Author Elizabeth Gilbert, famous for her bestseller Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia, suggested Thursday at the TED conference that we kill geniuses by demanding super-human powers from them.
Super-human in that geniuses – not just great artists but anyone who requires creativity to do their work – are often judged by their ability to produce brilliant material measured by unbelievably high standards.
Instead of creativity or genius coming from within individuals, Gilbert suggested that creativity instead is a gift bestowed upon us from the cosmic communal pool, and that our job is merely to show up and be open to receiving it. She advised the audience:
"Just do your job. Continue to show up for
your piece of it. If your job is to dance, then do your dance. If the
divine, cockeyed genius assigned to your case decides to let some sort
of wonderment be glimpsed for just one moment for your efforts, then Ole. And if not, do your dance anyhow. Ole to you, nonetheless, just for having the sheer human love and stubbornness to keep showing up."
More evidence for Woody Allen's adage that 90% of life is about showing up…
What are you showing up for?
How do you tap into the source of your creativity and genius?