Hardwired to Create


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Human beings were intended to be creative. It’s hardwired into our DNA. Creative pursuits unleash our inner genius. We all have the creative gene. When we pursue anything creative it triggers positive emotions and creates new neural pathways. Our brains like it when we create new neural pathways so it rewards us with an infusion of neurochemicals that produce a feeling of euphoria. 

In a paper published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience by researchers at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in which the brains of 46 teenagers were scanned, they found that risk-taking teens activated a portion of the brain called the ventral striatum. The ventral striatum is comprised of a large amount of dopamine receptors. Dopamine is the happiness neurotransmitter. It’s clear from many studies like this one, that the pursuit of success will make you happier in life. Playing it safe in life not only prevents you from pursuing success, it also results long-term unhappiness. When we engage in a creative pursuits we are literally turning on the happiness centers of our brain.

In my Rich Habits Study 61% of the self-made millionaires were small business owners. They created something out of nothing. Even more interesting, 80% of those self-made millionaires had devoted much of their adult lives in the pursuit of some dream. And how did they score on happiness? Eighty-five percent of the self-made millionaires in my study said they were happy.

Big deal, you might say, until you find out that 98% of the poor in my study said they were unhappy. Why were the poor unhappy? Because the poor were not creating anything. They were working for others who were doing the creating. 

We are hardwired to create. That’s why the brain rewards us with neurotransmitters that release happiness chemicals. Those chemicals are the brain’s way of stimulating us to create. When we do, we become happy and fulfilled with our lives. When we don’t, we struggle in life.

“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
― Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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