Don’t judge a book by its title.

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This is a book that might very well be misinterpreted by its title. As I did on my previous post, I insist on the fact of always, reading from beginning to end. This concise and illustrated work: Steal like an artist by Austin Kleon is quite original in the way to see the process of creativity.

“It is our failure to become our perceived ideal that ultimately defines us and makes us unique.

Kleon basically encourages us all not to be afraid to imitate when we truly admire somebody’s creations. He claims a lot has been done already, so if you expect to do something original from the beginning, you’ll never take off. You always start by existing work (from writers, painters, athletes, any professional in any area you can think of.) You begin by admiring their art, imitating their tactics or techniques and as you go through that journey, you’ll start discovering your flaws, your strengths, your needs. In other words, your original work will emerge from that search.

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The arena of the sun (1954) Oil painting by Princess Fahrelnissa Zeid

 

Copy your heroes. Examine where you fall short. What’s in there that makes you different? That’s what you should amplify and transform into your work.”

You’ll get practical advice on diverse areas ranging from finding a place and a routine that suits you in order to organize and boost your energies, to down-to-earth financial tips that come really handy when fear starts taking over.

I wish you an insightful reading!

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Always, always, read the whole book.

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Very slowly, as in a movie process of fading out, when I read, the world disappears. I remain alone inside the world of the story. It is my favorite feeling in this life.”

This is Haruki Murakami’s way of describing something that is very identifiable when we experience it, though it is hard to put in words and to rationalize: optimal experience.

The joy we get from living, ultimately depends directly on how the mind filters and interprets everyday experiences. Whether we are happy depends on inner harmony, not on the controls we are able to exert over the great forces of the universe. (…) 

Since I first heard about Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s work Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience I’ve read dozens of articles about him, his investigation, and his ground-breaking findings. However, I had never read his book. Big mistake. His conclusions are nothing short than a before and after in the way we pursue our well being through experience. By just reading articles about his work, I had just accessed to a tiny bit of this masterpiece and not to the first-hand experience of one of the most essential books of our times.

 

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The secret is not to reach the destination, it is to lose ourselves on our way there.

Wish you a great reading and better connections!

PS: you will have hundreds of summaries of  Csikszentmihalyi’s ideas online, but if you have the chance, trust me, don’t miss this book.