Embracing the mess

Steve MartinI resist messiness more than anything, and my life is messy. This might suggest to you my state of mind.

Fortunately, two TED Talks have come to me as a vision as I sit muddling over my own fate and adding to my confusion. The talk by Elizabeth Gilbert contains the most wonderful content I have encountered on TED, and I LOVE Ted Talks.

Tim Harford: How frustration can make us more creative

Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius. When you get to the TED site, select her talk.

The two talks suggest to us that brilliance is a team effort. It involves us, and a higher power. We can, Elizabeth tells us, negotiate with the higher power. We need not be submissive. We need not discredit ourselves.

Tim tells us to embrace challenges, and look for their friendly intentions, and their desire to open us to larger possibilities.

It’s been a good day for me. I hope this inspires you too.

My concluding thought: don’t judge yourself when things are messy. It’s just the nature of things. Give somebody a hug.

2 thoughts on “Embracing the mess

  1. I whole heartedly agree with Tim Harford. Your best work rarely comes out when you feel safe and comfortable, like you could do it with your eyes closed. This is the result of repetitive work that pushes no boundaries. Years ago I was asked to teach photography classes at both Art Center College of Design and El Camino College. One of the first things I did early on in the semester was to draw a rectangle on the chalk board and tell the students that it represented the boundary of their individual creative talent. I then proceeded to draw a large X in the middle of the box and explained that this represented work that was always safe and tried and true. Next I put the X close to the edge and explained that this is where they would feel uncomfortable and unsure of the outcome, but it was also where they would have the most promising results and creative growth. I told them without stretching and without taking a chance at failure, and sometimes failing, they would not grow as artists and their work would be uninspired and boring.

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