Source: Medium, Jul 2018
In every single case, for example, as he had predicted, the people cited their work as one of the core joys of their life. He also noted the importance of many things that now seem obvious — things like long-term perseverance, discipline, attention, and curiosity.
They all took great care to manage their health and energy, and each of them had learned to create a consistent personal rhythm and work environment through years of trial and error.
The core input requirement for creativity that Csikszentmihalyi found across every person he interviewed was that they were all complex and contradictory people in this precise manner. Even beyond their surface-level similarities, this was the trait that connected everything.
They were both humble and proud at the same time. They were rebellious, but they were also conservative. They were not only passion-driven but also results-driven. They valued the role of discipline while also leaving room for random play. Each thing had its place.
This diverse complexity is what gave them the foundational tools to do new, original, and innovative work. They could attack their problems from a variety of angles as they needed.
A truly creative life is as much about other people in the world and what they gain from your work as it is about how it makes you feel and what it accomplishes in the eyes of your peers.