Elizabeth Gilbert's book "Eat, Pray, Love" was so successful that everyone worried if she'd ever be able to repeat that creative performance. The concern led Gilbert to investigate how past cultures and societies handled creative strokes of genius, and she discovered a rather curious insight from ancient Greek and Roman cultures -- that people aren't geniuses, but rather they have a genius. Funny, personal and surprisingly moving, this TED talk received a full standing ovation from an audience of people who generally don't give in to beliefs about muses, fairies and god forces!

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  • Irene Schneider

    Oh, so, true, we need to teach her message to the world....

  • jim

    The presentation. Great humor mixed in with her genius. Body and facial movements and voice gave it life

  • Alvaro Tortora

    Being a poet, I've often been ridiculed for believing in the Muse(s) by peers and others. Strangely, though, my belief in the Duende has been more widely accepted, understood and welcomed by peers and other artists. I'm going to share this marvellous video of E. Gilbert with believers and unbelievers to assuage and perhaps, to convince. Thanks for the unburdening, Elizabeth Gilbert.

  • Thomas Hally

    Elizabeth Gilbert's vibrant nature and enthusiasm are awe inspiring. I'm working on my second book and have felt a bit disappointed in myself. I haven't been able to "muster up" an idea for the title of the book (it's about the Huichols (Indigenous to Central Mexico and near where I live especially). I think I'll relax and dedicate myself to the task at hand. I just finished another book entitled "Concepts of Intelligence" where I spend a good deal of time discussing creativity, psychoses and "all" aspects human and artificial intelligence. I found big and little bits of myself in almost all of the 19+ minutes of Ms Gilbert's video. Elizabeth Gilbert refreshed my page... Thanks Elizabeth

  • si smith

    truth

  • Kat G

    Brilliant!

  • Naumadd

    As a writer, I overcome those doubts about my "success" simply by refusing to associate my own definition of it exlusively or primarily with social acceptance. I define for myself what is "good" and what is "rotten" according to my own goals which includes publication but not publication exclusively. If social acceptance isn't forthcoming, I don't deem myself a complete failure, only that I have failed to connect meaningfully with the needs of many. As for my own needs, the creative work IS the goal itself. As long as I CAN create, I WILL create and that, to me, is success. I'm defined primarily by creating, NOT primarily by the creation. Whatever results from the creative process is mere icing to the process itself. The horse loves to run but it seems clear the horse more often than not cares little where it is ultimately running to.

  • Leslie Anglin

    I believe strongly in spiritual guidance; when we struggle with issues, we need just ask for solutions and at specific times, we will be rewarded with them, be they creative or otherwise. And how often have you woken up out of a dead sleep with a solution? Think about it. The genius or muses are at work...whatever you wish to call them. Elizabeth's research is exciting. Just keep showing up and don't forget to ask!!

  • Terry

    Brilliant and authentic. Think of all your accomplishments in your life and perhaps realize, as Ms. Gilbert has, a simple truth-Fear accomplishes nothing. Much appreciation for the presentation and eloquent hand-waving-pulling-it-out-to-make-us-see the thing that is invisible to most. Take care-

  • Mary Annette Gillis

    Thank you for sharing such a sincere part of your experience as a writer! I believe you captured the foundation of truth about the creative process....absolutely beautiful!! Please continue showing up....Olay, Alla! Namaste!

  • Susana Calalay

    Gilbert is brilliant and spontaneous. It is apparent she draws her ideas from the genius inside her. It is difficult to talk about this gift and yet she is able to make us understand where this is coming from in her talk. I can't wait for her next book

  • Susana Calalay

    Gilbert is brilliant and spontaneous. It is apparent she draws her ideas from the genius inside her. It is difficult to talk about this gift and yet she is able to make us understand where this is coming from in her talk. I can't wait for her next book

  • Susana Calalay

    Gilbert is brilliant and spontaneous. It is apparent she draws her ideas from the genius inside her. It is difficult to talk about this gift and yet she is able to make us understand where this is coming from in her talk. I can't wait for her next book

  • Lou Judson

    Nice talk, but wish I could read it instead of listening to so many ums and ahs y knows and such, and distracting hand waving! Is there a transcript?

  • Laurie Sheppard

    I am so inspired not only by Elizabeth's writing, but by her wisdom and generosity in relating her creative process to all of ours. As a Life Coach and Career Strategist, I have also led The Artist Way workshops and helped clients with change, both personal and professional. I have a deep recognition with her words from those views as well as my own. I have written an article called, "The Curse of the Creatives" and in part it acknowledges that creativity need no longer be considered a curse and how to manage ourselves and our goals mid-process. http://www.creatingatwill.com/articles-in-detail-22.html

  • orlando Luminere

    Elizabeth is onto something - agree - to any creative person, ask yourself "what do you feel" when doing something truly creative its as if being visited by or connected with something that is not from the mundane parts of life such as getting up, brushing teeth, putting garbage out etc etc etc

  • Judy

    She's absolutely amazing!

  • John

    I love the humanity of these talks. Thank you Elizabeth for offering a belief in the fairies and in the divine. It reminded me of Julia Cameron's comment that the artist's job is to turn up for work and be open to the flow of creative spirit. Well, that's my version of what she said.

  • Tim

    Wow! I wouldn't believe one could get such inspiration and so much to think about in such a brief presentation. Thank you, Elizabeth

  • Steve

    Compelling, intriguing, and definably burden directing. Being a "manic/depressive" type person and always wanting a higher level of splash with each project it is comforting to view the project as not only yours but you and your God light.

  • Page 1

  • Read more about Elizabeth Gilbert.
  • Live, as Woody Allen advises, through the persistence of showing up.
  • Practice patience in your life when working with the genius, and be tolerant of the whimsy of genius in others.

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