Creativity Thrives When You Resist the Urge to Surrender.

Giving up isn’t always a bad thing, but there’s something to be said to force yourself to push yourself even when you’re ready to throw that towel. First, it can make you more creative.

In a series of experiments, researchers Brian J. Lucas and Laurent Nordgren studied how persistence affects creativity. They asked subjects to come up with ideas under certain circumstances: for example, professional comedians performed with a twist.

They then asked another group of people to rate the creativity of the subjects’ ideas. The biggest discovery was that overcoming difficulties fuels creativity, but it’s also interesting that we often underestimate the creativity of our ideas when we are struggling with something. In one study, researchers reported:

On average, students predicted that they would be able to generate about 10 new ideas if they persisted. But we found that they were actually able to generate about 15 new ideas … Why do we underestimate the benefits of persistence? This is because creative tasks seem difficult. People often feel stuck, unsure of how to find a solution, or bump into a wall with one idea and have to start over.

Yes, sometimes rejection is the best solution to a problem . There is a lot to consider when deciding whether to quit or not, but we often underestimate the power of persistence when it comes to generating new ideas.

To combat this, they suggest two things: ignore your first urge to stop, and remember that creative problems must seem difficult. You can read more about their research and these two solutions at the link below.

Surrender is the enemy of creativity | HBR


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