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Creativity – A Primer December 7, 2009

Posted by Kavita Vora in Creativity, [Books] Ways of Thinking.

MIHALY CSIKSZENTMIHALYI followed his his world renowned book Flow by Creativity: Flow and the Pyschology of Discovery and Invention.  This book is written from an academic viewpoint exploring finding from over 90 interviews with contemporary persons who have made major contributions to the fields of arts or sciences, business, government, or human well-being.  It is not an easy read, but I can see why it is considered one of the main primers for the study of creativity.

He explains the importance of successfully controlling one’s mental energy to achieve personal satisfaction and success in creative endeavors. In his analysis of cultural evolution, he noticed that there are circumstances which make cultural contributions possible: hope, recognition, training, opportunity, resources, expectations, and rewards.

Some of the lessons I took away focused on how to acquire creative energy.  His advice included developing curiosity and interests.  That may seem like a basic suggestion…however, he explains why it is so important in helping us see the world from new perspectives and finding intersections between disciplines.  He also encourages us to add surprise and wonder to our lives.  This is an emotion that we, as adults, are not as aware of now compared to when we were children.  He also makes general statements about embracing complexity and being comfortable in duality.

Many subsequent authors have quoted Creativity, and taken deeper dives into areas explored in these chapters.



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