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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy or Hungover: What May (or May Not) Help Your Creativity

I read with interest about a study that says people are more likely to come up with a creative idea if they felt happy the day before, and then they feel happy when they are creative. Which, because they are happy makes them more likely to come up with a creative idea, etc...

The finding seems to contradict all those who insist they have to have a deadline to come up with an idea. How can you be happy if you're stressed out over a deadline? What if you've had a really bad day the day before your boss is waiting to hear your brilliant idea? And, if you're not one of those perennially perky people, will you ever be creative?

Contrast this with another article I read recently which said that writers such as Cheever and Hemingway wrote when they were hungover and the article implied that this contributed to their brilliant storytelling. Granted during the 1960s and 1970s drug-fueled songs and art were produced and there could have been some masterpieces amongst them.

Bottom line is you shouldn't depend on any chemical reactions to force your creativity. Not good for your health or soul. And while I like the idea that happy equals innovation you can't wait until you're happy in order to be productive. Get into the habit of using ideation methods daily and your idea quota will automatically increase.

And the more ideas you produce, the more likely one or more will be just what you need.