by V. S. Ravi Elangkoh
Myth #4: Fear Forces Breakthroughs
Tears for Fears
Happy today, creative tomorrow
Amabile’s landmark ‘diary study’ in 1998 concurs with Jamison’s findings. After Amabile and her team had analyzed all the 12,000 journal entries by the participants, which describe their degree of fear, anxiety, sadness, anger, joy and love on a daily basis, Amabile found a positive correlation between creativity and the emotions of joy and love. At the same time, Amabile found a negative correlation between creativity and the emotions of anger, fear and anxiety. Moreover, participants were more likely to experience a creative breakthrough if they had been happy the day before. You could say that it was a virtuous cycle of creativity, and that one day’s joy predicts the following day’s creativity.