Friday, November 30, 2007

What Makes A Creative Person?

If you have ever wondered what makes a person creative, then Mihaly Csikszentmihaly, the psychologist, professor, prize-winning thinker, and best-selling author, may have the answer for you. You should probably begin with his book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (1990), which describes creativity, its tendencies, and manifestations, and then read his follow-up publication, Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention (1996), which draws from the lives of living creative minds such as philosopher Mortimer Adler, writer Nadine Gordimer, paleontologist and geologist Stephen Jay Gould, poet Anthony Hecht, sculptor Nina Holton, neuropsychologist Brenda Milner, pianist Oscar Peterson, biologist Jonas Salk, writer May Sarton, and pediatrician Benjamin Spock, among dozens more. [I noted a helpful tip from Flow in my October 27, 2007, entry on this blog.]

Here are some snippets from Creativity:

“Creative individuals have a great deal of physical energy, but they are also often quiet and at rest.” (58)

“Creative individuals tend to be smart, yet also na├»ve at the same time.” (59)

“Creative individuals alternate between imagination and fantasy at one end, and a rooted sense of reality at the other.” (63)

“Most creative persons are very passionate about their work, yet they can be extremely objective about it as well.” (72)

“The openness and sensitivity of creative individuals often expose them to suffering and pain yet also a great deal of enjoyment.” (73)

“Creative persons differ from one another in a variety of ways, but it one respect they are unanimous: The all love what they do.” (107)

Intrigued? Pick up a copy at your library, bookstore, or online.

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