“This book is about creativity, based on histories of contemporary people who know about it firsthand. It starts with a description of what creativity is, it reviews the way creative people work and live, and it ends with ideas about how to make your life more like that of the creative exemplars I have studied. There are no simple solutions in these pages and a few unfamiliar ideas. The real story of creativity is more difficult and strange than many overly optimistic accounts have claimed. For one thing, as I will try to show, an idea or product that deserves the label ‘creative’ arises from the synergy of many sources and not only from the mind of a single person. It is easier to enhance creativity by changing conditions in the environment than by trying to make people think more creatively. And a genuinely creative accomplishment is almost never the result of a sudden insight, a lightbulb flashing on in the dark, but comes after years of hard work.”
~ Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi from Creativity
Creativity with a capital C—the type of Creativity that changes the world.
How can we go about cultivating it in our lives? That’s what this book is all about.
Our guide is Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi—one of the founders of the positive psychology movement. Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced “cheeks sent me high”) is a professor at Claremont Graduate University and the former Chair of the Department of Psychology at the University of Chicago who wrote the classic book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (see Notes).
This book features the wisdom gained from over three decades of research along with over one hundred interviews with extraordinary people—from scientists and business leaders to artists and poets.
Warning: Although deeply insightful, it’s not an easy read. If you’re looking to understand creativity at a deeper level via one of the world’s leading (and legendary) psychologists then I think you’ll enjoy it as much as I did. (Get the book here.)
It’s packed with Big Ideas. I’m excited to share a few of my favorites so let’s jump straight in!
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