Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Curiosity, the Key to Creativity

In his book 'Creativity, Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention' Mihaly Csikszentmihaly stresses the cultivation of curiosity as vital to creativity.

I'm convinced, curiosity is a major ingredient in the process.

We're born with an ample portion of curiosity. Children come equipped with a natural curiosity which enhances the ability to learn. Though curiosity got the proverbial cat in trouble, there can be no learning and, hence, no creativity without it. Curiosity is the seed from which all invention flowers.

Csikszentmihaly offers some advice on cultivating curiosity in our daily lives.

1.Try to be surprised by something every day. He suggests looking at the world around us in a new way. Being open to new experiences. Exploring.
2.Try to surprise at least one person every day. Break from routine. Don't be predictable. Try something new and see where it leads.
3.Write down each day what surprised you and how you surprised others. This is intended to provide opportunity for reflection on the new experiences and to help see where they might lead.
4.When something strikes a spark of interest, follow it. This is where curiosity comes into full play.

Curiosity provides an adventurous outlook, the ability to take chances and risk falling on one's face in the name of experimentation. That, my friends, is creativity.

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