Creativity and Flow - The Bipolar Question of the Week

John McManamy Health Guide
  • A few days ago, I finished the first draft of a novel I probably won’t make a dime on. That’s the way it is with things we love. We do it because we do it. Really, that’s all there is to it.


    We have discussed the creative process numerous times here at HealthCentral. Creativity is a natural part of our adaptation process. All of us - everybody - needs to be skilled in adapting to novel situations in order to survive and thrive. Then there are some of us who take it a step further, sometimes to the edge of sanity and beyond.


    Crazy is hardly a prerequisite for creativity, but it sure helps. What seems abnormal to others is normal to the creative mind. Our simple refusal to come to our senses frees us to achieve the incredible. History is full of famous examples. The rest of us can lead amazingly rich and fulfilled lives in our own quiet ways.

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    Connected to creativity is “flow.” Flow, a concept developed by psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, refers to the satisfaction that comes from being totally immersed in an activity. According to Dr Csíkszentmihályi, in an article on Psychology Today, flow is not the same as happiness, but happiness tends to follow from flow. Moreover, flow tends to occur from doing one’s favorite activity.


    So maybe we are sane, after all. There are a zillion lessons to draw from this, but I will ask you, instead. Question:


    Your experiences with creativity and flow - tell us about it.


    Note: Creativity refers to all realms of endeavor, not just the arts and sciences. Likewise, we are talking about a sense of personal achievement, which you are free to define any way you like.


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Published On: April 23, 2013