Creativity Book Summary By Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

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Creativity is an exploration of how creative people think, work and produce innovative ideas.

It takes readers through the minds of many creatives and explores their inspiring backgrounds.

It attempts to unravel what it is that makes a creative person able to give life to new concepts and how they go about generating fantastic ideas.

This groundbreaking book will help readers discover valuable insight into being more creative in their own lives and further become great innovators.

Creativity Book

Book Name: Creativity (The Psychology of Discovery and Invention)

Author(s): Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Rating: 4.1/5

Reading Time: 22 Minutes

Categories: Psychology

Author Bio

If you're looking for an author who can help you understand creativity and its effects, then look no further than Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

He is a professor at Claremont Graduate University's Drucker School of Management in California, and has gained celebrity status among the academic crowd with his books Beyond Boredom and Anxiety, The Evolving Self, and Flow.

His writing isn't just limited to university circles - he's also written articles for Psychology Today as well as major newspapers such as the New York Times and Washington Post.

Mihaly is recognized as an authority on creativity and how it plays into our lives.

If you're looking for insights about creative thinking, then you'll want to get your hands on his work!

Explore How To Tap Into Your Own Creative Flow And Stimulate Creative Thinking

Creative Thinking

Do you ever wish that you could tap into your own creative potential and find that magical state of creative flow? It’s possible!

By reading this book, you can gain valuable insight into how to increase your own flow of creativity.

Learn just what sort of environment helps to stimulate the creation of new ideas and concepts.

Explore the lives and work of contemporary creatives.

Discover why humanity is dependent on creativity for its survival.

And most importantly, uncover what YOU can do daily to improve your own creative flow.

You’ll also gain an understanding as to why the Italian city of Florence became a hotbed of creativity in 1400, why most adult creative talents weren’t child prodigies, and why your kitchen table is a great place to inspire creativity.

If you want amazing access to all this knowledge, pick up a copy of this amazing Creativity Book right away!

The True Source Of Creativity Lies In Our Surroundings

Creativity doesn’t just pop out of thin air; rather, it happens within a system that is made up of three components: a domain, a field and an individual person.

The domain is the broad category in which creativity occurs; think mathematics or music.

The field is made up of those in the field who have expertise in this particular domain.

These people serve as gatekeepers, deciding what new ideas should be accepted into the domain.

Individuals provide the last component to this system.

Creativity takes place when someone uses a domain’s methods- say a minor key in music- and produces something new that is then accepted by the field’s gatekeepers.

An example of this can be seen during Florence’s Italian Renaissance era of 1400-1425, where artisans were encouraged to explore their creativity through financial support from patrons.

This period produced some of Western civilization’s greatest works like Lorenzo Ghiberti’s bronze doors for Florence Baptistry and Filippo Brunelleschi’s dome for Florence Cathedral.

It’s clear that creativity doesn’t arise from us alone; it relies heavily on those around us and how we accept and use new ideas presented by others.

Creativity Requires Complex Personalities, Access To Resources And An Early Interest In A Domain

Certain personality traits are more likely to lead to creativity than others.

For example, those who are genetically predisposed or physically gifted in a certain domain may be more likely to pursue it in an artistic way.

Early interest in a field is also incredibly important for fostering creativity, and can often depend on financial access or other circumstances of luck.

Creative people tend to have complex personalities that seem to be at odds with one another.

They need alone time to work on their craft but also crave connecting with others and the excitement that comes from promoting their ideas.

Smartness, naivety, introversion and extroversion—all of these can form part of creative individuals’ makeup, as seen in the example of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, whose genius and playful personality came together to create music that is still revered today.

The Creative Process: Five Steps To Insight And Innovation


Creativity has a few common threads that help explain how to get from creative problem to solution.

While there is no single formula that fits every situation, the creative process generally follows five steps: preparation, incubation, insight, evaluation, and elaboration.

The first step is preparation; this is when you become immersed in your project and begin collecting information about it.

During the second step, incubation, you unconsciously continue to ponder the project without necessarily spending time on it—your mind works away at it even as you’re doing something else.

The third step is when insight comes in—that ‘aha!’ or epiphany moment when an idea suddenly springs to the forefront of your consciousness.

From there, you enter the fourth step of evaluation where you decide if your ideas are worth pursuing further or if they need additional work before implementation.

Once you have chosen a direction for the project then it’s time for elaboration which is where you put your ideas into practice.

Finding Joy Through Flow: How Creative People Get Motivated To Work

When creative people are hard at work, they experience something known as flow.

This mental state allows them to work towards clear goals without worrying about the past or future.

It also provides immediate feedback on their actions and makes the hours fly by.

For example, a skilled musician knows which notes to play without thinking, a rock climber instinctively knows which steps to take and a scientist making major scientific discoveries can differentiate between good and bad ideas with enough evaluation.

Furthermore, an artist practicing their instrument for an hour may only feel like it was five minutes!

As poet Mark Strand described it, being in flow removes the strain of worrying about “the future or past” and instead is “just an extended present”.

Creative people have no trouble navigating this state when working because they enjoy it.

By tapping into this source of pleasure and focus, creatives can accomplish much more than they would otherwise be able to do!

The Importance Of The Right Place To Stimulate Creative Insight

The question of whether a creative person’s surroundings can have an impact on his creative output has been around for centuries.

And the answer is yes – environment, both physical and social, can have a positive or a negative effect on creativity.

When it comes to the physical environment, creative people are often attracted to centers of information and action that are within their niche – such as New York City for artists, or institutions like the Bell Laboratories for scientists.

These places provide inspiration that can have a positive effect on creativity.

On the other hand, many cultures since ancient times have believed that being in nature can also stimulate creativity.

Places such as small island pavilions or forested areas were selected by Chinese sages, Hindu Brahmins and Christian monks because of their inspiring qualities.

At the same time, new environments aren’t always beneficial to the creative process – steps like preparation and evaluation may play out better in familiar settings like composer Johann Sebastian Bach’s native Thuringia in Germany or Marcel Proust’s dark study in France.

In short, environment plays an important role when it comes to creativity – and whether it’ll be positive or negative will depend upon the individual situation at hand!

Creativity Cannot Be Taught: How Unconventional Educational Experiences Shape Geniuses


The idea that every creative genius is born with their talent is nothing more than a myth.

Many of us have heard the story about Italian Renaissance painter Giotto and how he was able to draw a perfect freehand circle at an early age, which spurs us on to think that it takes a certain kind of genius to be creative.

But in reality, not all adult creative geniuses were once child prodigies.

Take Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart for example, who did show exceptional musical skills as a child – but the same can’t be said of Albert Einstein or Charles Darwin, Winston Churchill or writers like Leo Tolstoy, Franz Kafka and Marcel Proust.

In fact, one of the few patterns that you find when examining the childhoods of creatives is that there is usually little impact from schooling – something George Klein found out firsthand as he learnt more philosophy and literature from his friends than his classes.

This was also true for Albert Einstein, Pablo Picasso and T.


Eliot who all experienced minimal impact from school on their work later on in life.

How College Helps Creative People Find Their Voice And Career Path

Creative people don’t necessarily pursue traditional careers after college.

Rather than finding an entry-level job and working up the ranks, many creative individuals need to carve out their own career path.

Sigmund Freud wasn’t the first psychoanalyst, and Thomas Edison wasn’t the first electrician.

In both cases, they were trailblazers—creating new domains themselves rather than simply going along with what others did.

They chose to be innovators and inventors, creating something new that would enable others to follow in their footsteps.

By pushing boundaries and blazing trails, creative people can break into untapped markets and expand or even create new domains of knowledge.

College is often a pivotal point in this process due to its structure which gives young adults their first chance at independence.

It also provides access to mentors and likeminded peers who can offer support as well as guidance for these self-starters.

Creative people don’t always have it easy after college—they often have to create their own jobs with no roadmap —but those who rise to the challenge could find themselves heading down an exciting career path full of potential for success!

Age Does Not Diminish Creative Output, Elderly People’S Experience Enhances Their Work

The notion of creativity peaking in your thirties and dissipating with age is a false one.

Research has suggested that it isn’t age that sets the bounds on creativity, but rather an individual’s energy levels.

The elderly creatives interviewed for this book had very different opinions about their mental abilities.

All claimed that their mental sharpness didn’t decrease with age and most said it actually improved!

Heinz Maier-Leibnitz, a prominent physicist in his 80s, believes his will to work has only grown stronger but he is unable to match it with energy.

Isabella Karle, a crystallographer well into her 90s credits her understanding of the world and deepening knowledge as reasons why her thinking has become more complex over time.

Linus Pauling was still publishing prolifically past the age of 90.

These elderly creatives are just as passionate about their work as ever and have deepened their knowledge to explore other fields such politics, human welfare and environmental studies – adding more depth to what they already do superbly.

It’s clear from these individuals that creativity doesn’t decline with advanced age; if anything they’re more energized than ever!

Creativity Is The Key To Our Survival: Here’S How We Can Foster It

Key To Our Survival

Our very survival as a species has become intertwined with creativity.

As our world becomes increasingly complex, we must develop innovative solutions in order to survive.

That’s why it’s so important that we cultivate and foster creativity in society.

At the core of fostering creativity is developing the right kinds of memes — ideas that are shared among individuals and groups.

With memes come knowledge, beliefs, and behaviors — all of which have an enormous impact on the future of humankind if guided properly.

In order to do this, we need to ensure that diverse populations, particularly children, have access to educational materials and domains where they can pursue their passions.

This means providing them with scientific articles, news gathering techniques and exposure to the arts so they can freely explore different topics.

Furthermore, domain materials should be accessible even by laypeople who may not be skilled yet–otherwise they will be discouraged from entering into certain domains which stifles creativity at its source.

Ensuring clear and transparent communication within all domains is also paramount for fostering creativity in our society.

Develop A Passion For Curiosity, Chase Your Interests, Avoid Distractions, And Take Control Of Your Schedule To Foster Creative Thinking

Creativity is all about seeing the world differently and thinking outside of the box.

To do this, we must first take the time to pause, stop and observe the world around us.

Take a few moments each day to look for something new.

Explore different cultures, discuss ideas with friends or colleagues, experiment mixing ingredients in the kitchen or just sit by nature and observe it in its beauty.

Each of these activities can help you cultivate a passion for curiosity and awaken your creativity.

By paying close attention to your surroundings and staying curious, you’ll be able to nurture your creative side continuously which will result in more creative ideas in your daily life.

Just make sure that you protect your creativity from distractions as well.

Dedicate certain times during the day when you have plenty of energy so you can focus on being creative instead of wasting time with mindless activities that don’t support your creative goals.

Harnessing your own creativity every day will lead to an endless flow of original thoughts and freeing yourself up to think creatively all day long!

Wrap Up

The overall message of this book is that creativity is fundamental to survival and should be nurtured.

It can be broken down into a process that includes inspiration, setting the right environment, and working with focus.

To make the most of our creative potential, we need to personalized our individual workspaces for our own unique needs.

Think about which kind of environment helps you stay productive and try to replicate it as best as possible.

By doing so, you’ll be able to work in a “flow” state more often and unlock deeper levels of creative thought – so put in the effort today to maximize your own creativity!

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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