Friday, April 24, 2009
Go With The Flow
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Creativity, fulfillment and flow is a TED Talk I am requested to review. The speaker begins with an explanation of the creative state as being ecstatic, the ancient meaning being to be outside oneself. Many creative minds experience this state in the process of working on something new, whether it be scientific, artistic, communicative or really anything.
This is a chart of people's experience of the state of FLOW or ecstasy in performance. Interestingly, it is very similar to the grid I found in Drawing on the Artist Within, but with a significant difference. The grid in the book was designed for placement of the focal point in a visual presentation, with high involvement and high emotion on the upper right section. In this case, the vertical axis is challenge, and the horizontal, skill level. When great skill meets great challenge, one experiences flow, or ecstatic creativity.
He also states that it takes about ten years of saturation in the endeavor to be able to get to that highly desirable state of FLOW that produces innovation in the area of expertise. In the meantime, one develops skills and uses whatever level of challenge is appropriate to current skill levels to hone them in preparation for the ultimate state.
Just at the very end he realizes he has used up all his time and it is frustrating, because he is about to help us to access that area of experience.
I would wish for a more down-to-earth talk that tells us the steps for achieving these higher states. (the ABCs of doing that are covered well in Drawing on the Artist Within, so the information is available).