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What lessons can we learn from the most creative people?

Via Creating Minds: An Anatomy of Creativity Seen Through the Lives of Freud, Einstein, Picasso, Stravinsky, Eliot, Graham, and Ghandi:

…the lessons that the rest of us can learn from individuals who are highly creative. I culled three: (1) Creative individuals spend a considerable amount of time reflecting on what they are trying to accomplish, whether or not they are achieving success (and, if not, what they might do differently).

Interesting: this sounds a lot like true Deliberate Practice.

(2) Creative individuals leverage their strengths. They determine their strongest area and build their achievements around these potent intelligences. They do not worry about what they do not do as well; they can always get help from others and perhaps barter their areas of strength with those who have complementary skills.

Pete Drucker’s work agrees, saying we’re usually better off enhancing our strengths than improving our weaknesses.

And leveraging signature strengths is also a path to flow and happiness.

(3) Creative individuals frame their experiences. Such people are highly ambitious, and they do not always succeed, by any means. But when they fail, they do not waste much time lamenting; blaming; or, at the extreme, quitting. Instead, regarding the failure as a learning experience, they try to build upon its lessons in their future endeavors. Framing is most succinctly captured in aphorism by French economist and visionary Jean Monnet: “I regard every defeat as an opportunity.”

This is reminiscent of “grit.” There are techniques for achieving this level of resilience.

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About Eric Barker