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Summary

The classic study of the creative process from the national best-selling author of Flow, Creativity is about capturing those moments that make life worth living. Legendary psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi reveals what leads to these moments - be it the excitement of the artist at the easel or the scientist in the lab - so that this knowledge can be used to enrich people's lives. Drawing on nearly 100 interviews with exceptional people, from biologists and physicists, to politicians and business leaders, to poets and artists, as well as his 30 years of research on the subject, Csikszentmihalyi uses his famous flow theory to explore the creative process. He discusses such ideas as why creative individuals are often seen as selfish and arrogant, and why the "tortured genius" is largely a myth. Most important, he explains why creativity needs to be cultivated and is necessary for the future of our country, if not the world.

©2013 Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (P)2015 Gildan Media LLC

What listeners say about Creativity

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Excellent

Practical, compelling listening if you're interested in developing your own creativity and others'. Highly recommended

5 people found this helpful

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Provides a positive stimulus

For what ever reason I've found that this book has helped to alleviate a bit of writers block for me. It's not a flowchart or a step by step guide to being creative, not at all. But I found the discussion stimulating and the exploration of the subject to be, academic yes, but helpful nonetheless. Sometimes a good audiobooks can kick me into gear with my work and help me to feel stimulated and motivated. This one did it for me, may not do it for others. 🤷‍♂️

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Soaking with incorrect agenda

Mostly he's just talking about factually incorrect feminist agenda which is easily disprovable with research&statistics.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Ray Horacek
  • Ray Horacek
  • 09-10-18

Not the “creativity” one might think

Flow is by far my favorite book ever, and as a person who makes my living doing creative work (design & art) I probably went into this with expectations that were too high. Having said that, it appears that Csikszentmihalyi considers Big C creativity to be mostly in the sciences (including social sciences). I don’t disagree with sciences being creative and I learned some new things about this side of creativity in this book, but for a book to be titled “Creativity” this book touches very little or never on what many people would consider the most obviously creative disciplines (music, visual art, dance, architecture, film, philosophy, etc) other than a chapter devoted to writing.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Todd Evans
  • 18-08-21

Waste of time

If this book does anything, it doesn’t inspire people to be creative. It’s argument is based on the assumption that creativity is only for those who have been labeled “geniuses” by their peers. It further locks creativity in the ivory tower and safeguards it from anyone who doesn’t have a formal education. (I have graduate degrees and have seen this “elitism” throughout my time in universities. It is something we (general we) need to address as a society at large). Let’s make education and creativity for that matter more accessible to everyone! This book acts against that impulse.

Disappointed.

7 people found this helpful

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  • GoingGoingGone...
  • 06-07-16

squishy

The author hedges most of his observations due to the anecdotal nature of his research, to the point he never actually commits to really knowing anything from his research. The words likely, probably, and possibly are too frequently used, such that I feel he has not earned the latitude he claims for himself when he states his opinions and worldviews as truisms.

This might have been fine had his work been graced by a sustained attempt to support his assertions with well developed arguments contrasted against alternative perspectives, but he did not offer these; he engages in intellectual shadow boxing, conflating marketability and craftsmanship with creativity. By tying creativity to domain; a child could never be "creative" by his definition as he can't master a craft or amass knowledge such that his efforts can be recognized as such. But this is not consistent with what most of us see, and mean when we use this word.

For me then, his definition and treatment of creativity and invention is stilted and tendentious, substituting one enigmatic definition of creativity for another. The anecdotal evidence presented was interesting, but the conclusions drawn from them did not illuminate the subject of creativity for me as I hoped it would.

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  • Corbett Hoxland
  • 22-08-19

just don't - 2nd time I did and still regretting i

this is the 2nd book I bought from this author, the first one on flow. both topics are very interesting to me and the impact they have on modern Life and business.

both times the author killed it for me.
how do you take such an interesting topic and make it so boring? filled with details I couldn't care less about, your opinions, what the book is not, clarifying points and justifications take up to much space and time.

saying people are creative only if their peers agree with them is crazy. your examples of people being a knowledged 500 years after their death should prove that.

such a great topic and you liked it again for me. well done

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  • Caro_
  • 18-03-20

Very interesting and useful

Lots of interesting facts and anecdotes. Took me a bit to get over that John Hodgman isn’t the narrator.

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  • John Funk
  • 19-04-16

Great Insights into Creativity and Creative People

What did you love best about Creativity?

This book from the psychologist who coined the term "flow" focuses on what differentiates extraordinarily creative people. In this book he does a wonderful job of discussing how a domain and the field devoted to that domain impact the creative people in that field. He also brings out lots of great insights from his studies of extraordinarily creative people and touches on what it takes to develop the meta-skill of being able to turn almost any activity into an occasion of flow.

It's great material for anyone who fosters creativity in others or for people looking to better understand and harness their own creativity.

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  • Jess W
  • 24-12-21

Like a flint strike to the tinder!

I bought the physical copy halfway through listening, because taking notes/highlighting was too much work. I've been out of college for a decade, but am immediately put back in practice. This should be required reading for any creative!

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  • Doug Lipman
  • 25-09-21

Terrific book! And the reader is magnificent!

I adore this book. It is based on interviews with many creative people- creative according to the quite restrictive definition of the author, which guarantees that the people studied have made creative contributions to their fields. The in-depth interviews supply clear and moving stories to illustrate the author’s conclusions- stories that stay in the mind and heart.

A special acknowledgement to the narrator: he is clear and engaging. But he is so attuned to the content that from time to time I realize that, yet again, I have felt as though I am hearing the author himself!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-02-21

Great perspective on creativity

At first the author walks you through the stories of many characters and their experiences in different fields. It also provides a few tips of to more to be more creative in a our daily life.

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  • steve hunt
  • 21-07-20

Sean Pratt is exceptionally good

the performance helped make the experience of this audiobook one of the best I've heard. the research helps not only to explain creativity, but also personal development in any field.