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Creativity = getting high. February 9, 2009

Posted by ieva in Uncategorized.
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I’m still reading the book of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi “Creativity flow and the psychology of discovery and innovation” and I’m still amazed by the work the author has done!

It it a lot like reading my astrological horoscope- I recognize myself in 9 phrases our of 10. Csikszentmihalyi doesn’t give a key, how to become creative and successful but he reveals characteristics common for creative people (in very various fields).

Here are some more passages I felt I have to share with you.

“Creative persons differ from one another in a variety of ways, but in one respect they are unanimous: They all love what they do. It is not the hope of achieving fame or making money that drives them; rather, it is the opportunity to do the work that they ENJOY doing. (..) Yet many others in the same occupation don’t enjoy what they do. SO we have to assume that it is not WHAT these people do that counts but HOW they do it.”

“By random mutations, some individuals must have developed a nervous system in which the the discovery of novelty STIMULATES THE PLEASURE CENTERS in the brain.” This sounds veeery recognizable!

“Why are these people doing their work? It was clear from talking to them that what kept them motivated was THE QUALITY OF EXPERIENCE they felt when they were involved with the activity. This feeling didn’t come when they were relaxing, when they were taking drugs or alcohol, or when they were consuming the expensive privileges of wealth. Rather it often involved painful, risky, difficult activities that stretched the person’s capacity and involved an element of novelty and discovery. This optimal experience is what I have called FLOW, because many of the respondents described the feeling when thing were going well as AN ALMOST AUTOMATIC, effortless, yet highly focused STATE of consciousness. ” (p.107.-110.)

The words I read in the book really help me to understand better what is going on in me. The author explains things in a very easy- to -understand and clear way.

Well, now I have a legal reason to be addicted to work (: .


Creativity exercises January 1, 2009

Posted by ieva in Uncategorized.
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The beginning of a new year is traditionally time for good resolutions.

Most of the times it’s all up to ourselves- to make our lives better, to start enjoying every single day, to become the person we really want to be… And as I just mentioned, creativity can really be something that changes the life!

I’d like to share some more thoughts from the book “Creativity. Flow and psychology of creativity and invention” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

– Try to be surprised by something every day. It could be something you see, hear or read about. Stop to look at the unusual car parked at the curb, taste the new item on the cafeteria menu, actually listen to your collegue at the office. How is this different from other similar car, dishes, conversations? What is the essence? (..) Life is noting more than a stream of experiences- the more widely and deeply you swim in it, the richer your life will be.

– Try to surprise at least one person every day. Comfortable routines are great when they save energy for doing what you really care about; but if you are still searching, they restrict and limit the future.

– Write down every day what surprised you and how you surprised others.After a few days you can reread what you wrote down and reflect on the past experiences. One of the surest ways to enrich life is to make experiences less fleeting, so that the most memorable, interesting, and important events are not lost forever a few hours after they occured.

– Wake up in the morning with a specific goal to look forward to. Everyone can discover at least one thing every day that is worth waking up for. Eventually most of the day should consist of tasks you look forward to, until you feel that getting up in the morning is a privilege, not a chore.

– If you do anything well, it becomes enjoyable. The more activities that we do with excellence and style, the more of life becomes intrinsically rewarding.

Happy and creative new year! December 31, 2008

Posted by ieva in Uncategorized.
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(pic: Sebastian Errazuriz. Duchamp. Revisited.)

As Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi said it, CREATIVITY is what makes our “day-to-day experiences more enjoyable, more rewarding. When we live creatively, boredom is banished and every moment holds the promise of a fresh discovery. Whether or not these discoveries enrich the world beyond our personal lives, living creatively links us with the process of evolution.”