Quotes, Questions & Pondering on the Creative Process

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From 1001 More Quotes Collected, Questioned and Pondered

by Ian Summers


Mihály Csíkszentmihályi

(MEE-hy CHEEK-sent-me-HY-ee)

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“We grow up believing that what counts most in our lives is that which will occur in the future. Parents teach children that if they learn good habits now, they will be better off as adults. Teachers assure pupils that the boring classes will benefit them later, when the students are going to be looking for jobs. The company vice president tells junior employees to have patience and work hard, because one of these days they will be promoted to the executive ranks.”

From Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experiences, 1990

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (b. 1934 Hungarian emigrated to United States in 1956)

Professor Csikszanmihalyi believes creativity is a central source of meaning in our lives. A leading researcher in positive psychology, he has devoted his life to studying what makes people truly happy: “When we are involved in [creativity], we feel that we are living more fully than during the rest of life.” He is the architect of the notion of “flow” — the creative moment when a person is completely involved in an activity for its own sake.

Csikszentmihalyi teaches psychology and management at Claremont Graduate University, focusing on human strengths such as optimism, motivation and responsibility. He’s the director the the Quality of Life Research Center there. He has written numerous books and papers about the search for joy and fulfillment.

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See Csikszentmihaly’s TED presentation

Recent article in Fast Company

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Q & A

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Csikszentmihaly says,  “Practically every desire that has become part of human nature, from sexuality to aggression, from a longing for security to a receptivity to change, has been exploited as a source of social control by politicians, churches, corporations, and advertisers.”

In what ways are you shackled to social controls? Is it possible to find rewards in the events of each moment?  What keeps you from living totally in the present?

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