Underrecognized Inspirational Value of Persistence

The studies demonstrated under-prediction of the “creative yield” that might be achieved through persistence across many different types of creative tasks. Why do we show such a consistent failure to fully appreciate the inspirational value of persistence?

One important factor appears to be that there is a disconnect between how something feels to us while we’re being creative and the actual progress we are making. From the inside, it may feel as though we are not fluently coming up with any more new ideas, and we’re rapidly waning. This subjective feeling of disfluency or unease may lead us to underestimate how many ideas we could generate if only we kept at it.

Research shows that people often use how easy it is to do something or how smoothly it seems to flow when judging things. Similarly, when we are searching for creative insights and the process starts to have a bumpy, creaky, uncertain feel, this may lead us to infer that our idea search is no longer fruitful. But we should hang in there!

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