Creativity : flow and the psychology of discovery and invention


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Creativity by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi – Book Summary

The place where one lives is important for 3 main reasons: 1 one must be in a position to access the domain in which one plans to work. Domains are clumped into specific areas. Certain environments have a greater density of interaction and provide more excitement and a greater effervescence of ideas; therefore, they prompt the person who is already inclined to break away from convention to experiment with novelty more readily than if he had stayed in a more conservative, more repressive setting. Science have certain hot spots where people congregate. Texas oil was able to make UT a first rate public institution.

But being in the nexus of your domain also means one has to perform or perish. A beautiful environment is key for creativity. Life-threatening situation also has the same effect as beautiful natural surroundings to stimulate creative thinking. For the day-to-day work, the macroenvironment needs to be a crossroad of culture, where information from different traditions are exchanged and synthesized.

Microenvironments needs to make the individual comfortable and in control. A home needs to have personal touch to be comfortable for a creative person to do their job. They have to master their environment and their own time. Whereas in preparation, evaluation, and elaboration a stable routine environment is preferable, the incubation and epiphany moments need to be in a novel beautiful setting that allows one a creative process.

Creativity involves changing a way of doing things, or a way of thinking, and that in turn requires mastering the old ways of doing or thinking about things. Myths are born out of our need to explain genius precociousness with consistency.

So when someone becomes a genius at something, we tend to emphasize things that relate to that genius and deemphasize any contradiction to the main storyline. The only consistent theme of creative geniuses in early childhood is "a more than usually keen curiosity about one's surroundings. If a child has a competitive advantage in relation to other children in a specific domain then he is more likely to pursue it.

It seems the only thing that is hereditary is musical and mathematics skills. Parental influence in shaping a creative individual domain of choice.

Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention - | SlugBooks

Parents should maximize exposure to the greatest opportunity possible. Also to minimize sibling rivalry each child should be good something that the other is only ok in. Parental influence becomes more important the more disadvantage the child is especially setting moral and intellectual standards to live by.


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Parents were most influential in shaping a person's character especially honesty. Honesty is important to have long-term success in a specific domain.

Extreme home environments seem to stimulate creativity from being orphaned to being raised in a loving family. Also there is a disproportionate percentage of people who came from upper middle class and lower middle class who become creative but not from thr vast American middle class. A successful individual remembers their past with warmth so the past is consistent with the present. What matters more for people is their subjective interpretation of an objective past not what actually happened.

Great teachers stimulate a child curiosity in a given study. The teacher influence creative by noticing the student, believed in his ability, and cared. Furthermore, the teacher showed care by giving the child extra work to do, greater challenges than the rest of the class. Popularity makes kids want to conform instead of developing their unique talents. Marginalitythe feeling of being on the outside, of being different, of observing with detachment the strange rituals of one's peerswas a common theme. While they had come from small provincial settings where they felt odd and disoriented, college provided place where people found their uniqueness.

Curiosity and drive are the yin and yang that need to be combined in order to achieve something new. Luck plays a role being in the right place at the right time meeting with the right people. The individuals had stable satisfying marital relationships. While sexual drive certainly fuels the creative process, the majority conformed to a more sedate sexual pattern. Perhaps due to the age of the respondents, the majority mentioned family and children as part of their greatest accomplishments. Spouse is key to accomplish what creative want to accomplish.

Stability in family life is key if one wants to fight external demons. Women also have to be supported to thrive in their careers. Sometime being married to an equally ambitious woman can strain family life. Creative individuals are aware that a lasting, exclusive relationship is the best safeguard of that peace of mind they need in order to focus on their creative pursuits. Most creative achievements are part of long-term commitments to a domain of interest.

Creative individuals are forced to invent jobs they will be doing all through their lives. Creative individuals don't have careers; they create theIr own path.

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For example, Yalow parlayed her physics degree into founding the field of nuclear medicine. View 2 comments.

I'd give this book six stars, if I could. This is a sprawling and masterful objective analysis of input from dozens of luminaries in various fields and domains, and Csikszentmihalyi assesses the commonalities, differences, and important disparities between them. No matter what kind of a life you are trying to lead, you can gain a lot of useful insight from the material covered here. What makes this such an important book is the way that Csikszentmihalyi tries to be objective and scientific about I'd give this book six stars, if I could. What makes this such an important book is the way that Csikszentmihalyi tries to be objective and scientific about the endeavor, instead of engaging in 'New Age-y,' feel-good crap.

This isn't a self-help book, it's a deep analysis of survey results, and as such, it is actually meaningful. I believe this is a seminal book for anyone interested in the psychology of the creative process. I first read Creativity in and enjoyed it then, but recently picked it up again to take on a trip with me. This time, some 11 years later and after a major career change, the books means so much more to me. I think that is because the first time I read it, I was looking for ways to bring more creativity into my life. Now, after a few years of focusing on art as my career, the content deepl I believe this is a seminal book for anyone interested in the psychology of the creative process.

Now, after a few years of focusing on art as my career, the content deeply resonates with me: I really understand what Csikszentmihalyi is describing through his words and through the words of the interviewees that led him to his conclusions. Right now I am at the Helsinki airport and have a long day of flying ahead of me, and look forward to digging in again to the discourse with hours to sink into it. I can hardly wait to get back to my routine of creating and observing anew what Csikszentmihalyi has described as the process, and with a new consciousness, seeing if I can use my newly clarified understanding of the process to further it.

I think this is a seminal book for anyone interested in the psychology of the creative process. The organization of the material makes the subject matter easy to follow, and builds from context of creativity to process, to specifics and eventually to conclusions -- though he delivers enough conclusory info all along so one doesn't have to wait too long to get the important punch lines. That he regularly supports his discourse with long quotes from the interviewees makes it all the more credible and specific. The interviewees are creative types of all sorts -- physicists as well as artists, psychologists, mathematicians, and a broad spectrum of others.

That being said, I believe there is a bit of contradiction in his introductory chapters regarding context in which he defines creativity as what is accepted by experts in a given field among other defining criteria --and later describes many situations in which the artists' or other creatives own assessment of the work as being the ultimate test. While it may be that he was, in this latter part of the discourse, referring to one specific type of creativity he defined in the introduction, he doesn't make that clear and thusly it seems contradictory.

I am sure this book could have been way longer, for it is a complex subject and apparently he had quite a lot of meat from the substantial number of interviews conducted; it may be that to condense it to a length readable by the general public, he glossed over that inconsistency. Anyway, I appreciate this book very much, both as an artist who constantly seeks to enhance my process and as a general curious reader. Mihaly's book "Flow" told us that the way to happiness involves mindful challenges.

The author studied creative people, and tells us what he found. But more importantly for the reader, he gives us his ideas for making our lives as creative as his interviewees. So Go Forth and Create! If and when I begin my Oprah-esque empire, in addition to constantly touting Fizzy Lizzy's best drink ever!!! I will also employ this brilliant man as my guru. Fortunately for my fan base, this man is an actually intellectual who has devoted himself to the study of psychology and not some quack that believes if you just imagine that you have a refrigerator with a DVD player, one will materialize.

Also, Csikszentmihali never did a match. The book describes the character traits of 'creative' people, and tries to extrapolate common character traits and habits of creative individuals. Some of the 'creative' individuals interviewed are leading pioneers in their field, these include several Nobel laureate scientists. The author discusses creativity in the context of 'flow', the state where we become one with the process of creation.

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The book is structured so that there are actual interview snippets of creative individuals interspersed The book describes the character traits of 'creative' people, and tries to extrapolate common character traits and habits of creative individuals. The book is structured so that there are actual interview snippets of creative individuals interspersed with the author's findings and theories about creativity. The book uses these interviews to dispel the myth of the 'creative genius', the myth being that creativity is a gift from above,not something the individual can cultivate.

The author proposes that while individual talent plays a role, the convergence of talent,luck,hard work and more importantly, being born at the right time and place in history is necessary for the creative individual to bring those talents to fruition and make a meaningful contribution. And the message being, while we cannot change the circumstances, if we develop our talents, then ,we will be ready to make the most of a favorable circumstance,when it does reveal itself. The other important theme running through the book is that creativity is worth pursuing as a goal in itself, even if it never brings fame and fortune.

While we are creating, be it a piece of art, a musical score or a mathematical model of something, if the challenge at hand matches our level of skill, then we enter a state of 'flow', and that in itself justifies our effort. This is what makes the pursuit of skill in a domain art,music,math so important, because it enables us to create and enter 'flow' states. Without this capacity, 'leisure' is usually consumed by dark,anxious thoughts that makes people reach out for passive sources of entertainment. The book is a very good follow up read to the author's classic work 'Flow and the psychology of optimal experience'.

The author, renowned psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, set out to interview scientists, inventors and artists who have made a major contribution to humanity by either changing a domain or creating a new one. He wanted to understand creativity on the larger scale and he succeeded in gathering some extremely interesting material about the lives of these individuals.

Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention

They contain contradictory extremes-instead of being an individual they are a multitude. They can be aggressive and cooperative either at the same time or at different times depending on the situation. Creative people are able to express the full range of traits that are potentially present in the human repertoire but usually atrophy because we think that one or the other pole is good, whereas the other extreme is bad.

Basically, creative people are "shape shifters" and can move from one extreme to the other as the occasion requires and that, without any inner conflict.

Creativity : flow and the psychology of discovery and invention Creativity : flow and the psychology of discovery and invention
Creativity : flow and the psychology of discovery and invention Creativity : flow and the psychology of discovery and invention
Creativity : flow and the psychology of discovery and invention Creativity : flow and the psychology of discovery and invention
Creativity : flow and the psychology of discovery and invention Creativity : flow and the psychology of discovery and invention
Creativity : flow and the psychology of discovery and invention Creativity : flow and the psychology of discovery and invention
Creativity : flow and the psychology of discovery and invention Creativity : flow and the psychology of discovery and invention
Creativity : flow and the psychology of discovery and invention Creativity : flow and the psychology of discovery and invention
Creativity : flow and the psychology of discovery and invention Creativity : flow and the psychology of discovery and invention
Creativity : flow and the psychology of discovery and invention Creativity : flow and the psychology of discovery and invention

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