Monday, November 1, 2010

Striking sparks of interest

I've been lately musing on creativity and satisfaction - in work, at home, for fun, for business, for career. How do each of us find the thing where we feel connected to what we are doing, with a sense of purpose and meaning?

Many paths of exploring ideas around this have led me to the writings of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a professor of psychology who is very well-known for his work into "flow", including "human strengths such as optimism, creativity, intrinsic motivation, and responsibility". (his work was referenced in Dan Pink's recent book Drive)

(Side note: According to the articles I've read, you pronounce his name as "Mee-high CHICK-sent-me-high-ee". Apparently those that know Csikszentmihalyi, call him 'Mike'. )

In one of the articles I read, Csikszentmihalyi shared some suggestions on how to live a more creative life. And I'm thinking too, that through practising these tips, those connections we look for might be found also. So here they are:

Enhancing your creativity and happiness
  • Try to be surprised by something every day.
  • Try to surprise at least one person every day.
  • Write down each day what surprised you and how you surprised others.
  • When something strikes a spark of interest, follow it.
  • Recognize that if you do anything well it becomes enjoyable.
  • To keep enjoying something, increase its complexity.
  • Make time for reflection and relaxation.
  • Find out what you like and what you hate about life.
  • Start doing more of what you love and less of what you hate.
  • Find a way to express what moves you.
  • Look at problems from as many viewpoints as possible.
  • Produce as many ideas as possible.
  • Have as many different ideas as possible.
  • Try to produce unlikely ideas.
I practised no. 4 today (When something strikes a spark of interest, follow it). It drew me through many paths on the web to the journal article where these tips were published, and I've shared them here, with you.


Murph said...

We're listening H! Or at least I am . . .

Very thought-provoking musings.

Helen Mitchell said...

Thanks @Murph! Good to see you here. :-)

Neale said...

Nice post.

Its always a hard thing to figure out. Do you enjoy it first and then become good at it, or are you naturally good at something and then enjoy it?