I’m having a block this week. Nothing flows. Not shoe making, or creating, or writing or making anything of any kind (including my bed). There are only jumbled thoughts in my head and I feel a bit stuck…so what am I doing to get ‘unstuck’?
First, I attacked the creative block through thinking, but it didn’t work. So I sat and thought some more, but that didn’t work either. And then I remembered a book I read some time ago titled “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience” written by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. And I could truly use an optimal experience right now.
Csikszentmihalyi is a professor at Claremont Graduate University and researches ‘Positive Psychology’, a recent branch of the field. He’s a well respected scholar, noted for his work studying happiness, experience and creativity and how they’re related. If he ever asks for volunteers, you’ll find me at the head of the line.
It’s hard to summarize the book in a short post without boring you to tears. It is psychology after all. But here are two wonderful quotes from the book which resonated with me and reflects his thinking:
“There are two main strategies we can adopt to improve the quality of life. The first is to try making external conditions match our goals. The second is to change how we experience external conditions to make them fit our goals better.”
“People who learn to control inner experience will be able to determine the quality of their lives, which is as close as any of us can come to being happy.”
If you are interested:
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (Amazon has a preview)
# ISBN-10: 0060920432
# ISBN-13: 978-0060920432
I should read that book again. Life can’t always be happy, but it can always be interesting.
Now I’m curious: what do you do when you get stuck?