“Finding Your Passion” Is an Ineffective Way to Live Your Life, Say Scientists


A future isnโ€™t decided by a set path; rather, itโ€™s shaped by a series of choices and hard work.”

Everyone who has followed my work through the years should recognize by now that I subscribe to the growth mindset and advocate for ever-expanding potential over a lifetime. There is a reason for that, especially with high sensation seeking HSPs. Namely, that we HSS/HSPs have an extra ‘drive’ if you will, that fuels our curiosity, creativity directed toward self-actualization and growth, and a boundless need to reinvent ourselves. HSPs, in my experience, share a similar openness to new ways of thinking and curiosity but the need to reinvent is not as prominent in their words or actions.

For those who subscribe to a growth mindset, the notion of ‘finding one’s passion’ rings hollow because it can see limiting and predestined. A growth mindset, and I DO encourage you to explore this way of being, thinks of passion as intrinsically linked with interest, wonder, awe, and inspiration! Even joy…

Motivation to continue pursuing an interest also waxes and wanes, but if it is something we feel a deep resonance with and return to on our own for no reason other than to learn more, to apply it to something, or for the joy of engaging with it, motivation comes on its own and is a natural part of growth over a lifetime. I like to call them ‘fascinations,’ a term that should be quite familiar to HSS/HSPs ๐Ÿ˜Š

If you are a high sensation seeking HSP, it is likely you identify right away with the growth mindset because it is a way of being for you! Embrace it and enjoy the ride…


How do Highly Sensitive Individuals Maintain their Well being?

In Western cultures, lay perceptions and norms around wellbeing tend to emphasize being socially outgoing and high-arousal positive emotions, but not all people experience wellbeing in this way.

This study explores what highly sensitive people do to maintain their wellbeing.



Well being and high sensory intelligence people, aka, highly sensitive people, is a perennial topic of interest, since many people with the innate trait Sensory Processing Sensitivity struggle with the realization of a sustainable sense of well being.

This particular study is quite limited due to only one participant being male, common for all studies and events, because men are culturally conditioned, through extreme familial and peer pressures to conform to societal norms of the masculine role. Sensitivity is still, sadly, a ‘hard sell’ to many men, thus, one male participant who will admit he is sensitive, even anonymously!

The cultivation of well being follows a similar track for men, but much depends on the early childhood environment, and I would add the overall environment beyond childhood since negative, traumatic, or unsupportive environments are especially bad for sensitives throughout life. If a sensitive man, or woman, accumulated those adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), well being may look very different as a concept, and in practice, with safety concerns and fear of change occupying prominent positions in terms of what well being represents and coloring many life choices.

That aside, we know from sociology that the experience of gender is the single largest dividing line between how we may differ in perceptions and eventual choices like well being. In my work advocating for raising consciousness in high sensory intelligence people, well being and self-care have always been a focus that has been necessary to revisit time and again. Well being, in practice, depending on who one is speaking to, can seem like an optional practice they get around to once in awhile but struggle with in life due to no serious or dedicated efforts to realign one’s life with one’s needs.

Well being for sensitives, must be cultivated through a strong and sustainable self-care practice that holistically addresses boundaries, anger and emotions, diet, exercise, AND sleep, relationships, career, spiritual development, and moving well beyond simply maintaining to one of flourishing and, as our friend Scott Barry Kaufman describes, transcendence.


Redefining Masculinity: The Role of Highly Sensitive Men – w/ Bill Allen



Happy to share this new podcast from The Sensitive Man. Bill Allen shares insights from his two books on men who may be high in sensory processing sensitivity, as well as reflections on masculinity.

#highsensoryintelligence #sensoryprocessingsensitivity #masculinity #thegeniusofsensitivity

Thrill: The High Sensation Seeking Highly Sensitive Person-Dr. tracy cooper

Thrill: The High Sensation Seeking Highly Sensitive Person is THE book written for the 1/3 of the sensitive population who are also high in another trait, sensation seeking. If you would like to understand how two strong traits, both with high heritability, can exist in one individual, Thrill is THE book for you!

I wrote Thrill to fill a need in the research and in the popular literature. Identifying as a HSS/HSP myself, I knew there needed to be a relatable book that others could use as a resource, as a source of inspiration, and to let the world know that we exist and have so much to offer!

Learning what the two traits look like, how they interact, and how we might work to balance the needs of both, while simply being the HSS/HSPs we are is what Thrill seeks to do. Additionally, you will find real stories written by real HSS/HSPs who contributed so graciously to the study that underpins this book and that adds to the sense of connection and community I seek to infuse all of my work with.

Check it out for yourself…


Empowering the Sensitive Male Soul – dr. tracy cooper

Empowering the Sensitive Male Soul – the book written for men with the innate trait Sensory Processing Sensitivity. If you have not read this book yet, you will it to be very helpful in forming a context in which to better situate your experience of sensitivity in ways that acknowledge the challenges inherent to the trait, while providing insights and strategies for navigating throughout the life course.

If you have read the book, please consider leaving a review, it really helps ๐Ÿ™‚


How Do Sensitive Children Respond to Harsh and Fluctuating Family Context?


The role of early childhood environment forming a basis for later development is well-known in child development circles. Now, we have a study that looks at sensitive children over a period of time to gain insights into the relative effects of stable versus unstable family environments. With few surprises, the study backs up the notion that sensitive children (high sensory intelligence children if you like) DO require a supportive and nurturing environment early on, in fact throughout life this is true!

The upside is we also know that sensitive children respond quite positively to therapeutic interventions! Knowing this, we should aim to provide the necessary mental health and wellness supports that kids in crisis so desperately need and may benefit from, yet too many lack access to.

In The Genius of Sensitivity, we will include a significant and meaningful chapter detailing the solid foundation upon which all sensitive children may base their future growth and development. The more awareness we can raise of the trait, the more attention we can, hopefully, bring to the need for ready access to mental health supports and to parents of sensitive children.


wired to create-hsps will love this book!

Book recommendation for your Sunday! Wired to Create will appeal to ALL high sensory intelligence people, aka, highly sensitive people, but especially to those who wish to explore pushing the boundaries of creativity. Cognitive psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman, and Carolyn Gregoire structure the book with an introduction to the ‘messy minds’ creatives are known for. What’s a messy mind and why is it good?

Creative minds often exhibit a dance of opposing perspectives, concepts, and ideas, all in one person! They also tend to be sensitives. Kaufman and Gregoire pull from familiar sources you see in my work, Frank Barron, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, and Kazimierz Dabrowski!

The body of the book unfolds around Ten Things Highly Creative People Do Differently with titles such as Imaginative Play, Passion, Daydreaming, Solitude, and in chapter 8, Sensitivity! That’s right, an entire chapter on sensitives from the science perspective but also the creative application of our trait.

The chapters are also brief enough that you can read through each one while coming away with resolved ideas and interpretations. Wired to Create is FUN book to read!


luke goss interview for the upcoming documentary film on sensitive men!

Amazing things happen when you put creative minds together and yesterday was no exception as we interviewed actor, artist, musician, and sensitive man Luke Goss!! Luke delivered his insights and his heart for love, peace, joy, healing, and acceptance so beautifully and eloquently that our whole film crew knew we had captured magic!!

#thegeniusofsensitivity #highsensoryintelligence #highlysensitivemen #HSP #HSS/HSP #creative

Shades of Sensitivity-high sensory intelligence people (hsp)


Creativity in the high sensory intelligence person, aka highly sensitive person. This article from psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman, who is one of the preeminent creativity scholars on the planet, delves into the functions of the behavioral inhibition system (BIS) and the dopamine pathway that seems to engage when heightened aesthetic sensitivity is present.

I find Kaufman’s explanations insightful and revealing of the “shades of sensitivity” as he calls it, especially with regards to why some high sensory intelligence people may feel more closely aligned with what the creative disposition.

What do you think after reading Kaufman’s article? Informative? Useful? Illuminating?