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August Book Review: Creativity: Flow and The Psychology of Discovery and Invention by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Creativity. We all have it, and we all want to relish in it. But how?

Creativity, Mihaly CsikszentmihalyiMihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s groundbreaking book, Creativity: Flow and The Psychology of Discovery and Invention, is considered an exemplary work (and I agree) in the study of creative expression. Csikszentmihalyi interviewed almost a hundred creative people in every field and synthesized his findings in this book. He also brings thirty years of research on the subject of creativity. Professor Csikszentmihalyi explains the creative process, the creative personality, and what it means to work creatively in the first part of his book. He then summarizes his findings from his interviews of very successful creative people, followed by a thorough explanation of what he renders the domains of creativity: the word, life, future and culture and how to enhance your own personal creative energy.

Although it has been almost twenty years since the publishing of this writing, this masterpiece stands alone as the bedrock of how people experience creativity and live in what the author calls, “flow”- the experience of spending hours or days where you lose track of time, forgetting to eat or sleep, feeling like there is no other place you would rather be, being “in the zone,” feeling completely immersed in your creative endeavor, experiencing creative bliss and feeling an instinctive calling to keep working on your project. Flow and The Psychology of Discovery and Invention by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi presents the author’s nine, necessary component states of achieving flow. He also explains that in order to achieve a state of optimal flow, a balance must be struck between the challenge of the task and the skill of the creator.

For a long time, I believed I did not possess creativity. However, I thankfully discovered that I, as well as all of us, have an abundance of it! We are all creators to one extent or another. You might be a person who thinks you are not creative, but you truly are. Every day, you make decisions that require the use of your given and inerrant, abundantly supplied creativity. Deciding to shower a certain way as opposed to another is being creative; decorating your bedroom is using your creative mind; designing a spreadsheet, delivering a speech, sewing a dress, knitting a scarf, building a skyscraper, re-arranging your pantry, cooking, using a programming language, making jewelry, writing music, designing the underground structure of an emerging neighborhood, organizing the applications on your cell phone, and blogging is being creative. And, the list goes on. Every time you imagine and then take action, you are creating. Having had to read this book in college years ago, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I possessed some of the characteristics of highly creative and successful people that are described in this book, and you do too! Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi will show you what creative people are like, how the creative process works, and what conditions encourage or discourage the generation of original ideas. I recommend this book to those interested in the study of creative expression or those who want to understand or nourish their own creative lives.

Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi

A bit about the author, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi:

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is the Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Management at Claremont Graduate University. He is the former head of the department of psychology at the University of Chicago and of the department of sociology and anthropology at Lake Forest College. Dr. Csikszentmihalyi has written several other books or publications in addition to Flow and The Psychology of Discovery and Invention. His most recent work centers around the study of intrinsic motivation and how it contributes to overall success of the individual. Born in Hungary in 1934, he was affected by the Second World War in ways that deeply influenced his life and later work. During his childhood, he was put in an Italian prison. Experiencing the horrible loss of family and friends due to the war and subsequently becoming “lost in flow” playing chess when he could were the catalysts that inspired his future work in the area of individual flow and optimal human experience.

To purchase Flow and The Psychology of Discovery and Invention by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, visit: Goodreads.

To learn more about the author, visit: The Pursuit of Happiness.

“But it is impossible to enjoy a tennis game, a book, or a conversation unless attention is fully concentrated on the activity.” – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Visit my blog about creativity: DesignsbyVilms.com.

© 2015, Vilma Reynoso, vilmareynoso.com, Inspiration for Abundant Living for all Beings From One Creative Being


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January Book Review: The Motivation Manifesto: 9 Declarations to Claim Your Personal Power by Brendon Burchard

“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” – John F. Kennedy

Brendon Burchard Absolutely one of the best books on human drive and motivation and what it all means individually and collectively is The Motivation Manifesto: 9 Declarations to Claim Your Personal Power by Brendon Burchard! I was very pleasantly surprised to discover that this is not a copy-cutter version of every motivational book on the market. Burchard’s book is truly unique and will re-awaken the dormant parts of you, stir you and move you to go after and experience all that you seek and want, and will give you authentic encouragement. Brendon Burchard is an inspirational force who has become one of the top motivational speakers and teachers on this planet!

In this fabulous book, Burchard explains the nine declarations of personal power available to all of us and explains why they are important and how to live these declarations. The book is split into two sections: human nature and the nine declarations. The author thoroughly explains the universal fear that we, as human beings, all experience; the freedom we all seek and why; and human motivation and how it works. In his words,” We can feel motivated to move forward or to halt, to grow or to shrink, to settle or to chase greatness. The actions we take in life are often based on whether our internal logic and impulses lead towards fear or freedom.”

The second section of The Motivation Manifesto: 9 Declarations to Claim Your Personal Power by Brendon Burchard explains the nine declarations to claim our personal power, a power that is available to all of us. This section is rich with personal and collective examples, practical advice and wisdom that expound upon the meaning of and importance of the declarations.

What an inspirational book! I highly recommend this book for anyone who truly is looking for not only a practical way to fully engage in life, but the meaning behind why (as struggling human beings), we behave as we do. It has inspired me to recommit to living my life with purpose every day, to live more passionately and loving, to pursue excellence and growth, and to step outside my comfort zone, for there, according to Brendon Burchard (and I agree) is true freedom and passion. It was a wonderful book to read for the beginning of a new year!

Brendon Burchard

A bit about the author, Brendon Burchard:

Rated as one of the top motivation and marketing trainers in the world, Brendon Burchard is also the author of three other books: The Charge: Activating the 10 Human Drives That Make You Feel Alive, The Millionaire Messenger and Life’s Golden Ticket. Living his dream of teaching others how to live a life of authentic freedom, he is founder of High Performance Academy, the legendary personal development program for achievers, and Experts Academy, the world’s most comprehensive marketing training for authors, speakers, life coaches, and online thought leaders. Furthermore, Brendon is a popular conference speaker worldwide and is one of the one hundred most followed public figures on Facebook. For more information on Brendon Burchard, visit his website: BrendonBurchard.com.

To purchase a copy of The Motivation Manifesto: 9 Declarations to Claim Your Personal Power by Brendon Burchard, visit: BrendonBurchard.com.

Vilma Reynoso, vilmareynoso.com, Inspiration for Creative Health. Abundant Life.