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Creativity and the Brain

Do You Thrill on Easy? Or Thrive On Hard?

Mindset: The New Psychology of Successl-DweckIn the book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck, she discusses the comparison of the fixed mindset and the growth mindset and how they contribute to success. I highly recommend reading this book.

Her website is very informative with several articles offering a sample of the content from her book.

The issue for every artist and maker is that your mindset can affect your creativity.

Have you considered whether you are a growth mindset or a closed mindset? Don't kid yourself? Be honest. Are you excited about the challenge? Test Your Mindset on Carol Dweck's website.

Push Yourself Flower Pin by Harriete Estel Berman from post consumer recycled materialsA principle of the growth mindset is that people thrive when being challenged.

"When do people with the fixed mindset thrive? When things are safely within their grasp. If things get too challenging-- when they're not feeling smart or talented---they loose interest."

Here is an example of the growth mindset from the book:

"Not long ago I was interested to read about Marina Semyonova, a great Russian dancer and teacher, who devised a novel way of selecting her students. It was a clever test for mindset. As a former student tells it, "Her students first have to survive a trial period while she watches to see how you react to praise and to correction. Those more responsive to the correction are deemed worthy.""

"In other word, she separates the ones who get their thrill from what's easy--what they've already mastered--from those who get their thrill from what's hard."

There are many other examples in the book of people who choose challenges.  They prefer to work on projects that necessitate learning new skills  instead of producing variations of previous work based on already developed skills. These are the individuals with the growth mindset. One way or another, they ultimately push themselves into new horizons.

What does this have to do with the arts and crafts community?  Too often formulas are offered promising a path to creativity. While I don't believe there is any formula to guarantee creativity, we can teach ourselves to focus on a growth mindset. Learn more about these skills in Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.

Are you a student of life ready for a challenge?

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