In my neverlasting search for creativity in my live and the struggle to choose a domain or just start something without any expectations of result, I started reading “Creativity”.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalhyi, the writer of the bestseller “Flow”, conducted a classical study of the creative process by interviewing nearly a hundred creative people like scientists, artists, poets, writers and business leaders.
The reason creativity is worth studying and dedicating a book to is that when you are involved in it, you feel that you are living more fully than during the rest of life.
The book reviews the way creative people work and live, and has some ideas in the back of the book how to make your life more like that of the creative people part of the study.
So I couldnt help myself and flip right over to the back of the book the get some good tips to be more creative in daily live.
Curiosity and interest
The first step to be more involved with things that happen around you, just for their own sake, with no particular reason. These sort of things need to be trained on a daily bases. There you go, I knew it: It takes effort!
So the first step: Try to be suprised by something every day. Out of the window with assuming and thinking you know it all. You see, hear, tast someting and wonder: what is the essence? What is different than the other things I heard, read, tasted or felt?
Then, you try to suprise at least one person a day (I couldn’t help thinking of the cliché: Be The Change!). This exercise needs guts too.. and third step:
Write down each day what surprised you and how you surprised others. Csikszentmihalhyi claims that creative people keep a diary or notes to make their experiences more concrete and enduring. These exercises could get you started if you didn’t already. So this I find very interesting and challenging. Only in my teens I kept a diary but never picked it up again after highscool, although in the back of my head I always thought it would be a good and nice thing to do for some reason. Also because my longterm memory is not my biggest talent I’d sometimes wondered what I was thinking or feeling a certain period of my live, which I can only guess right now.
Another good point of Csikszentmihalhyi (yes I copy-paste his name) is writing these memorable moments down, will give you an insight in the domains you care about or might be interesting to explore more in depth.
The last step in this first exercise is my favorite:
When something strikes a spark of interest, follow it.
So do not think you are not an expert on flowers, or food, or music or whatever touches you just a tiny little bit during the day, but follow that impuls and find out more about it. Or as Csikszentmihalhyi puts it: “The world is our business, and we can’t know which part of its best suited to our selves, to our potentialities, unless we make a serious effort to learn about as many aspects of it as possible.”
Allright mr. Csikszentmihalhyi, you completly convinced me, even there are 20 more pages of tips to bring more creativity in my live. I will start with this diary know, so be aware everybody: Be surprised or surprise me, do write it down and go with that spark of interest you encounter each day.
To be continued..