Posted by: Xhyra Graf | 19 January 2007

Model 34

The Interest Ecstasy Model

Some people jump out of airplanes, climb deadly mountains, dive unaided to 70 or 100 meters below seas, and the like. Researchers now

tell us many such people feel bored and uninterested in life when not engaged in highly risky stimulating endeavors. They take risks in

order to “feel normal contentment” that the rest of us get from drinking a quiet Lafitte Rothschild in our easy chairs. Whether that theory of

the brain chemistry cause of risk-taking lifestyles is true or not, the interest model of creativity is somewhat similar. It holds that creative

people create primarily to stay interested in life. They pursue not wealth, fame, or fortune, but interest. They work for the sake of interest.

They often declare when a creative work is done that they did it because doing it was “interesting”.

When creative people choose what field to contribute to (and therefore to study for years) they seek “interesting” fields. When they select

what problems to work on in a field they seek “interesting” problems. When they solve such problems they seek “interesting anomalies or

surprises” in solutions that should have worked. When they eventually solve such problems their final solutions are “interesting” unexpected

ones. Creative people are driven to find and produce “interest”.

The “flow” models of creativity come here (Csikszentmihalyi, 1996; Green, 1986; see Van de Ven for a sociological level of the same flow

across organization units as a fluid dynamic coalition among people dropping in an out). Creativity is, in these models, a kind of ecstasy of

fully deploying one’s capabilities, working beyond what capabilities one presently has, and balancing exquisitely dimensions of work and

attention to maintain a “flow” of divine-feeling “given” power that courses through one while “creating”. One works “beyond” oneself.

Shocking realizations “come to” one. Months or years of frustrated efforts suddenly dissolve into “given, entire, rapturous” solution.


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