Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Paradox of the Creative Mind

Ever wonder why artistic people can be logical one moment, irrational the next, organized at some times and chaotic at others? Ten paradoxical traits of the creative personality is a recent article in Psychology Today by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced me-high chick-sent-me-high) that looks at these apparent paradoxes of the creative individual. Here's one paradox that I notice all the time in musicians:
3. Creative people combine playfulness and discipline, or responsibility and irresponsibility. There is no question that a playfully light attitude is typical of creative individuals. But this playfulness doesn't go very far without its antithesis, a quality of doggedness, endurance, perseverance.
Above all, Csikszentmihalyi celebrates the artistic process and attempts to describe how creative individuals arrive at a sense of flow and create a positive working environment for their work/play. Also be sure to check out Merlin Mann's response to the article in 43 Folders.

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