only if you are optimistic that you can handle it. You probably sense that positivity is half the battle. Optimism therefore functions as a general inner substrate for creativity. (If you are pessimistic you are generally unwilling to take on challenges.)

The inner catalyst for identifying a worthwhile challenge is determined by some external task or state of affairs or adventure that confronts you. It does not actually confront you: you experience it as confronting i.e. the sense of challenge, with its mixture of excitement and nervousness, rises in your mind, and that is what spontaneously catalyses your creative juices.

The duality of optimism v confrontation unfolds within the Structural Hierarchy. In each Grouping there is a distinctive optimism v confrontation tension. Its necessary synthesis leads to the substrate for optimism at the next higher Level where a new catalysing confrontation emerges. This unfolding duality appears to develop as follows.

Explanation of the Progression


In using willpower-G1, a dialogue must at some point be confronted by propositions that open the door and invite initiative. In short: talk is all well and good, but you must drop anchor sooner or later.

In using willpower-G1, optimism manifests as a dialogue about the challenge and what it means in practice. You discuss possible targets, make inquiries, explicate purposes and generally try to get yourself mentally into the challenge. However, it is not enough to be «all talk»: you must start doing things. So the dialogue gets confronted by propositions that you must handle one way or another. The value of any of these is uncertain. You may find that your colleagues differ greatly as to which propositions are worth exploring and pursuing.

However, if you are to ever meet the challenge, your dialogue and a proposition must become synthesized to form a genuine possibility (as you see it). Your belief in any possibility reveals your optimism and readiness to get more involved, whatever others may think.


In deepening conviction-G2, whatever possibilities you entertain become revealed in public and confronted by that exposure.

In deepening conviction-G2, your chosen possibility becomes the new substrate for optimism. To build confidence, you must take your ideas and initiatives and work on them sensibly. Others will certainly notice your emerging dedication, involvement, conceptions, ownership, conclusion &/or iteration. This is not altogether comfortable because conviction and confidence take time to develop fully and, in any case, you can never remove all uncertainty. So you soon find yourself confronted by exposure.

However, possibility and exposure can become eventually synthesized in some form of demonstration of its value or functioning. When you expose your possibilities like this, you must do so in a way that maintains your optimism.


In focusing enthusiasm-G3, demonstrations soon become confronted by their limitations as others demand more substance or identify gaps or weaknesses.

It is impossible to focus enthusiasm-G3 unless you are optimistic. Demonstrations in personal interactions or via lectures and presentations to groups reveal your enthusiasm. However, you are soon confronted by the limitations inherent in any demonstration. There may be a lack of evidence, or an inability to generalize, or gaps in the argument or vagueness of some figures. Whatever it is, it raises fears and uncertainties. So, once again, being creative challenges you.

However, your demonstrations can fuse with their limitations once you develop the inner resolve to proceed for better or worse. That means: you are now all in!


In channeling commitment-G4 your resolve is a form of optimism and it soon gets confronted with failures of various sorts.

Channelling commitment-G4 into a challenge requires your optimistic resolve. Having nailed your colours to the mast, cast the die and gone all in, you proceed to surrender, become passionate, learn as you go, and play seriously with ideas. But, however intense and creative you are, success never simply falls into your lap. You will experience setbacks and failures along the way. Actual public failures, large and small, are probably the ultimate confrontation to which you must rise if your creativity is to be fruitful.

However, your resolve and your failures can and must be synthesized in order to create a narrative that sustains and embodies the necessary optimism of your journey.


In mustering perseverance-G5 your optimistic narrative finds itself sooner or later under pressure from a more or less penetrating and confronting critique.

Mustering your perseverance-G5 is required because creative efforts take time, and often come to grief or enter blind alleys. To cope with that, you must develop an optimistic narrative covering both the high and low points. It is primarily for yourself, but you may need it for others as well. If you are self-aware, you may realize that your narrative is a construction, but it is a believable one. It must be if it is to provide you with optimism. Determination, justification and motivation operate in the context of that story. Development of the narrative soon produces the confronting catalyst in the form of a critique that cannot be ignored. This emerges as you or others apply alternative perspectives and turn your attention to missed factors or unduly minimized issues.

However, the critique forces you to both sustain and transcend your narrative and this generates a puzzle.


In allowing immersion-G6 for the challenge you have a puzzle that embodies your optimism, and (as you expect) it gets eventually confronted by inspirations.

When you allow immersion-G6, your personal optimism is based on a belief that you can handle the puzzle that faces you. Puzzles are encouraging, because they provide the focus for preoccupation and experimentation, and you know that, by persevering, you can make the breakthrough. The confrontation would seem to lie in the inspirations that come to you. These may be true or false: it is hard to know, especially as some may be counter-intuitive or socially problematic.

However, combining your puzzle with the appropriate inspiration provides you with an inner stability which maintains your balance and the sense that you can after all succeed with the challenge.


In evoking courage-G7, your inner stability is indeed grounds for optimism. Yet within no time you are once again confronted: and not by anything ordinary, but rather by an amazing, yet seemingly insurmountable, opportunity! You are under no compulsion, but a challenge within your challenge beckons.

You must evoke courage-G7 to handle a worthwhile challenge, and the optimism to do so is based in the inner personal stability that comes from having resolved puzzles in the past. Combined with your positivity as you work on the challenge, there is a solidity in your position. But you need more. You need a new challenge. But where is one to come from? You look around. You have never stopped looking around. But being stable, you are more liable to perceive opportunities. So something catches your eye: and confronts you. Yes, that particular opportunity would indeed be a challenge. But it seems insurmountable: so will you rise to it?

The synthesis of stability and opportunity generates meaningful discussions and inquiries. There are also internal conversations as you consider the pros and cons. So an optimism-driven dialogue is the result. That returns us to the substrate in using willpower-G1 and the process re-cycles.

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If that makes sense: review optimism and its confrontations.

If it does not, post comments below.

Originally posted: 17-Feb-2012

All posted material is part of a scientific project and should be regarded as provisional. Visitors are encouraged to think through the topics and propositions for themselves. Copyright © Warren Kinston 2009-2016.
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