Jemison creativity comes from her humble beginning she was born in Decatur, Alabama in 1956, the youngest of three children born to average working-class parents; a maintenance worker and an elementary schoolteacher, she had a fascination with all things science and astronomy from an early age alongside reading stories of science- fiction novels to aid her imagination and watching early clips of space travel and hoping that one day she would pilot a ship. Research has found that most great scientists are interested in numbers and experimentation from a young age, yet, a special sensory gain may be responsible for developing an early interest in the field, which is definitely an important factor of creativity (Csikszentmihalyi,1997). Mae Jemison had to overcome some barriers; in the early 60s, African American women were still finding it hard to attain the promise of their newly endowed civil rights, and get rid of the notion that most African women would still have to work in the kitchens of white families, and be stripped of the possibility of self- actualisation.
As well as all the astronauts of that period were white and male, this did not discourage Jemison, she vowed to carve her own path. Though the social pressure to conform was significant. She remembrances, “In kindergarten, my teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I told her, ‘A scientist!’ She said, ‘Don’t you mean a nurse?’…” That quality of mind can have an effect on your creative flow and can shut down creative expression. Any motivation to engage in creative behaviour is easily extinguished. Jemison didn’t let this discourage her. Her openness is consistently the strongest part of the creative, her drive for cognitive and behavioural exploration of the world.
Jemison’s parents supported her desire to be a scientist and infuse intellectual discipline and exploration. Her parents play a vital role in her flow, according to Csikszentmihalyi (1997) they are the main source of the curiosity and involvement with life that is so expressive to the creative individual. Jemison majored in chemical engineering and in African- American studies at Stanford University before having a change of career. When she finished her degree at Stanford University she decided to pursue medicine and become a Peace Corps medical officer in Sierra Leone, Liberia and other West African counties before relocating to Los Angeles in 1985 to open her own general practice.
She had another itch to keep exploring and decided to reacquaint herself with engineering, bringing herself back to her dream of space exploration which has been with her since childhood. This was sparked by Sally Ride in 1983, she became the first woman to travel into space. Jemison saw an opportunity and felt this was the time for her to join NASA in 1987, where she began to pursue a career as an astronaut. This is what distinguishes her as a highly creative person, she is able to see possibilities where others do not. Creative people alternate between imagination and fantasy and from that they generate a new sense of reality by going beyond. On September 12th she made history, for being the first black women to orbit space and aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour, for its STS-47 Spacelab-J mission in 1992. I believe Mae Jemison felt a huge fulfilment and a profound sense of being part of something greater than herself.When Jemison went on the space mission, she took a few reminders displaying her creativity, this included a poster of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and several pieces of art from West African.
Each piece is a different indicator, manifestations of creativity, science and dance are both expressions of the endless creativity that people have to share with one another. The items are a representation of her human creativity and are symbolic of her because they fed her creativity. Noted by Csikszentmihalyi (1996) creative people how tendencies of thought and action, they contain contradictory extreme which each of them is a multitude. Science and art are very different when it comes to expressing creativity. Fear isn’t always a weakness – According to Jemison, she’s learned it’s what you do with that fear that makes the difference. She suffered from a fear of heights, but didn’t let that stop her, Jemison says, “There was no way I was not going to get through because of my fear of heights.” She relied on the strength of her ego to push her forward.
Fear becomes a weakness when it keeps you from doing stuff. Jemison explains, adding that derring-do is not necessarily a strength. As you progress and learn your strengths, along with work on your weaknesses to find a balance. It is crucial to find a balance than to focus on one in hopes the other will disappear. “We are all tasked to balance and develop ourselves,” she underscores.
“You can rely on strength so much, you don’t build up your other capabilities,” says Jemison. Having too much sympathy can hold you back as much as not having any and not being able to see room for improvement, she points out. As for herself, she always tries new things to see where she can improve, for example switching which hand she uses. “I do things with my left hand just to see if I can,” she explains. The shift in perspective is enough to shake things up a little bit. Noted by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, “The best moments and ideas usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.” this state is called flow, and it is an important contributor to creativity and a person’s well-being.
Making a difference Some individuals have developed a nervous system in which discovering of novelty stimulates the pleasure centres in the brain. Being in a minority on an engineering track, Jemison says she had to look further afield for a supportive outlet. African American studies became a major as she explored dance and learned Swahili. “I gravitated to those places,” she says, crediting them as the outlet she needed to stick it out in engineering. Going back to her roots helped her symbolically, it created a sense of belonging and helped ease the pain of loneliness. Creativity expression is self- expression says kaufman (2013) creativity is nothing more than an individual expression of your needs and desire.
Dr Jemison said in an interview with Scholastic “I love dancing! I took all kinds of dance- African dancing, ballet, jazz, and modern- even Japanese dancing. I wanted to become a professional dancer.” It was her passion for creative arts and training in a variety of styles that nurtured her skills of retention and fueled her unwavering discipline as well as boosted her confidence. Mae Jemison gained the benefits of greater focus, determination.ConclusionScientists don’t usually have a reputation for being very creative. The reason being their work is more tangible and real. They have to follow the scientific method, use statistics and data, and carefully measure their findings.
The science and the arts are entirely separated from one another and scientists are not seen creative enough and that artists and other “creatives” are not analytical.Jemison like many theorists believes that thinking is very linear and one dimensional she says ” it’s foolish to even think in terms of having to choose between being analytical or being intuitive and likens this false choice to have to choose between being idealistic or realistic. “You need both,” she says. The blending of knowledge, imagination and evaluation through the process of ‘reordering and relation to knowledge and experience in new ways'(Evans, 1991) is crucial. To conclude I think Mae Jemison is a free spirit person she a non-conformist, a risk taker, she shows characteristic of an ”autotelic personality” as she tends to do things for herself rather than chasing some distant external goal.
This personality is distinguished by certain meta-skills such as having high interest in life, humility, determination, as well as low self-centeredness (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990). This is her creativity flow.Most people see artists, musician, poets, and writers fall on the strong side of the creativity spectrum whereas scientists, politicians and businesspeople are a logician. Psychologically speaking, defining some as creative is problematic, mainly because they are complex.
Research has suggested that creativity comprised of the combination of a multitude of traits, behaviours and social influence and culture in a single person. – Great art and great science involve a leap of imagination into a world that is different from the present. Creativity is a central source of meaning in our lives, the idea of being fulfilled