Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention

As a woman of science, I am forever fascinated by the different developments and understandings we have come to recognize as truths about human nature and behavior. I recently read the book “Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention” by iconic psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi which gave incredible insight into the moments that people feel make life worth living and what leads them to get there. 

Csikszentmihalyi is the leading researcher into flow states and flow theory, which he introduced in the 1970s based on research examining people who did activities for pleasure even with no recognition. He discovered that enjoyment did not result from relaxing or living stress-free but during intense activities where a person’s attention is fully absorbed – called a flow state.

Similar to how this book draws on almost 100 interviews with biologists, physicists, politicians, poets, artists, and more, his research into flow theory analyzed writers, athletes, chess masters, surgeons, and any individuals who were involved in activities they preferred.

Through the lens of his 30 years of studies, Csikszentmihalyi discusses ideas like why creative individuals are often seen as selfish and arrogant, why the “tortured genius” is largely a myth, and why creativity is necessary for the future of our communities and world.

I highly recommend this book to those intrigued by human processes and who find themselves engaged in creative pastimes that lead to innovative developments. 

Read Next

The Butterfly Effect: How Small Errors Lead to Big Consequences

The Butterfly Effect: How Small Errors Lead to Big Consequences

Everything in our world is interconnected.  Natural and human-made communities, industries, and ecosystems all exist and thrive within an incredibly delicate balance. A decision made in one place or situation can cause a ripple through distant landscapes and...

Empowering Employees in Uncertain Times

Empowering Employees in Uncertain Times

Having a fear of the unknown is a very common human response. This fear often stems from anxieties surrounding unpredictable situations or a lack of information that causes people to feel vulnerable or confused in unfamiliar circumstances. Working in the Life Sciences...

Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions

Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions

Human behavior and the natural wonders of the world have always fascinated me and can be partially attributed to my fascination with Life Sciences. Working in this field has allowed me to constantly strive to learn more and uncover mysteries surrounding healthcare and...