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8.6.1. Emotions


How To Invent (Almost) Anything > 8. The Motivating Fire > 8.6. How The Brain Does It > 8.6.1. Emotions

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Why do we have emotions? What is their evolutionary value? From a creativity viewpoint, emotions can cause significant blocks, making us shy away from activities that might gain disapproval from others or which have a high degree of uncertainty.

Emotions are e-motions, moving and motivating us, forcing us into action. Fear, anger, love and desire, all impel us to get off our backsides and get on with our lives. The limbic urges propel us into action. We are not alone in having emotions, as many pet owners will readily agree. Many animals, although not self-aware, feel fear and affection, and also are affected by the General Adaptation Syndrome.

The problem with emotions is that we have very little control over them. They come from the deeper and subconscious parts of the brain, and lead to biochemical changes that literally force us to act in different ways. Alcohol and narcotics are simply chemicals that act on the brain, and their effect on our emotions are well known.

So what does this mean for creativity and invention? The uncontrollable nature means that it is difficult to 'turn creativity on' whilst the delicate nature of the creative state makes it easy for 'negative' emotions to knock us off course, effectively blocking creative thinking.

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