Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Csikszentmihalhyi on Enhancing Personal Creativity

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has a book entitled Creativity: Flow and Psychology of Discovery and Invention. For this book he interviewed highly creative people from a variety of disciplines (including Ed Asner, Stephen Jay Gould, Jane Loevinger, Jonas Salk, Ravi Shankar, and Edward O. Wilson) and used their testimony to develop and present a deeper understanding of Creativity. Admittedly, I have not read the entire book, but the last chapter titled Enhancing Personal Creativity he gives great advice for becoming more creative and I've outlined it below:

Enhancing Personal Creativity

Acquisition of Creative Energy
Curiosity and Interest
  • Try to be surprised by something every day.
  • Try to surprise at least one person every day.
  • Write down each day what surprised you and how you surprised others.
  • When something strikes a spark of interest, follow it.
Cultivating Flow in Everyday Life
  • Wake up in the morning with a specific goal to look forward to.
  • If you do anything well, it becomes enjoyable.
  • To keep enjoying something, you need to increase its complexity.
Habits of Strength
  • Take charge of you schedule
  • Make time for reflection and relaxation
  • Shape your space
  • Find out what you like and what you hate about life.
  • Start doing more of what you love, less of what you hate.
Internal Traits
  • Develop what you lack.
  • Shift often from openness to closure.
  • Aim for complexity.
The Application of Creative Energy
Problem Finding
  • Find a way to express what moves you.
  • Look at problems from as many viewpoints as possible.
  • Figure out the implications of the problem.
  • Implement the solution.
Divergent Thinking
  • Produce as many ideas as possible.
  • Have as many different ideas as possible.
  • Try to produce unlikely ideas.
Choosing a Special Domain
  • Try as many domains as possible
  • Focus on domains that fit your interests

No comments: