Jay Shirley

Striving to be a man of gallantry and taste

Be Happy, Be Creative.

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Mood is exceptionally important. Mood is also highly variable and highly connected. When we’re happy we are productive, when we suffer we fail to accomplish even simple things. This relationship is one I want to control, so I’ve been studying it.

I know if I sleep well and eat properly I’m more at peace. I feel better. That usually leads to more energy, which ultimately means I can be more creative. I still wasn’t sure why, but now i have a pretty good idea.

A psychologist named Dr. Samoff Mednick created the Remote Associates Test which measures creativity. It’s a lot of fun to go through, but that’s not the most interesting thing here.

The most interesting part is the discovery that altering participants moods yields different results. In a nutshell, happy people are more creative, or at least they perform better on the test.

That’s good enough for me. Be happy and be more creative.

Happiness isn’t simple!

I think most people find it easier to manage diets, sleep schedules and exercise than to be consistently be happy. Happiness is hard, and we struggle at simpler problems; we over-eat, under-sleep and are increasingly sedentary.

But we don’t need to be genuinely happy to reap genuine rewards. We can fake it, and faking happiness is pretty easy. If you simply smile for a bit, whether by just making the muscles work or watching silly videos, there is a benefit to your creativity.

The more happy you can be, the more creative you will be.

This goes deeper than just psychology. This is in the core levels of biology. When we feel at ease, our minds can wander and bump up against itself. In times of stress or danger, our mind must account for all probabilities. That’s a lot of work, and that isn’t the work for our inner creative geniuses.

This is part one of three (Part 2), and I encourage you to play around with the Remote Associates Test. Maybe taking this test will bring you a bit of happiness and unlock some hidden creativity today.