Components Of Creativity: Happiness Isn’t One Of Them, Says A Study

Happiness can actually sometimes hinder us in our creative process.

For many of us, happiness is the end goal to everything we do. Somewhere, we believe that whatever purpose we are working toward is going to bring us a lot of happiness, and whenever we do achieve happiness, we believe that it will aid us in what we do. Essentially, it is a great cycle: our goals foster happiness, happiness pushes us toward more goals. In this, we also believe that a happy state can fuel our creativity and become a great motivator. After all, if we are in a good mood, our creative problem-solving skills will be boosted and we might be able to find a solution sooner than if we are in a bad mood. However, science has found that how creative we are has nothing to do with how happy we feel.

The 14 Components Of Creativity

Happiness was not included by researchers as a component of creativity.

A study published in the journal Plos One analysed 90 creativity-related papers that

have been written over nearly six decades. The research was conducted by computer scientist Anna Jordanous and linguist Bill Keller. They searched for recurring themes, words and terms that were used to describe creative processes across different fields, and found out that creativity required 14 of these traits:

1. Active involvement and persistence
Starting a project is easy, but sticking to it is hard. After a while, a lot of us don’t really want to continue after facing a lot of obstacles, but those who are able to involve themselves completely and persist are the ones who eventually succeed.

2. Dealing with uncertainty
Most of the time, we can never predict how something will actually end up turning out, so being able to deal with uncertainty is a commendable trait on its own.

3. Domain competence
If you want to be successful at something, you need to be good at it. If you aren’t competent in what you’re doing, it is highly likely that you will lose motivation halfway through.

4. General intellect
A certain amount of intellect is needed to come up with solutions to problems

creatively. Creative problem-solving is one of the parameters that is used in measuring intellect.

5. Generating results
The only way an idea can continue to be expressed and worked on is if results, even if they’re small, show. If results don’t show up at some point of time, there is no use in continuing the idea.

6. Independence and freedom
You cannot be restrained all the time if you’re being creative, and the very essence of creativity lies in the freedom of expressing it. Independence, the ability to think for yourself, is also a major part of being creative.

7. Originality
This is what sets one person apart from another: the ability to be original in their expression.

8. Innovation and emotional development
Being original is important, but you must also be able to come up with something practical and doable. This is where innovation comes in. Emotional development helps to deal with the stress and challenges that come your way, and your ability to continue without

losing yourself to the process.

9. Progression and development
With each result, we need to be able to progress further and develop the idea as per the current need.

10. Social interaction and communication
While it’s easy to believe that doing everything by yourself is the best way to go about creativity, social interaction and communication give you new perspectives and ideas to bounce off of each other, and sometimes even come up with something better.

11. Spontaneity and subconscious process
When faced with a sudden and unexpected problem, we need to be able to think on our feet and come up with something spontaneously. This involves our interaction with subconscious processes because that is what is only available to us at that moment.

12. Thinking and evaluation
It goes without saying that thinking is the first step to doing, and we need to evaluate each idea realistically to be able to take the next steps.

13. Value
You need to understand the value of your thought process, and distinguish between an idea of value, and an idea that maybe doesn’t hold much value.

14. Variety,

divergence and experimentation
One original idea is sometimes not enough, and challenges can come up that need us to diverge from what we originally wanted and what actually works. Being able to experiment with ideas is the best way to grow creatively.


 Happiness is a by product of the creative process but doesn't actually affect its success.

Happiness does not have any bearing on our creative process, and could in fact hinder us. While a positive mood is excellent for initial brainstorming and idea generation, it has little consequence over the actual creative process. It is important to have rigor when we are solving problems and overcoming obstacles, but happiness can actually slow us down when we face the eventual critique, evaluation, experimentation and failure. It can put us in a bad mood, or make us question ourselves when the time is most crucial to act. There is a lot of stress involved in overcoming obstacles, but that stress can actually be

helpful because it motivates us and pushes us to work better. Essentially, negative emotions are in fact more helpful to the creative process than positive emotions. However, this doesn’t mean that we need to be in a state of perpetual negativity: the key is to manage emotions and keep ourselves from being overcome by the negativity. We need to develop a system of management where the stress can be kept at its minimal as we develop our intrinsic motivation, and make sure we allow ourselves to feel happiness when we achieve each milestone. For this, we need to be able to develop a strong emotional intellect along with our general intellect.