Is Creative Genius Inherent or Learned?

Is creative genius a gift that only some people are lucky enough to have, or can we all remake ourselves into creative geniuses?

For the word genius to have any meaning, it must denote something special. And as Dash told his mother in The Incredibles, if everyone is special, that’s “another way of saying no one is.” I would suspect, however, that just as most Christians came to reject the Calvinist notion that our actions on Earth have no bearing on our predetermined post-life fate, most of us most likely reject predeterminism in creativity as well. Furthermore, it seems reasonable that natural selection would have favored the creative, and thus given each of us a taste of it within ourselves.

Is it possible to reach the highest peak of creative genius? (Oregon’s Mt. Thielsen, taken in 2004)

Some people clearly are gifted. Take sixteen-year-old Olympic swimming hopeful Missy Franklin. She says her success is due to her unique physiology, which maximizes movement in the water, and doctors agree. Her parents told The Washington Post that they knew she was special when, as a two-year-old, she took off into the ocean after a fish with her feet moving like a fish’s fins. But Missy’s coach, Todd Schmitz, said “[i]t’s not all physical. I think that there is definitely a mental aspect of what makes Missy special.” She has a gift, but has learned how to maximize it.

Consider this observation by A.J.A. Symons in his 1934 biography of novelist Frederick Rolfe:

There is no easy explanation of genius or talent: they exist and we accept them as facets of creative force. Some measure of artistic power or sensibility is inherent in all humanity; “genius” is as good a word as any other to denote those exceptional beings in whom, unaccountably, it rises to full force.

Rolfe was, by all accounts, a literary genius plagued with all manner of psychoses. Even if you didn’t chronicle the many moments of paranoia, megalomania, delusion, and schizophrenia in Rolfe’s life as Symons did, you could see it in Rolfe’s novel Hadrian the Seventh, in which he simultaneously creates entirely new English words while telling a story that essentially involves the world being put right when the protagonist, based on Rolfe, is named Pope.

Symons applies the word “genius” to Rolfe, suggesting he rises above that “measure of artistic power” inherent in all of us. But Symons also tracks the lifelong dedication Rolfe applies to improving himself first as a painter and then as a writer, at the expense of income, his health and his personal relationships. Are Rolfe’s sacrifices for his art responsible for his genius? Must we all pursue such an extreme path to reach creative heights? As someone who values a steady income, a good meal, and my wife and children, I would hope not.

I would posit that while pursuing creative genius in ourselves, we take the time to enjoy the beauty of the journey. (Lava Lake near Mt. Bachelor, Oregon)

Part of my personal mission in promoting creativity and an art-committed life is the belief that we all harbor inherent creativity, as Symons suggests, and that we can all harness that creativity in ways we never imagined.

I do believe, however, that not all of our growth curves have an equal slope. By that I mean that some with more inherent talent will see quicker yields on their investment of time and energy. Not every two-year-old shoots forth with the grace of a dolphin when spotting a beautiful fish. Missy’s upward curve starts off steeper.

Our creative growth curves may flatline at different places along the axis of time as well. When I was in the 6th grade I was “discovered” by the director of a chorus of singing talents from across metropolitan Phoenix. Soon I was the youngest member of a traveling audition choir, and for the next ten years I applied myself to singing, winning awards and singing in top choirs. I had, at 11, a steep start to my creative curve in music. I also, after a decade had passed, found myself no longer seeing growth in return for further investment at the craft. My curve’s slope had flattened.

I have been writing professionally now for more than 20 years, and remain startled at my continuing growth. I am far from what anyone would label “genius,” but as my growth curve still has a positive slope, I see no reason not to continue aspiring for great heights. It is that belief in my potential for further growth that keeps me on the path of an art-committed life.

Where do you fall in this debate on creative genius? If we all accept that some element of nature and nurture is at play, I’d love to know where you are on that spectrum. Are some of us better disposed to some fields more than others? Do all of us possess some element of genius within us, waiting to be discovered and developed?

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About Patrick Ross

I'm a writer chronicling his commitment to living an art-committed life, which included a cross-country road trip meeting with creatives of all stripes.

56 Responses to “Is Creative Genius Inherent or Learned?”

  1. Very interesting post, Patrick. I wish I knew more about Calvinism to express the freedom and love I find in that form of Christianity (I graduated from Calvin College). I guess I would try and say that it’s not that I personally think my actions have no effect, but that I try to accept that there is nothing I can do to earn God’s love. It’s already there. Understanding this makes me want to work – want to create, and find my creativity – whether it’s at writing, motherhood, teaching, whatever it is I was given to do.
    From reading your writing (not just here but in our writers group) I would say that you have the ability to find creativity in all sorts of people and at all different levels, and through your talents, you help the rest of us sharpen that creativity and make it shine – no matter what sort of genius we have. That seems to be a gift in and of itself.

    • Hi Callie! What a kind thing to say regarding what you say regarding my role in spotting and developing others’ creativity. I need to reflect on that.

      I love your perspective regarding your motivation to apply yourself in various parts of your life, and that you see yourself bringing creativity to all of those parts.

  2. This is a thoughtful post. My thoughts on this issue fall somewhere in the middle. While I do believe that much can be learned and developed, at the risk of sounding elitist, I do believe that there has to be a spark already there. I do believe that artists are born, but that experience and time molds them. Its a wonderful mix. Conversely, I believe that no amount of “hard work” can make the genius. I love math, and worked hard at it, but I’m a freak when it comes to putting numbers together. I can’t get past the basics. There is no latent Einstein wandering around in me.
    There is no harm or shame in any of this though. This is the “thing” that make us unique and varied people.

    • Thanks for a thoughtful comment! I do not believe it is elitist to maintain that there must be a spark to start. And you nail it in talking about how each one of us is unique; I fully agree with what I see you saying, that an equal amount of hard work by each of us will provide identical yields. How important for you that you have recognized areas worth the application of work and those that aren’t (trying to be the next Einstein!).

  3. Hi Patrick,

    I totally support the notion that genius is latent in all of us if we would only know where to look and what to harness. I don’t think we can choose “our genius” as I do think timing comes into play. If we notice a strength in a young child or value their time playing music, they will have greater opportunity to develop that in themselves. I love Malcolm Gladwell’s notion that 10,000 hours in a particular field/task/sport appears to correlate with success, and I wonder maybe also genius? Of course, I also believe there is always someone out there “better than you.”

    Thanks for your thoughtful posts, as always!

    • Hi Carrie! Yes, I was thinking about the 10,000 hours that Gladwell wrote about in Outliers (I wish I could remember the name of the researcher he cited regarding that figure). What struck me about that was that the study of music students noted how many dropped out of regular practicing over time. The results of the study suggests it’s all about putting in time; after all, each one started out at the same place, with no skill whatsoever. What the study didn’t address was WHY those who fell short of 10,000 hours chose not to apply themselves that much. I can’t help but wonder if those who stick with it have a sharper upward slope, i.e., they saw more return on their time investment and thus were encouraged to keep going. That would suggest an element of talent/giftedness combines with hard work.

      And yes, there will always be creatives better than us! I embrace that; it means I’ll always have a goal to aim toward.

      • Kate Arms-Roberts Reply March 28, 2012 at 6:55 am

        On the 10,000 hours thing, there is evidence that it isn’t just the time. That the kind of practice we undertake matters and the difference between just putting in time and making progress over time is the constant struggle to work at the edge of one’s competence and push beyound it.
        Looking at my family as a source of anedotal evidence, I see a real difference is over-all accomplishment between the people who have an easy time getting to be good at things, but balk at the hard work of becoming great vs. the people who find the learning curve hard to surmount from the beginning but keep going forever.

        • Interesting. In that latter camp–the ones who keep going even though the learning curve is hard at the start–does it get easier over time?

          I’ve definitely been someone who lost interest in projects once I hit that moment of having to work harder to get from good to great; I think that’s inherent in human nature.

          • I would say that each step of learning gets neither harder nor easier for the ones who start slowly and keep going.

            For the folks start fast, they hit a point where it gets hard, and they tend to stop progressing. And then, 10 years later, they can’t believe that the person who started more slowly has massively out-paced them but it has happened.

  4. Wow, Patrick, what a rich and stimulating article!

    Based on the title of it, I almost wasn’t going to read this post. I’m in the camp with the biographer who said “There is no easy explanation of genius or talent,” and I feel impatient about scientists or academics who want to study mysteries to death. I’d rather spend my time living my creativity. But after reading this, I *feel* creative. I feel like I could write a whole ream of stuff in response. Thanks!

    My abilities to get closer to genius have been intimately tied with my self-esteem and ability to believe in myself. And also with sheer experience. I exhibited writing “talent” when I was very young, which was brought to my attention by an English teacher (I was just busy loving the writing assignments and didn’t think about it as any kind of role or lifetime identity) but then I started collecting emotional wounds related to people who wanted to tell me how to write. And that’s when it started being a struggle instead of a joy.

    It’s taken me many decades to get freed enough from all that – and to gain enough experience practicing my craft – to start to get back to my own genius. I don’t see myself as genius in the ways that the great geniuses of history are. But I do believe any creative person can touch genius – as a feeling or a primal experience – any time he or she goes deeply into the realms of creative expression.

    P.S. I love a blog post exploring a Deep and Meaningful question such as this one that includes a quote from The Incredibles! By the way. I have a friend who looks just like Mr. Incredible. I’m always wishing I could see him sitting at his desk at work. I’m positive he wouldn’t fit. ;~)

    • Milli, I’m glad you kept reading, and found it inspiring. I love your response, and appreciate the time you put into it. You reminded me of your book, Fear of Writing, and both the story behind that book and what that book has meant to its readers.

      I agree with you that I am resistant to those who try to define creativity; I believe it’s like trying to examine things not visible to the naked eye such as subatomic particles. The very process of observation obscures the result.

      As for the Pixar movie reference, I long ago gave myself permission to mix in references to popular culture along with my “academic’ references. It’s the way I think, and I need to be true to that in my writing. Glad you liked it!

  5. I would include stickwithitness as a talent. Enthusiasm might be a talent, too. Curiosity. A yearning to become conscious of the forces of evolution. Never mind “aritistic genius”, I’d rather take all of the above!

    • Hi PJ. I think all of the talents you listed can be encouraged and fostered by others (parents, mentors, instructors, etc.) but I would agree that some people seem to be more inherently determined or enthusiastic or curious. And yes, all of those “talents,” coupled with pursuit of true consciousness, is a potent combination!

  6. Patrick, great post today! And as a Presbyterian, I get the Calvin reference. I believe that each of us has a gem of creativity hiding inside us somewhere. Finding what that gem is the difficult part. We may try several things before settling on writing, painting, music, engineering, architecture, quilting, etc.

    For example, my husband is talented as a euphonium player, an artist, an industrial designer, vocalist, and inventor. How did one person end up with so many creative gifts? Who knows? He just did.

    I, on the other hand, love to write and it comes fairly easy for me, and I believe that is linked to a love of reading, fostered by my dad. Dad was a printer/publisher so perhaps ink runs through my veins. I’ve toyed with music and it doesn’t come so easily and I don’t like having to work hard to be creative.

    So, my theory is that there are many facets to our creativity and whether they are inherent talents, our creative gems come to the surface through the process of elimination and hard work, or not. :)

  7. As someone with a great deal of experience with middle school writers, I’d dispute anyone who said that creative genius was purely inherent. I’ve seen a lot of student written stories that have a casual genius to them (in concept, execution or even in theme), and I could say any number of students turning their inherent creativity into something far more accomplished. I think most everything relies on how willing you are to devote yourself to something. Some people do not appear to have developed the ability to focus on something (even something they’re passionate about) for the amount of time necessary to achieve in that field. I don’t think that’s an issue of being born a certain way; it’s more about having developed habits that are hard to break.

    • LB, how fascinating to have the perspective of someone familiar with creativity at a young age across a large population sample. Carrie and PJ above, in different ways, touched on this notion of “sticktoitiveness.” I’m intrigued by your final statement that those not committing necessary time to a creative venture stems from poorly developed habits. Could you elaborate on that?

    • LB… I second that motion. I stand up and shout that motion. All in favour say ‘Yeah!’ Habits are killers. Of course, good habits ensure a lot of good gets done. I’m glad that when I was young I was inspired to get the job done thoroughly. It became a habit. In fact, I used to get my homework done early! Doesn’t that make you sick! But it made sense to me because in fact it opened up more time to fool around. Back then, I remember a buddy’s older brother who was always at work at his piano, composing music, and I would stop in his doorway and watch him so intensly working… and it struck a chord in me. The image of him working so enjoyably filled me with the desire to be likewise joyful. Cheers.

  8. Great anecdote here, PJ, and not just the (unintended?) use of “chord” related to the inspiration of a pianist! :)

  9. In one of my literature classes in college we debated on whether an artist could have meaningful relationships and still produce art. We decided that one could, but that at times the artist would have to sacrifice time in one area or the other. I find — especially after Adelaide’s birth — that this is true. At the moment, I am not able to cultivate my art, but I am able to cultivate a relationship with my newborn daughter and with my husband as we step into this new phase called parenthood. Cranking out a few chapters cannot compare. When Rolfe died, I wonder if he was contemplating the paintings he created or the relationships he let fall to the wayside. I have a feeling it was the latter. Insightful post, Patrick. Thank you.

    • Hi Jolina! Interesting what you just said about your muse and your daughter. My recollection, looking back 16 years, is that my daughter’s birth inspired my writing. But as I consider it now, that wasn’t true when she was a newborn; all of my energy was directed to her. It would seem the intersection of parenthood and creativity will give you a lot of blog material.

      As for Rolfe, Symons prints a few of his final letters written during a time when it was increasingly clear he was likely to die, and yes, there is a pathos there of loss related to his interpersonal relationships. So you guessed right.

    • Jolina, I truly appreciate the perspective you’ve brought to the discussion. When my multi-talented husband is in the midst of a project or design stage, I know to back away and leave him to the silence needed for his creativity to spin its magic. Likewise, he leaves me to my writing when necessary. However, we do know to come back and nurture our relationship. I suppose that’s why it’s lasted so long.

      BTW, love the name Adelaide. :)

  10. This came across my media stream this morning and is right on point. “Are Gifted Children Born or Made?” features two musicians and a dancer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOBdYEbaSyo&feature=share

    • Great video. I like the musician who resents being called a child prodigy because he feels it takes away from his hard work. I am very careful not to tell a great writer “Wow, you’re so talented!” Instead I say, “Wow, you’re so skilled” or “Your writing is so compelling,” I feel calling someone “talented” can be perceived by the recipient of dismissing the work they’ve done to get that good.

      • Kate Arms-Roberts Reply March 29, 2012 at 3:59 pm

        Good for you on the form of compliment. It really does make a difference.
        On the other side of the coin, suggesting someone must have worked hard on something they just whipped up can make them stop trying.
        Sensitive people are terribly easy to sway in dangerous directions.

        • “On the other side of the coin, suggesting someone must have worked hard on something they just whipped up can make them stop trying.”

          You know, Kate, sometimes people will marvel at how hard I must have worked at something that actually took little effort. I smile, thank them, and tell myself it took little effort because of how much work I’ve put in over the years leading up to it. It’s all about perspective!

  11. Hi Patrick! :-) I know, long time, no comment! Moving, taxes, looking for suitable income producing work and dealing with pretty gnarly back problems have kept me busy. In fact, I only popped by for a moment so I cannot wax poetic on how I feel about creative genius, so instead I will say that I LOVE Elizabeth Gilbert’s approach to the subject during her TED talk. I highly recommend giving it a listen. :-) http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius.html

    • Hi Amy, welcome back! You’re a friend always, the frequency of your visits does not impact that. Good luck with that back, and of course with income flow.

      Yup, the Gilbert video is a good one to link to; I’ve tweeted it out on occasion, and it has a lot to offer.

  12. Corey Barenbrugge Reply March 29, 2012 at 11:00 am

    First, I must say I always love reading the comments on The Artist’s Road. They’re always very thoughtful and informed. Thank you to everyone who reads and engages on your blog, Patrick.

    I read a very interesting article a few years ago by Harvard Business School Professor Teresa Amabile about John Irving’s pursuit of creativity. I keep it in a folder titled “Very Interesting Articles.” The first sentence reads, “The novelist John Irving, in his own estimation, is not particularly talented.” I think most of us would disagree with this assessment on its face, but what Irving says rings true. Anyone who’s read “Trying to Save Piggy Sneed” or watched an interview with Irving knows that the reason he’s so successful (and creative) is because he works so hard.

    As a child, Irving struggled with dyslexia, and as he writes in Piggy Sneed, he “had to learn to control the pace of everything.” If his other classmates could read an assignment in an hour, he allowed himself two or three hours. To this day, he continues to read at that belabored pace, which he believes allows him to focus more clearly than others on the technical details of plot, character development, etc. that help an author learn how to construct an engaging story. When he reads, he is learning how to create.

    Anthony Robbins writes in his several books of the concept of learned helplessness–that many of us live our lives as though the events and circumstances around us control us and that belief is cultivated subconsciously over a lifetime. In fact, we control our emotional and physical reactions to our circumstances, not the other way around. I believe there is a certain essence that enables a person to be creative and learn to be better at creating. That essence enjoys a push-pull relationship with society, which degrades most forms of creativity in favor of economy and efficiency.

    Creativity is dependent upon the purity of the pursuit. If passion is sullied by a desire (or perceived need) for more money or the well-intentioned discouragement (or even misplaced encouragement) of family and friends, it’s challenging to cultivate the “craft of creativity.” But that craft is not impossible. True creatives grow beyond learned helplessness by leveraging society’s challenges (i.e., the concept that we’re born creative and there’s nothing we can do about it) and turning them into opportunities to learn how to cultivate their true being–not just the being society believes them to be.

    • Welcome back, Corey. Good to hear from you. Yes, the strength of The Artists’ Road is in the conversation, as I note in my “What is This?” page.

      I just put in a comment to Kate Arms-Roberts above the resistance I’m well aware of from skilled creatives to the word “talented.” I’ll confess I, too, share that allergy.

      I like your introduction of learned helplessness. I’m thinking now of the possibility of defining a creativity-committed life as someone who maximizes creative engagement in what they can control, acknowledging there are things they cannot. I think I choose to live that way, but I didn’t always. Related to that is perception; recognizing the difference between what actually happened and what your interpretation is of what just happened. Most conflicts stem from people seeing the latter as equivalent to the former, and most paralysis/inaction/missteps also stem from decisions made based on that mistaken perception.

      • Corey Barenbrugge Reply March 30, 2012 at 11:30 am

        Absolutely! I love the idea of maximizing creative engagement in what we can control.

        There’s something to be said for creatives who follow the “artist’s road” because they want to create, minus the ancillary reasons that often get in the way of pure art. There are a lot of writers whose interviews I’ve read or watched who say that they write because there’s nothing else they could conceive of doing. It just so happens that someone pays them for it. For all artists, there is a time in which they don’t get paid, yet they know what they can control (their art) and so they continue to create.

  13. I love this post and of course, I could never consider myself a genius in anything. As an avid writer who was always getting great grades in writing and horrible grades in math, I came home to my engineer parents who thought I had failed them.
    (50 yrs later) Creative people are swimming alone in a sea of sharks if they don’t find emotional support from friends, family and society. So whether inherited or not, without confidence we are stuck like seaweed on a log, unable to move forward. Potentialities adrift, kicking upstream, way behind the genius, and way behind whatever’s left of our innate competence.

    • Thanks for this post; it strikes me as coming from someone who is quite thoughtful and reflective, whatever your thoughts are on genius aside.

      Kate Arms-Roberts above posted a link to a 3-minute video on this topic, and the reporter concludes by noting the importance of strong family support in the nurturing of creative talent/skill. I would concur with the reporter, and with you. I feel my creativity was nurtured while I was growing up, and I have sought to do the same thing with my children. I have also recognized times when family members were acting in ways that could potentially inhibit my creativity, and I’ve had to find ways to deal with that.

      We all keep kicking upstream!

  14. Hey, that’s a photo from my state! I’m with you, I believe creativity is inherent in all of us, it just depends on whether we choose to access it or not. I was just reading another article about the neuroplasticity of the brain, the basic idea being that with work (or play) one can carve new neurochannels in the brain. Which to me speaks to creativity being inherent, we just need to activate it.

    • It’s fascinating what they’re learning about how our brains are so much more flexible than we were taught they were. I might explore that a bit more and write a post on it.

      And yup, those are Oregon photos. I believe I’ve posted photos from that trip before on the blog; I always use my own photos on the blog; that way I know I’m only infringing myself!

  15. Indeed, everyone does have the capacity to develop their writing skill. Some are born writers, some have it in their blood, and some get the thing from the environment they live in…but the quality of writing depends most on one’s determination and enthusiasm for writing.

  16. Patrick- I am thrilled to have found your site and the conversations it sparks. What a gift. So much to ponder.

    Creative and genius. A strange combination of words because creativity is not always contained in traditional IQ tests, often even the best educations teach us to color inside the lines instead of thinking outside them and what is truly artistic/creative genius sometimes is only recognized looking back after the fact.

    I believe creativity at its essence is an invitation to a journey of becoming. The being is inherent, but the journey to embrace it is a lifelong process. So yes. To both. As are many things in life, this is not either/or but gloriously, even mysteriously, both…

    And sometimes the most unlikely candidates make history accidentally. Speaking as one perhaps of these. A simple word weaver, picture painter, pixel framer on a journey to see the substance of Love lived out bring new hope to my little adopted corner over here in on the border of DR Congo in South Sudan… where all of life and creativity most especially is an unpaved road.

    And always the words the matter most are not the ones I write with my pen, but the ones I write with my life.

    To the journey- Michele

    • Michele… something in what you say resonates with a piece I’m trying to write about the Muse. As if creativity has a larger motive than just to produce a work of Art. “Art” has a message. “Art” wants us to go the distance — the journey — all the way to uncovering aspects of ourselves that ordinary experience can’t liberate. Our Muse wants to take us to places equally dangerous as those we writers take our fictional protagonists. Words are our life… and they can liberate us, we writers. Never mind all the fictional heroes we try to save. Cheers…from Mazatlan, Mexico.

      • Well my friend, personally speaking, I believe in One Who became a Living Word that I might have His Words of Life written on my heart. God, as Creator, for me is the Source of all creativity. My faith informs and infuses all I am and do.

        Art is by its very nature “prophetic.” By that I mean it takes the invisible and makes it seen, manifest, tangible and able to be interacted with, accessible.

        Our words frame our worlds, especially those of us trusted with their written expression. They can bring life, or death. They were the channel of initial creativity itself and brought something from nothing, order from chaos. But words wielded in hate and anger and fear often reduce something back to nothing, level villages with war and return order back to chaos.

        What a gift we have been trusted with. The ability to wield words and all they contain to better the world around us. May we cherish them and use them wisely.

        • Amen, Michele! You might like this, lyrics by a Christian spoken word artist Propaganda, the third verse of his song “Lofty”:

          But worth, value, and beauty is not determined by some innate quality
          But by the length for which the owner would go to possess them
          And broken and ugly things just like us are stamped “Excellent”
          With ink tapped in wells of divine veins
          A system of redemption that could only be described as perfect
          A seal of approval, fatal debt removal
          Promised, prominent, perfect priest
          Brilliant designed system, redemption for our kinsmen
          Can only be described as perfect with excellent execution
          And I’m in awe, the only One truly excellent
          The only source of excellence
          We are declared excellent only by His decree with His system
          The only accurate response is awe
          So we make lofty art
          See the presence of good art will unconsciously refine a community
          And poor art will do an incalculable harm
          Only accomplished in the light of His excellency
          It’s too high, it’s lofty

  17. Hi Michele,

    Your opening lines made my day, and I’m more honored now that I explore your beautiful site, your noble work, and your expertise in the phenomenon that is creativity.

    I love this:

    “I believe creativity at its essence is an invitation to a journey of becoming. The being is inherent, but the journey to embrace it is a lifelong process.”

    You just hit on the theme of this blog. The use of “road” in the title is no coincidence–and I can’t help but notice the same word appears in your blog title–and my focus is on both the challenges and rewards of living an art-committed life. It truly is a lifelong process, and the destination is in fact the journey.

    I’m thrilled to make your virtual acquaintance.

    • Patrick- the fact we happened on virtually twin metaphors made me smile too. Actually it made me laugh right out loud. I am deeply influenced by the faith of expressions of the earliest Celtic Christians who embraced and lived this metaphor out in stunning eloquence.

      “The destination is in fact the journey” How I love THIS. Destiny is not found in arriving but in becoming.

      Hardly an expert at anything. Just on a journey where I never stop learning, growing and where I am always happy to share whatever might be helpful to see others fly higher and farther than I ever would. That is the point anyway for me. To leave a legacy that outlasts my lifetime by investing in others’ journeys even while being faithful to my own.

      So grateful to meet you in cyberspace and join up over here on this road to an authentic, artistic life.

  18. I agree on all accounts, especially those of determination to harness that which is to-an-extent natural.
    However, I’d also have to say that I find a major problem in the current educational system in that everything is so standardized. As CS Lewis said, and I paraphrase, it’s better to have a child be a master of one subject than try to teach him many things such that he is mediocre in all subjects. Finding a passion to focus on, in my opinion, is key.

    Personally, I gave up on my pursuits in mathematics and chemistry in order to have more time and passion to spend towards pursuits in songwriting, guitar performance, literature, and theology.

    (I also have a totally different interpretation of Calvin, but that’s a different story! haha)

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