International Journal of Existential Positive Psychology

The Story of Creativity Within Our Lives: Experiences and Events Which Shape This Becoming

Piers Worth, Ph.D.

Matthew Smith, Ph.D.


This paper explores how childhood and life experiences over time influence the appearance, recognition, development, and growth of creativity within individual lives. This is based on analysis of Ph.D. research data (Worth, 2000) and a case study in progress on the life of C. S. Lewis. The paper indicates contributions from influential adults and mentors during development as key sources of changes to personal and creative development. This suggests that Csikszentmihalyi’s systems model of creativity can be seen more broadly as a “spiral” of experiences that support growth and development of individuals over time, as well as their eventual recognition for their creative work. The dynamics observed within individual development reflected Wong’s (2012b) “PURE” and “ABCDE” model, and Wong and Worth’s (2017) paper on the deep and wide hypothesis.

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