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Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius TED Talk

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the best selling book "Eat Pray Love", gives a Ted Talk about how to nurture our creativity. Rather then burdening creatives with the label of being a genius, she looks to the ancient Greeks and Romans for inspiration
by Diamond Braganza on 19 February 2013

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Transcript of Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius TED Talk

Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius TED Talk Filmed: Feb 2009 Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the best selling book "Eat Pray Love", gives a Ted Talk about how to nurture our creativity.

Rather then burdening creatives with the label of being a genius, she looks to the ancient Greeks and Romans who believed it was the daemon (Greek) or genius (Roman) who helped the artist to create. There are TWO big problems with being a creative Friends and relatives say things like ... Aren't you afraid you're never going to have any success? Problem 1 ... at the start of you career Aren't you afraid the
humiliation of rejection
will kill you? Aren't you afraid nothing is ever
going to come of it and you're
going to die on a scrap heap
of broken dreams? People say things like ... Problem 2 ... once you attain a degree of success Aren't you afraid the
humiliation of rejection
will kill you? Aren't you afraid the
humiliation of rejection
will kill you? Aren't you afraid nothing is ever
going to come of it and you're
going to die on a scrap heap
of broken dreams? Aren't you afraid nothing is ever
going to come of it and you're
going to die on a scrap heap
of broken dreams? Aren’t you afraid you’re going
to keep writing for your whole life
and you’re never again going to create
a book that anybody in the world
cares about at all, ever again? That's a lot of pressure ... is it logical that anybody should be afraid of the work that they feel they were put on this Earth to do? And how logical is the creative process anyway? Don't we all have these moments where we seem to find some divine inspiration? In ancient Greece and ancient Rome people believed creativity came from a divine spirit. The Greeks called these divine spirits “daemons”
The Romans called these divine spirits “a genius” Perhaps the answer lays in ancient Greece and ancient Rome? Rome Greece Head of a genius worshipped by Roman soldiers (found at Vindobona, 2nd century CE) Bronze genius depicted as pater familias (1st cent. CE) Winged genius facing a woman with a tambourine and mirror, from southern Italy, about 320 BC. The idea of creativity coming from a divine spirit had several benefits First you couldn't get such a big head as anything amazing you created was in part due to the divine spirit which had visited you Secondly if your work was not as good as expected,
you had someone to share the blame with Thinking of creativity in this way takes the teaching of the Renaissance period and totally turns it on it's head

That kind of thinking warps & distorts egos ... it's too much responsibility to put on one fragile human psyche

It's like asking someone to swallow the sun Source: Wikipedia During the Renaissance period people
were taught genius comes from within Moors used to chant Allah, Allah, Allah when they saw a stunning, transcendental, dance performance.

... Moors saw that performance not as a work of man, but as a manifestation of God Swallowing the sun is a pretty big task to ask of a human being ... Perhaps there was a better way to think about think about things ... When the Moors invaded Spain, they took this tradition with them, and this chanting of Allah, Allah, Allah changed to Ole, Ole, Ole that is so synonymous with Spanish music today. So perhaps the next time you see someone create what appears to be a work of genius Rather then call them a genius (along with all the pressure that puts upon them) ... Simply say .. Ole Ole Ole Thank You for your time http://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius.html Please see the TED Talk on which this presentation was based on
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