English 101

Flow/Radical Remission Essay Assignment


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In her chapter “Having Strong Reasons for Living” in Radical Remission, Kelly Turner writes: “In order to be excited about living, people often need to get in touch with (or get back in touch with) their deepest desires or callings. For many people, this third aspect of ‘having strong reasons for living’ means adding creativity back into their lives because creativity is something that, unfortunately, most adults have lost touch with. For example, many people’s jobs do not provide them with much of a creative outlet,” (260).

However, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in Flow says that if people really focus on what they are doing and follow the rules for flow, they can do ANY activity and find joy in it, from washing dishes, to playing a musical instrument, to reciting poetry, inventing a theorem, or exercising. The elements of Flow are the following:

The 8 Characteristics of Flow

Csikszentmihalyi describes eight characteristics of flow:

  1. Complete concentration on the task;
  2. Clarity of goals and reward in mind and immediate feedback;
  3. Transformation of time (speeding up/slowing down);
  4. The experience is intrinsically rewarding;
  5. Effortlessness and ease;
  6. There is a balance between challenge and skills;
  7. Actions and awareness are merged, losing self-conscious rumination;
  8. There is a feeling of control over the task.

Perhaps both authors are correct. You must pursue activities in a “flow” state for maximum enjoyment, but the activities can bring even more joy if they are something that you feel called to do and that fits in with your values and life meaning.

Impressionist painter Henri Matisse posited that “creativity takes courage.” I would like you to embrace that spirit as you undertake your final projects. Choose something that delights and inspires you in a domain in which you have something to share and something to learn. Make it a real research project where you do not already know the outcome before you start. You may choose one of the following options or come up with something original on your own (you must run it by me for approval).

Remember to use the four kinds of evidence: Personal experience, data and statistics, expert opinion, values. Alternate between direct quotes and paraphrase of your research, and cite your sources. Also, use one of the introduction strategies from the Introduction chapter in The West Guide.

Choose ONE of the following (they should all be 4 pages):

  1.     1.      Write  a 4- page research paper on a creative person who has made a difference in his or her field.  What creative traits did they demonstrate in facing obstacles? Did their failures turn into strengths? What lessons did they learn? How did they demonstrate their values and the idea of Flow? How was this activity their calling? Use vocabulary from the course to discuss. (Use research to give context to their goals or struggles).
  2.     2. Write  a 4- page research paper on creativity in your own life. What activities give you flow?  Discuss any obstacles you may have faced in pursuing your goals. What creative qualities did you demonstrate as you faced your challenges? What did you learn? How did you use a creative approach to overcoming the obstacle? Relate your story to at least one of the strategies in Radical Remission.If you failed, how did that experience shape you or lead you in a new direction? Use the Reisman creativity terminology we have learned in class such as “tolerance for risk,” or “flexibility,” etc. (Use research to give context to your goals or struggles). You may use this as an opportunity to discuss COVID-19 or the current protests. Please remember that ALL essays must include outside research, quotes, data and statistics, etc., even if you are talking about your personal experience.







Research Project: Lionel Messi


When the word Lionel Messi is mentioned, almost every person from old to young can recognize and describe him. He is a professional footballer, playing in a famous team Barcelona Football Club, and a winner of many awards ranging from the six Ballon d’Or he has to the won UEFA and La Liga leagues, among others. Messi is described as the best player globally, of all time, a genius in the game, and goes by the label G.O.A.T. (Great of all Time). Other than the glory and recognition in football, Messi is somewhat shorter than his colleagues and teammates, which has been a source of controversy, problem, and impediment, especially since his childhood. Despite his challenges on growth capabilities, Messi is more than a brand and football celebrity, he has excelled and is described as a genius in the harmonization of football techniques and his short stature defying and dictating gravity. Messi has used his skills and capitalized on his body growth problem to revolutionize football-necessitating research on his timely, precise, and craftiness in the field. He has defied the rule that no player in the world is always correct.

Creative Traits when Facing Troubles

Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone disorder that inhibited the average growth of a person requiring hormonal growth treatment injections. He had to undergo numerous injections daily and weekly to treat the disorder, which was not achieved due to economic and financial constraints. He stated, “Every night, I had to stick a needle into my legs, night after night after night, every day of the week, and this over a period of three years.” (Valdano, 2019) However, Messi realized he had an audacious and inherent talent that made him transfer from Argentina to Spain, at 13, a tough journey as he describes. He described his journey from leaving his home to Spain a tough one. However, his dream and talent of being a footballer enabled him to overcome his introvert nature and fear of his short stature. To keep Messi occupied with his expertise and motivating him, the father promised him biscuits and chocolates whenever he scored. Hence, Messi knew scoring gave him a pass for a biscuit or chocolate, and scoring with the head gave him a pass of two.

Failures turned into Strengths

Messi’s journey to the “GOAT” he is today is characterized by sacrifices, pain, and health difficulties. His growth hormone condition profoundly affected his overall immune system and even vision problems, which are essential in football. Instead of his treatment providing an arena to play effectively in Barcelona, he received criticism and potential discontinuation for his therapeutic treatment, which is explained in Section 46 of FIFA’s anti-doping policies and codes. Some felt he used the medication as a form of performance enhancer, yet it was purely for medical purposes. During this period, his performance lowered, as it was affected by the side effects of both the treatment and social criticism. However, upon completing his treatment, he acquired a 5’7 that enabled him to attain an average weight. This height has maximized his balance, speed on the ground, and agility, which are described as increased timely passes, defiance of gravity due to optimized balance and maximized creativity in the field. Messi learned to battle his failures contributed by the disorder through his undying positive attitude and channeled it to creativity in the field. Today he makes history in Sports as the best footballer player of all time.

Lessons Learned

A significant lesson Messi learned is that nothing would stop him from fighting for his dreams, as he used his impediments as a source of strength and comeback. More importantly, even though he faced a ‘physical disability’ of his little statue or not good body, he believed in his mental abilities. Lionel Messi believed he could be better and better; besides, today, he is called an engineer and genius in the field. Most notably, no disease could stop him from achieving his football dream, as it requires commitment, hard work, resilience, and sacrifices.

Idea Demonstrations and Flow of Ideas 

Lionel Messi’s story from childhood struggles to success, and the best footballer in the world can be explained through both Turner and Csikszentmihalyi’s ideas on values and flow. Primarily, Messi used his deepest desires and capitalized on his most potent life purpose: football playing. Despite being diagnosed with a threatening disorder to his football career, he stayed strong, injected himself the medicine, and left home for Spain to sign up with Barcelona where he could receive his treatment while shinning and excelling in his most profound desires; football. Secondly, Lionel Messi shows a flow in his career and life. He concentrated on the task of playing football by constant concentration, taking treatment seriously, and innovating creative measures in the field to score. Messi had a clear goal that communicated his purpose in life and the strongest desire. While playing in the field, he displays the sharpness and creativity both in scoring and assisting other teammates in scoring. He has the most excellent dribbling skills, high vision and pace described as being fast in a measurement of a tenth of a second. All these tactics enable him to read and change the game, which is defined as finding effortlessness and ease in performing a task while feeling control over the task.

Messi learns to find the balance between challenges and skills by adopting three main radical remissions including, taking charge of his health, following his intuition, and increasing positivity and positive emotions in his life to create a winning environment rather than self-pity and dying spirit. Without any doubt, the experience in playing football has been intrinsically rewarding for Messi. Today, his net worth is $104 million and ranked by Forbes as the third highest-paid athlete in the world in 2020 (Forbes, 2020). In addition to monetary rewards, Messi lives a more fulfilling and satisfying life as he is living his dream and deepest desires. Besides, through his football career, he can venture into other investments such as endorsement and philanthropy work.


Football is a calling for Lionel Messi as he discovered his talent and deepest desire as young as 8 years, and by 13, he was playing for Barcelona F.C. His brother noticed his dribbling and scoring skills and helped him play with his first club, the Newell’s Old Boys. Until today, Messi being called the GOAT and god of football is due to his ‘magical’ abilities in the pitch, the six Ballon d’Or he has won, and the joyous or satisfying attitude he displays showing contentment. As a footballer, he grows his talents and skills, hence learning to improve himself and abilities, making football a better experience for himself, his teammates, the club, fan, and the world.




Forbes. (2020, June 4). #5 Lionel Messi. Retrieved from Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/profile/lionel-messi/#7efb67cd5e9f

Valdano, J. (2019, April 22). Deconstructing Messi. Retrieved from El Pais: https://english.elpais.com/elpais/2019/04/22/inenglish/1555927677_228953.html





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