Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention (英語) ペーパーバック – 1997/5/9
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In his bestselling book Flow, Professor Csikszentmihalyi explored states of "optimal experience" -- those times when people report feelings of concentration and deep enjoyment -- and showed that what makes experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called "flow." Here Professor Csikszentmihalyi builds on his flow theory, profiling individuals who have found ways to make flow a permanent feature of their lives and at the same time have contributed to society and culture.
Professor Csikszentmihalyi explores why creative people are often seen as selfish and arrogant (even though they are not) and reveals that the idea of the tortured genius is largely a myth. He argues that creativity needs to be cultivated not only in traditionally creative fields like sciences and arts, but also in business, government and education.
This book is not so much about the everyday "creativity" that we all experience but the kind of creativity of artists, scientists and others that can transform our culture and the way we look at the world. By studying the creative lives of exceptional people, Professor Csikszentmihalyi shows us how we can all enhance our everyday lives. His goal is to help us better understand a way of being that is more satisfying and more fulfilling.
“Accessible and enjoyable reading.” (Washington Times)
The only thing is that the paperback version (the one with red and blue and yellow titles) is with a suuuuper fragile paper. The pages are super thin (I like to underline some paragraphs, and the pen always goes to the other side of the page.
Apart from that, Mihaly shows a great respect from creativity and the creative process.
This is what makes it an intriguing read, I think. Its very breadth of scope paradoxically narrowing down what it means to be creative and how we ourselves define it through our own eyes. The differences and the similarities of creative process and the removal of stigma and mystique surrounding our various perceptions gives a fresh perspective on what is essentially a very innate force, present in all of us and only waiting to be tapped into.
I was unsure as to whether to rate this book as four stars or five on the basis that, although Csikszentmihalyi has approached the matter rigourously and makes few assumptions about the nature of creativity, it would have been valuable, i think, to evaluate the experiences and lives of those who are supposedly not creative. In a similar vein the question of how intelligence should be defined is often studied and disputed, although it seems equally challenging to precisely define its opposite, whatever that is - perhaps 'stupidity'?
However, Csikszentmihalyi has published widely and thoroughly on the matter and as such I would not expect any book, brilliant as it may be, to address every aspect of such a complex notion as 'creativity', with all its far reaching implications for mankind. As such I rate this book five stars as it is a well-written and stimulating foray into this area of psychology. I would reccommend this book to people of all levels of knowledge of the field of psychology, although it is not a 'quick-flick' read by any means. I have already started reading another of his books.