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Unleash The Power Of Greatness – The Truth Behind Talent Revealed

Unleash The Power Of Greatness – The Truth Behind Talent Revealed

All of us have access to a higher form of intelligence, one that can allow us to see more of the world, and use our talents to impact it in some way. Whether you believe talent is a rare gift born within, or seek to go above the talents you already possess, this article will reveal the hidden truths behind talent, and how we can all access it for greatness.

“Everyone holds his fortune in his own hands, like a sculptor the raw material he will fashion into a figure. But it’s the same with that type of artistic activity as with all other; we are rarely born with the capability to do it. The skill to mold the material into what we want must be learned and attentively cultivated.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Introduction

Talent isn’t something we are taught. Talent, is something we recognize within ourselves as a result of practical application in a particular chosen field. Some of us do well in our pursuit of greatness, and some not so well. We may try very hard to perfect our attempts at mastering a certain activity, yet, seem to fail timelessly. As a result of our failures, we can easily rationalize those doing better as born naturals; we see them as people with natural gifts, and we can easily reduce to feelings of inadequacy, becoming uncertain about our own capabilities. However, science teaches talent isn’t a gift born within, and instead, developed in a series of stages. And with time, patience and consistency, does one come to master his field of endeavor.

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Myelin: The True Mother Of Skill

Every human skill, whether it is playing an instrument or kicking a ball, is created by a chain of nerve fibers that carry a small electrical impulse. Myelin, which is a mixture of protein and phospholipids forms a sheath around our nerve fibers; the thicker myelin gets, the faster and more accurate our movements and thoughts become. Every human on the planet can grow myelin, and we do so more swiftly during childhood, but also throughout life; it’s growth allows all manner of skills, mental and physical. Skill can be defined as a cellular insulation that wraps neural circuits, and grows in response to certain signals. The more time and energy you put into practice of what you are trying to achieve the more myelin you create; this process applies to all those we consider talented.

Entering The Unknown

Before attempting to accomplish any skill, we are firstly outsiders to it; we have prejudgments and an element of fear about the process and our minds have not yet established a relationship with it. Although we may have excitement and enthusiasm for acquiring a new skill, most of us become uncomfortable as we become aware of the hard work ahead of us. If one can manage these uncomfortable emotions and allow time to take its course, one will find something remarkable begins to shape. Myelin get’s thicker, and the brain develops a strong relationship with the process at hand. In time, what was once unfamiliar and vexatious becomes a process we can do effortlessly.

Unlocking Inner Greatness

Every man and woman desires to acquire great skills to affect the world around him or her in some way. However, many often feel trapped by their limitations of consciousness. Simply put: If one is unaware of his own capabilities and the power of his own mind, he may find it easier to try and short-circuit the learning process by the use of drugs, incantations and prayer. Those who are more aware of their capabilities and have a self-belief in what they can accomplish, usually devote themselves to mastering the subject.

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It is common for people to lose themselves in a fantasy of becoming talented by the use of shortcut methods. Ancient wisdom reveals a change in attitude can attract the right energy, allowing us to achieve greatness by the virtues of thought. However, the true power we possess and mostly ignore – the same power used throughout history to build  magnificent buildings and paint works of fine art – is of course: the power of practice, patience and persistence (PPP).

”Do not talk about giftedness, inborn talents! One can name great men of all kinds who were very little gifted! They acquired greatness, became “geniuses” (as we put it), through qualities the lack of which no one who knew what they were would boast of: they all possessed that seriousness of the efficient workman which first learns to construct the parts properly before it ventures to fashion a great whole; they allowed themselves time for it, because they took more pleasure in making the little, secondary things well than in the effect of a dazzling whole.” Friedrich Nietzsche 

The Work Of Six-Million Years: Our Mind

People have come to believe talent is inaccessible. They see it as a product of the privileged or something magical within. But this idea is only imaginary, because the real secret of talent is supported by six-million years of development. Our brain, is in fact, designed to lead us into developing great skills and to become masters of our chosen field. Now, if all of us are born with essentially the same brain, why does the world show a limited number of talented people you may ask? Well, the truth is: talent is everywhere, it is just unrecognized. People across the planet have developed skills no different to some of the great minds we have admired throughout history. We must consider in order to become truly great, practice, patience and persistence must be applied, and it is a rare faculty among the average population.

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The Facts Of Myelin

Myelin – mentioned earlier – does not respond to vague information; the mechanism is built to respond to actions; it responds to urgent repetition. Myelin is universal and cares only for what you do. It does not unwrap, meaning: once a skill circuit is insulated, you can’t un-insulate it. And this is why habits are hard to break. The only way to change habits is to repeat new behaviors. Age also accounts for myelin, as it arrives in a series of waves when we are young. This is why the majority of world-experts start off young. However, we still continue to experience a net gain of myelin until we are 50. But as you may know, those who try to learn a new language or try to pick up an instrument later in life have a much harder time.

”People get the mind and quality of brain they deserve through their actions in life.” Robert Green

Before Attempting New Skills

Before attempting new skills, we must first, see it as something necessary and positive. Relying on genetics and technology will not allow us to become more efficient in our attempts to master new skills. We must realize we all get the brain we deserve through our actions. The amount of work we put in is precisely what we get out of it. We must be willing to go the distance. This is what all great achievers have managed to preserve. Lastly, we must never see ourselves as accomplished, but always remain in a state of learning. No person is ever accomplished at great skill, for there is always room for more. Thinking we are skilfully accomplished because of one single dose of appraisal from an outsider does not make us so. We must be willing to always strengthen the skills we have to become truly great.

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What We Have Learned

We learned talent and skill are not something magical born within, but a series of stages that take place. We learned skill is built by a chain of nerve fibers that carry a small electric impulse, and myelin is the key to its strength. Practice and devotion are needed to become great, and most people are ready to give up once they become aware of the work involved. We also realize talent is always around us, yet goes unrecognized. The bottom line is: If you wish to become better at what you do, or wish to develop new skills and reveal the signs of what outsiders call ‘talent,’ this will require you to devote time and patience to mastering the process. And if you wish to be truly great, you must live for it.

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Be More Creative and Come up with Incredible Ideas

How to Be More Creative and Come up with Incredible Ideas

Regardless of how creative you already consider yourself to be, there’s a good chance you would like to level up your creative abilities.

You might want to write a better song, think of better solutions to problems at work or around the home or maybe paint a picture.

In any case, the good news is that creativity is not born: it’s made, and each one of us has the potential to be more creative and come up with incredible ideas.

“Creativity is any act, idea, or product that changes an existing domain, or that transforms an existing domain into a new one.” — Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

The definition of creativity is broad, and reminds us that creativity is not limited to artists or musicians. It does however require that we have some kind of impact on the domain in which we create.

Creativity also emphasizes values.

“The process of having original ideas that have value” — Ken Robinson

This makes up for what Csikszentmihalyi misses out. For instance, we can make a change in the world without adding significant value. Any destructive act, like smashing a window, creates change, but it doesn’t necessarily create valuable change.

In short, there isn’t one single definition of creativity It’s up to us to find a definition that feels true and useful. When you know what your standard is, It’s much easier to embrace creativity and start to cultivate it.

And in this article, you will learn how to be more creative and take a good look at what goes into the creative skill:

1. Cultivate Focus

In order to create, there needs to be a focus on creating something, whether it’s a song, a theory, a product, or a sculpture.

You could also call this “drive” – it’s the initial spark that drives the solution to a problem, or the will to get on your laptop and start typing.

However, it’s worth noting there are different stages to the creative process: the divergent stage and the convergent stage.

In the divergent stage, we want a broad focus – we want to be willing to let in lots of different inputs, ideas and insights. This is the time for brainstorming all possible ideas and solutions.

In the convergent stage, we start to narrow our focus, like a camera lens. At this stage, we start to drill down to a handful of ideas or solutions, discriminating throughout the process.

How to cultivate focus?

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Take a 20 Minute Walk

Walking away and getting your heart rate up is the best free tool you have in regaining your focus.

I know it might seem counterintuitive to take a break right when you’re at your busiest, and especially when you’re drowning in your massive to do list, but the effects it will have on your clarity and ability to focus are undeniable.

Walking is physiologically proven to release stress, and clear your mind. In fact, most of my most brilliant ideas (and some pretty terrible ones too) have occurred on my daily walks.

If you give this technique a try, what you’ll find is that you’re much more productive than you were before you took a breather.

Over time, if you do these walks daily, you’ll quickly find that your to-do list starts to feel a lot less significant, and a lot more doable. It’s all about keeping razor focused, and that’s what short daily walks will gift you.

2. Build a Structure

When I wake up in the morning, I start the day with a structure in mind. I know that 15 minutes will be dedicated to meditation, 30 minutes to coffee and reading, 20 minutes to yoga and so on.

The structure of this morning routine might be boring, but the act of each task in itself has the potential to be, on some level, “creative.”

The point of structure is that it gives you the space to make time for something you want to do. It helps you carve out the time to do your creative work. Once you begin that thing in itself, you are free to go about it however you’d like.

Without structure, we can lose focus and can feel overwhelmed with possibility. If you’ve ever looked at a blank page and felt too overwhelmed with possibility to make a mark on it, you’ll know what I mean. How much easier it gets when you are given some guidelines or a deadline?

The trick is finding the right amount of structure for you and your creative needs. Too little structure and we feel overwhelmed. Too much structure, and we risk feeling limited and stifled.

Again, it’s worth thinking about creating in those two stages: divergent (less structure) and convergent (more structure.)

How to build a structure?

Create a Morning Routine

Your morning routine doesn’t have to be rigid or so arduous you dread waking up. In fact, it should feel like the opposite. When you get a routine that works for you, you’ll look forward to starting the day.

We all have different needs and preferences which can shape our ideal routine. In the book, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey, you can be inspired over 160 different creators’ daily routines, from Charles Darwin to Pablo Picasso.

Experiment with any that take your fancy, and see how you feel with a bit more structure to start your day.

You can also take a look at this article about morning routine for inspirations: The Ultimate Morning Routine to Make You Happy And Productive All Day

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3. Find Motivation

There is a theory that suggests: people will be most creative when they feel motivated primarily by the interest, satisfaction, and challenge of the work itself — not by external pressures. This is also known as intrinsic motivation; a drive that comes from within.

Think of a time when you did some of your best work — chances are you were totally absorbed in what you were doing, to the exclusion of everything else. You were completely focused on the work itself, barely noticing time flying by.

Now think of a time when you felt under pressure to perform. Maybe it was an exam, or a commission for an important client, or maybe your boss had told you “there’s a lot riding on this.”

Notice the difference? In the first memory, you were driven by intrinsic motivation, which made it relatively easy, even enjoyable, to be highly creative.

In the second memory however, extrinsic motivation was breathing down your neck, distracting you by whispering about the rewards for success and the horrible consequences of failure: likely making it harder to focus on the task at hand.

For this reason, intrinsic motivation, if you can find it, is what separates the good from great creative work.

This isn’t to say only internal motivators help. I personally get motivated by luring myself to work with a good cappuccino at my favourite cafe. That will get me ready to write or edit or whatever I’ve been avoiding.

How to find motivation?

Connect to Your “Why”

Your “Why” is your fuel: the thing that drives you forward, that gives you a reason to do what you’re doing.

‘He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.’ — Friedrich Nietzche

When you have a reason to do something, a purpose or a goal that matters to you, you can connect your daily actions to it. Then, each act becomes infused with meaning and you find that intrinsic motivation comes naturally.

The trick is to remember your “why” and connect with it on a regular basis.

Think about how you want to feel on a daily basis. What would you like to accomplish in the next year? What would you like for yourself in the next five years? How about in your lifetime?

Ultimately, the tasks you face on a daily basis, or at least some of them, will connect to a greater purpose if you follow this path and you will find you feel more motivated to create and less resistance.

If you aren’t sure where to start looking for motivation, this will help: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

4. Be an Expert in a Chosen Domain

Research has shown that just as expertise in one domain does not predict expertise in other unrelated domains; creativity in one domain does not predict creativity in other unrelated domains.[1]

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So just because you can paint a pretty picture, doesn’t mean you can creatively solve a mathematical problem.

If you’ve taken one of those tests like the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking, which will ask you to think of a bazillion uses for a pencil, and scored well, unfortunately this is only an indicator of divergent thinking skills. It is not a predictor for creativity all round.

The good news is, you can train your creativity in your chosen domain. Much like a muscle, you can isolate exercises to strengthen it.

Of course you can still do a total body workout – or atotal creativity workout – but it means your creativity-training exercises need to come from a wide variety of domains; not just thinking up uses for a pencil.

How to become an expert?

Make a Mastery Training Plan

Following our physical workout analogy, it’s worth applying the habits of great athletes to your chosen creative domain. For example:

1. Decide what area/s you want to work on

Much like a tennis player who decides they need to improve their serving technique, you can decide what area within your creative domain you want to improve at. Get specific.

2. Decide how much time you can dedicate

Most of us don’t have all day to train like a pro tennis player might, but you can likely squeeze 20 to 30 minutes in a day, if you want to. Whatever the time you can allow is, decide to dedicate yourself to it.

3. Review your progress

Finally, in order to check your progress, you can take regular reviews. Decide what your metrics are, and take time each week to check in with yourself.

How many days did you practice? How did you compare to the previous week? This kind of review can help you stay on track, and actually creates more intrinsic motivation as you see yourself develop.

5. Create a Conducive Environment

A psychologist in 1943 proposed that behaviour is:[2]

“a function of both the person as well as the physical environment they are in.”

I would suggest that the act of creating is a behaviour and that, even though it begins as an internal process, it’s very much affected by and even dependent on the environment we are in.

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I started noticing how environment affects me when I worked in an office. Over time, I realized that the more people who were in or who were talking, the more distracted I was. If I got to the office early before my coworkers arrived, I was twice as effective.

I was even more effective if I was at home. Now that I work from home, I know I’m even more effective when in certain coffee shops. Ideally, places that have high ceilings, gentle lighting, some barely noticeable background music – and excellent coffee.

It’s these little variations in our environment that can really shape our creative output.

If you’re an introvert, you probably do your best work alone. If you’re an extrovert, you probably do your best work in the company of others.

This isn’t to say you should find one way of doing things and stick to it: in fact, varying your environment from time to time is a great way to stoke the creative fire too, which we’ll touch on more later.

How to create a conducive environment?

Add or Subtract Stimuli

Novelty in our environment has been shown to stimulate the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that increases our desire to seek out reward.[3]

If you’re looking for creative motivation, adding some novelty into your environment can be just what you need.

On the other hand, some people are highly sensitive and when it comes to having too much stimulation in their environment, they find it difficult to focus.

Experiment with working in different environments. Note how you feel. Note whether you do better creative work or have more interesting ideas when you’re alone or with others.

Try listening to music, people chatting or try being in complete silence. Try a dimly lit room, try working in bright sunlight.

In each case, note how you feel before, during and afterwards and rate the quality of your work.

The Bottom Line

Creativity is not one particular skill or talent one can have. It comes in as many broad and unique flavors as there are people on this earth.

To be more creative, take little steps each day. Acknowledge where and when you feel most inspired, motivated and original and spend more energy in those areas.

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Featured photo credit: Sticker Mule via unsplash.com

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