Psychology Meets Creativity
I’ve been reading through Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. This is not a wikihow on creativity, but a comprehensive study spanning decades. Though I’m only three quarters of the way through, I’ve found it incredibly motivating. The participants interviewed in the study range from physicists to poets to business persons to entomologists.
If you want to give it a read you can download a digital copy on the Apple Bookstore or here’s a link to Amazon UK. Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention
Or you can check out a few points that stuck with me specifically:
- From the numerous examples of creative individuals, the significance allotted to idleness struck me. We’re not talking laziness. All of them kept incredibly full schedules. But they consistently included simple tasks into their daily practice, such as walking, driving, gardening, etc… Try taking a break from intense work and let your mind breathe. Without the pressure, ideas rise to the surface, sometimes good ideas and sometimes poor.
- This leads me to another insight gained: the necessity of balancing free thought and objectively analyzing those thoughts. I tend to criticize an idea before it’s half formed. And I imagine others struggle with the opposite, nurturing all ideas, even the bad ones. If you’re akin to me, then you don’t produce enough. If you fit in with the latter, then it’s easy for others to get lost in your output and give up before they stumble across something meaningful.
- Thirdly, I have concluded that my concept of personal time is warped. I consistently feel like I don’t have enough time, no matter how I rearrange my schedule. What do I even mean by enough time? In my own twisted world, it makes sense to say to myself, “I don’t have time to complete an hour long drawing study everyday, I have too much work to do.” So I spend my morning doing a little of this, a little of that. Resulting in an hour of checking email, perusing Social Media, and reading an article about why cats like to sit inside boxes so much. And I don’t think this is necessarily procrastination, it’s more of an irresponsible understanding of my time. So to edify this, I am intentionally performing tasks that I find rewarding and dismissing those that I don’t, regardless of how much time I think I’m “wasting”.
- Alright, last point that has made a groove in my brain: the value of adopting interests besides art. When various fields collide, a foundation is laid for exciting and new ideas to build onto one another. Most of us develop hobbies naturally, but how intentional are we about integrating them into our chosen lifelong practice? Anyone out there feel like they do this regularly?
Thanks for reading and I do hope you check it out for yourself!