This marks the relaunch of The Art of Soaring. It has been several years since I felt drawn to rekindle the site. Since 2019 to be exact. The date of my last post.
Since then, I have been keenly focused on my creative process, as each birthday (June) I put together a 1yr, 3yr, 5yr, and 10yr Personal Mission Statement. Those are all incorporated into one document, but it really helps focus on what needs to be done and what can be repurposed.
I’ve been reading Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, and am getting a LOT of mileage from its wisdom. This passage addresses the ways in which those who do not have or use a lot of creative thinking in their daily lives tend to view those who do. Basically, the author delves deep into the creative mind and emerges with some stunning insight. The most successful creatives understand and use flow in their everyday existence. It requires a stunning bit of focus over the long-term and being able to avoid the distraction of friends and others who might try and demand some of your time. I personally experience this a lot in my daily life.
“Another consequence of limited attention is that creative individuals are often considered odd—or even arrogant, selfish, and ruthless. It is important to keep in mind that these are not traits of creative people, but traits that the rest of us attribute to them on the basis of our perceptions. When we meet a person who focuses all of his attention on physics or music and ignores us and forgets our names, we call that person ‘arrogant’ even though he may be extremely humble and friendly if he could only spare attention from his pursuit. If that person is so taken with his domain that he fails to take our wishes into account we call him ‘insensitive’ or ‘selfish’ even though such attitudes are far from his mind. Similarly, if he pursues his work regardless of other people’s plans we call him ‘ruthless.’ Yet, it is practically impossible to learn a domain deeply enough to make a change in it without dedicating all of one’s attention to it and thereby appearing to be arrogant, selfish, and ruthless to those who believe they have a right to the creative person’s attention.”