Monday, September 17, 2012

My genius did it, not me?

Elizabeth Gilbert: Your Elusive Creative Genius 
"rational humanism, BEING a genius rather than HAVING a genius, 
allowing one person to believe he is the vessel of the source 
of all divine creative unknowable eternal mystery,  
is a tad too much responsibility to put on one fragile human psyche, 
its like asking someone to swallow the sun.  
It warps and distorts egos, creates unmanageable expectations about performances, 
and the pressure of that has been killing off artistes for the past 500 years.."

We as humans, 
have all kind of assumed full responsibility for both our greatness and our failures.
But the sad fact is, we often have to fail many times before we finally taste the fruit of success. 
This is the nature of creative work,
either you have the talent, or you'll need a whole lot of hardwork, determination, 
& positive self-talk/self-belief to cross over the bridge to success. 

How can i love myself more, be a little self-critical?
How can i make myself believe that what i produce is not crap?
This whole notion of "loving thy self" just goes against principles of perfectionism 
- that is to beat yourself up over and over again until one day, you achieve perfection of your own terms.
Question is... do we really need to be so hard on ourselves? 

I love Elizabeth Gilbert's perspective of displacing creativity genius to another source
(I think she got that enlightenment from her days in the ashram hehe),
it gives me the chance to not kill myself over the lack of creative output,
it makes me believe that he or she, my genius, will come by again when i'm ready (: 
I think this works excellent for people like me, whose self-belief wavers from time to time. 

I can't remember how many times i've faulted myself for writing lousy songs, 
for sounding absolutely crappy, 
i have lots to learn, i gladly admit that, 
but attributing my outcome to an external source gives me the patience to pull through, 
allows me to keep "showing up for the part of my work", 
without the debilitating feelings of self-hate, procrastination and despair. 

I read a zite article on creativity and it gave a seemingly different POV. 
It says that creativity doesn't just dawn on one person like a angel sent from heaven, 
it resides within us, and waits patiently to be unearthed. 
That means creativity doesn't improve i.e one doesn't get more or less creative, 
because it is a product of our life experiences, 
an amalgamation of what we have already been exposed to. 
But that said, it means creativity can be enhanced with exposure to different life experiences. 
And what we creative people need to do is
to learn how to unlock the door to our unique creativity bank. 

While we're at it, 
we will fail, many times, 
and i think it's healthy for us to not feel too burdened by failure, 
externalizing it is probably the best way to do it, 
as long as we keep doing it and never give up. (: 

"don't be afraid, don't be daunted, 
just do your job, continue to show up for your piece of it.
If the divine genius assigned to your case decides to let 
some sort of wonderment to be glimpsed for just one moment through your efforts, 
then ole.
And if not, do your job anyhow.
Ole to you nonetheless,
 just for having the sheer human love and stubbornness to keep showing up."
- Elizabeth Gilbert on TEDTalks

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