Are you a troubled genius? Are you suffering from self-doubt? Are you facing the dilemma – can I keep generating creative output? Will my flow of ideas and my ability to communicate them dry up? Today Elizabeth Gilbert has given us the solution. In a gripping talk, she has re-defined genius. More correctly, she has taken genius off our shoulders and put it back in its proper place.
According to Elizabeth, genius was originally a kind of good angel of ideas, living in the wall rather than sitting on your shoulder, and visiting you to cast its inspiration upon you when it felt like it. This externalising of the source of inspiration removes from us the pressure of having to be inspired. As Elizabeth put it, all we have to do is keep on doing what we do – writing, composing, producing. The genius will do the rest.
Our adoption of the label and nailing of it onto individuals has burdened them with the responsibility to keep holding that weight up – not very reasonable; not very humane. We re-purpose words and lose meaning as a result. Perhaps reaching back to the origins of our language will help see some of the challenges that we face freshly, and open up new possibilities and new sources of energy for us.