Creativity: Nobody knows where it comes from, but everybody wants it. Most people can’t define it, but they know it when they see it. It’s a misunderstood topic, but many of us spend countless hours trying to become more creative.
In his groundbreaking work, Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (ten bonus points if you can pronounce his name), undertakes a systematic discussion of creativity, what it is, why it is fascinating, why we should study it, all based on over 30 years of research studying more than 90 creative people. His book is a comprehensive study of how creativity occurs and how creative individuals have influenced their fields.
Don’t outright dismiss this book because it’s based on research and is somewhat academic. It is a very readable book, and fascinating if you are interested in creativity and how it happens. Mihaly takes his research, provide context to how these people evolved and gained their creativity, and give examples of their creativity. Importantly, he provides extensive quotes and comments from these individuals on their upbringing, education, environmental factors, and other factors that shaped them. All of this provides insight into why they are creative.
But Mihaly goes further. He also provides thoughts and ideas on how we can enhance our creativity and provide an environment for ourselves, our family, and our community to be more creative. This discussion is very important because many communities are trying to foster creativity and use it as a catalyst for economic development.
This book satisfied my inner academic idiosyncrasy by bringing research to life and making it easily digestible and more importantly, taking the very intangible and esoteric topic of creativity, and making it understandable.
While I really enjoyed this book, I know others may not necessarily be interested in the academic nature of it. But, if you are interested in what leads to people be more creative than others, then this is a great book for you to read.
Now, that you’ve finished the review, the author’s name, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, is pronounced Me-high Chick-sent-me-high. Did, you win the bonus points?