10 Things I Learn about CreAtiViTy 十大关于“创造力”

I will start sharing my key learning points on every character strength I learned from “Character Strengths and Virtues, A Handbook and Classification“. Let’s start with the character strength “CreAtiViTy”.

Definition of CreAtiViTy:it must have 2 components:

  • Must produce ideas or behaviors that are recognized as original; and
  • The behaviors or ideas must make a positive contribution to that person’s or to the others’ lives.

My 10 Key Learning Points:

  1. CreAtiVe people are not necessarily intelligent but they are not unintelligent.
  2. What differentiate CreAtiVe people from others is their disposition – they are generally independent, non-conforming, unconventional, have wide interest, open to new experiences and a boldness to take risk.
  3. CreAtiViTy is best nurtured in homes that provide many opportunities for intellectual, cultural and aesthetic stimulation. 
  4. CreAtiViTy is best nurtured when parents encourage development of independent interests.
  5. To advance CreAtiViTy, one must work hard.  The 10-Year Rule says: “No person can make creative contributions to a particular domain without first devoting a full decade to the mastery of the necessary knowledge and skills.”
  6. CreAtiViTy needs an environment that is supportive, reinforcing, open and informal.
  7. CreAtiViTy will be suppressed when CreAtiVe people are put under time pressure or their work closely supervised, constantly subject to critical examination.
  8. Highly CreAtiVe people tend to work on several ideas at the same time. They like to incubate one idea while working on another allowing cross-fertilisation ideas to take place.
  9. A great deal of CreAtiViTy took place in a group settings i.e. brainstorming.
  10. To nurture CreAtiViTy, use brainstorming or the teaching of heuristic abstracted from observation of creative people working.  Eg. SCAMPER (substitution, combination, adaptation, modification, putting to other uses, elimination and rearrangement).

Role Model: my vote goes to none other than the late Steve Jobs, whose CreAtiViTy has changed the way we live our lives.

Is CreAtiViTy one of your character strengths?  You can find out and get a FREE full character strength report from HERE.



  • 所产生的构想概念或行为是被公认为原创的;
  • 该行为或构想概念必须对创造人或他人的生命作出积极的贡献。


  1. 拥有创造力的人不一定是绝顶聪明的,他们却绝不是愚蠢的。
  2. 拥有创造力的人和其他人的区别在於他们的性格。他们往往是独立的,不喜欢符合规范,标新立异,拥有广泛的兴趣,喜爱新的经验和拥有面对风险的勇气。
  3. 最好培育创造力的是在提供了许多知识,文化和审美机会的家庭。
  4. 那些常常鼓励孩子发展个别兴趣的父母往往能培育孩子的创造力。
  5. 要提高创造力,就必须努力辛勤地工作。根据“十年规则”所说:“除非一个人投入了整整十年的时间去掌握所有必要的知识和技术,否则,没有任何人可以对一个领域作出创造性的贡献。”
  6. 创造力需要一个能给予支持,辅助,而且开放的和非正式性的环境。
  7. 当有创造力的人面对时间压力,或他们的工作受到密切监督以及不断地被严格审查,他们的创造力便会受到压抑。
  8. 极富创造力的人往往同时拥有好几个思路。他们经常在致力於一个概念,却又孵化着另一个想法,从而让它们相互交流。
  9. 有许多的创意是在集体自由讨论下而产生的。
  10. 要培养创造力,可用集体自由讨论或以观察创作人工作的启发式教学。




THE Book!这本书!

I finally bought it — “Character Strengths and Virtues, A Handbook and Classification” by Dr. Christopher Peterson and Dr. Martin Seligman. 

I thought if I want to be serious about coaching through strengths, I need to understand the 24 character strengths a lot more in-depth.  It was not an easy read, especially for non-psychologists, but it certainly contains wealth of information about each character strength.  For each character strengths, Dr Peterson and Dr Seligman described in great details its definition, theoretical traditions, measures, correlates and consequences, development, enabling and inhibiting factors, gender, cross-national and cross-cultural aspects and deliberate interventions.



A Conversation with Dr Ryan 和莱恩博士的对话。

As a finale to the 7-lesson VIA Intensive training, VIA Institute generously offers an optional one-on-one bonus coaching session for every participant to review our VIA-Pro report (i.e. our character strength report).  The purpose of meeting was “To review your VIA-Pro report. This can be a general review session or it can be done in the context of a personal or professional growth issue, a goal, or a life difficulty.”

I signed myself up immediately for this precious opportunity.  And, am I glad I did.  I was fortunate to have Dr Ryan, our 7-week course instructor as my session coach.  I could not wait to meet him.

Dr Ryan was great!  That short 45-minute session was not only a fruitful one for my own self, it was really a good session to see how an experienced psychologist uses the VIA Report to coach his client.  I learned a lot about myself, I learned so much on applying it to people I wish to help.  At one point in time, under the patient guidance of Dr Ryan, I even achieved a breakthrough on how I have always seen myself.

My 3 most important discoveries from this 45-minute session with Dr Ryan :

  • Embrace all your signature strengths (your top 5 character strengths). This is because they represent the “real you”.  Accepting and embracing them allow you to be happier because this is when you are more true to yourself.  In other words, apply Gratitude to your character strengths, appreciate each of them, use them, mobilise and expand the use.
  • Prudence and Bravery can go hand-in-hand when used appropriately!  I was always so stubbornly believed that the two were in conflict and wish I could have more of one and less of the other. Dr Ryan made me see for myself there were incidences in my life that I used them together both at the same time; there was even a major one that enabled me to make a turning point in my life and got me to where I am today.  I can’t wait to tell Sarah (my team member) about this realisation.
  • When we apply character strengths to career coaching, it would not be  appropriate (close to dangerous) to conclude that certain character strengths match/fit certain career options.  A character strength can be used and applied within different career options.  The key to our role really is to help people to know their strengths and use them in as many situations as possible.  Dr Ryan gave a good example, a person high in Humor does not necessarily have to be a comedian.  He can be a doctor (no less!) and he can apply Humor when it is much needed to defuse stressful situations and this strength can be very helpful (and needed) in high-stress environment like a hospital.

THANK YOU DR RYAN, from the bottom of my heart.



莱恩博士真的很棒! 那短短四十五分钟的辅导不仅帮助丰富了我自己,它也真正是一个很好的学习机会。我亲身经历一个富有经验的心理学专家如何利用VIA性格优点分析报告帮助他的当事人。我学到了很多关于我自己。从莱恩博士身上,我也学到了如何更有效率地去帮助他人。



  • 完全地去接纳自己所有的关键性格优点(您最强的五个性格优点)。这是因为它们代表了“真实的你”。接纳它们让您去面对和拥有真正的自我,只有这样,您才会感到更幸福快乐。换句话说,用感恩的心态去面对您的性格优点,好好地运用和扩大使用它们。
  • 如果运用方法得当,“审慎”和“勇气”两大优点竟是可以齐头并进的!以往,我总是固执地相信这两个优点是互相冲突的。莱恩博士让我看到我曾经多次成功地在同一时间运用“审慎”和“勇气”。还有那么的一次,让自己踏出生命中重要的一大步。
  • 当我们运用性格优点帮助他人作职业选择时,执着地去把某些性格优点匹配於某些职业选择上是不恰当,甚至是危险的。一个性格优点可加以运用和发挥在不同的职业上。我们重要的任务是去帮助人们了解自己的优点,和帮助他们在尽可能在多方面情况下运用他们的优点。莱恩博士给了一个很好的例子,一个拥有幽默感,善于逗人开心的人,并不一定要当一个喜剧演员。他绝对可以是一名医生,在高压环境中,如医院,运用其幽默感,帮助他人看较轻松的一面而化解紧张的情况。


My Best Moment 我最好的时刻

I started practising strength-based coaching on a group of graduates I was training for a period of 8 weeks.  I decided to adopt “You at Your Best“, a positive intervention recommended by Dr Martin Seligman. My objective of the exercise is to make them start paying attention to what they are good at and start using their strengths.

I asked each of them to submit a weekly journal describing a moment when they felt they were at their best, I called the exercise “My Best Moment” — the moment they realised they were using their strength(s) and felt good about themselves. 

For the first 2-3 weeks, the journals I received were all along these lines:
“I could not find my strengths. But I realised I have a few weaknesses which I hope I can improve upon in the next few weeks… (the journal went on to describe what the weaknesses were and how he/she plan improve on them).
“My best moment was when we could go out in a group and had a good dinner together… We had such a good time!” (misunderstood “best moment” for “best time after work”)

I patiently reminded them again what “Best Moment” meant and asked them to watch out for their own strengths and, if they could, also looked out for the strengths displayed by their group members.

4th week onwards, a few began to write like this:
“I felt very good last week as I realised I was good at analytic skills when I was doing the project.  I really liked analytic work, I could continue the work without feeling sleepy or tired…”
“I think I had leadership skill because last week, I could get my group members together to complete the assignment which was difficult and all of us were rather confused initially.  There was a lot of self-satisfaction!” 

5th week on, the number of them writing about their awareness and use of their strengths grew even larger.

I could sense the confidence level amongst them grew in tandem.  They became more engaged with their work and with each others. 

It was one of my best moments.


我让他们每个人在每一周提交一份笔记,描述他们在上一周里他们最好的一个时刻, 我把这功课叫做 “我最好的时刻” :也就是当他们觉察到自己的优点,在运用他们的优点,自我感觉良好的那一个时刻。



“上周,我觉得非常开心!因为当我在做我的工作任务时,我发现到我的分析能力挺不错。我真的很喜欢这类的工作,当我在做分析性质的工作,我完全没有困乏或疲倦的感觉… …”




To Dads and Moms 给爸爸妈妈们

Wrote and translated this piece of work in September 2009, reproducing this thought provoking article here:

I wish to declare that this following article ‘Moments spent with your children are priceless’ is not written by me. It was written by Soo Ewe Jin, a Deputy Executive Editor of the Star newspapers.  Reading the article made me think of so many friends of mine who struggle to balance between time for career and family.   The posting of the link here and the translation of the article into Mandarin are meant to share the author’s wisdom with even more people. The author’s choice made for his children earns my greatest admiration and respect. From this article, I see the character strengths of Perspectives, Courage, Perseverance, Love, Gratitude and Teamwork.

Note: there is another wisdom of Mr Soo that I have, with his kind permission, posted and translated on this blog: Only Character Endures.

我在多年前翻译的一篇文章, 再次和您分享:(我在最近又上载和翻译了Soo Ewe Ji 另一的智慧篇 品格不朽 ,值得一读。)


“我们在昨天庆祝父亲节。因此,这是谈论父亲的一个很好的时间。更何况我最近刚看了在金融时报的卢克约翰逊有趣的评论,题为“富有和成功家庭里的贫困儿童”。 特别吸引我的注意的是最后的几段:“无论你追随的是什么职业途径,你都要为成功作出很大的奉献和牺牲,” 约翰逊说。

“对於那些把事业当成是他们的生命的发明家和企业先锋,他们最终的重点放在那里是再清楚也没有了。然而,几乎每一个我所认识的企业家都有一个很大的遗憾 ,那就是: 他们没有放足够的时间在孩子的成长过程上。”




我们总共累积了大约十六年的全职经验。我们许多善意的朋友,特别是理财规划师和单位信托顾问,都在关心我们所损失的收入。 他们告诉我们,因为我们没有在我们最能建立经济基础时那么地做,所以我们不能送我们的孩子到海外受教育。

一个我们最常听到的共同感叹是:“为什么你不在你工作年能力最强的时候赚钱?” 这是很好的意见,但我们选择了走一条不同的道路。这当然不是所有家长确定可以采取的方法,但我们发现这一条不同的道路,给了我们巨大的回报。 不知怎地,我们也可以凭着一个收入,足够且安然地渡过日子。



我收到一封电子邮件,关于一个男孩向他忙碌不停的父亲借二十五美元。他的父亲的工资是每小时赚取五十美元。  “爸爸,我现在有五十美元。我可否买您一小时的时间,请您明天早点回家和我们一起晚餐?“他说。


我突然想到“猫在摇篮“ 这首歌。一首在1974年哈里蔡平著名的歌,以第一人称的父亲诉说太忙而没有陪儿子的时间。最终,男孩长大后也像父亲一样-一个大忙人,而没有陪伴父亲的时间。


附注:副执行主编Soo Ewe Jin认为,人生命中的资产负债表远远超越损益,而员工们不应该被视为单纯的经济单位处理。”

The Paradox of Our Time 属於我们的一个矛盾年代

I really like this — a meaningful email I received from a good friend:

“The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less. We buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life, not life to years.

We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things. We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice.

We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less. These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes.

These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.”





Wisdom 智慧

The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered,

 “Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”


“人呀。因为人为了赚钱而牺牲自己的健康,然后他牺牲赚来的钱去恢复他的健康。 他因为焦虑未来而不能享受当下, 而因为如此,他没有活在当下或是将来。他活得好像永远不会死去,死时才发觉一生从没真正地活过。”