Persistence Tops Talent, Education or Genius

Manu try

For the penultimate article in the series I wrote for Gulf news 6 years ago I focused on persistence and the reasons why it’s far more important in the journey to success than basic talent, genius or education.

(I couldn’t resist using a picture of England winning the Rugby World Cup Semi Final for this article! Swing Low, Sweet Chariot on Saturday for the final ………………)

In emphasising persistence I took three particular examples of people whose persistence I have respected.

gulfnews-article 6-29092013
(To read the article, click on the link above. It will open in either a new browser tab or window)


Getting Creative

Creativity is a critical area for success in the world today. Sometimes, today, it can be tempting to see the most creative people as the ones who managed to ‘survive’ education without having all the creativity squeezed out of them!

If we want to be more creative, or be more successfully creative, it makes sense to take note of the views and ideas of thoise who are already doing it. There’s no single right way. I think each of us has to find the way that works best for us. However, that doesn’t happen if all we ever do is the ‘same old same old,’ if we never step out of our comfort zone and try things. In fact, resilience, ability to bounce back, willingness to step out and try as many different ways as possible figure prominently in the advice from some of the most successfully creative people.

Here’s a nice Fast Company infographic where they’ve taken thoughts and ideas from some of the most renowned creative people today.

Fast Company – The best Creative Advice

Some, after reading these, might be tempted to think that the advice given applies more to people who do inherently creative stuff, whether it’s writing, making music or TV programmes. However, I think that would be a mistake. Creativity is essential for all of us, in both personal and professional life. Apart from anything else, creativity brings originality and a greater variety of options or choices about how to tackle an issue, solve a problem or move something forward. It enables the creatively oriented to move beyond simply replicating what they or others have done before.

Educators and parents have a great deal of power over a young child’s creativity. I believe that some amount of it is innate in every child. However, conditional love and approval and narrowly defined expectations can soon cause the child to believe that creativity is essentially a sign of weakness, a foolish erring from the approved straight and narrow. Under such circumstances, so many bury that innate creativity so deep, that it may never emerge again to play a part in their lives.

The comments in the article are clear. Being creative takes courage, persistence and resilience. It requires the ability to step beyond what others expect or will approve of. Nevertheless, we live in a world today that has some massive challenges to deal with if humanity is to advance in positive ways. For that, vast numbers of creative minds will need to be unleashed. We, in education, have to give more attention to how we nurture creativty, rather than contributing to closing it down.

Gulf News – Article 6: Persistence

I’m pleased to attach here the 6th in the series of articles that I’ve been writing for Gulf News. This was published in the Education Supplement of this morning’s paper:

Gulf News Article – Persistence

The seventh and final article is completed and submitted. I really hope readers of the blog have been enjoying the articles. I’ve enjoyed the rigour of writing for a paper which requires more effort than for the blog directly, even if it did get a bit like pulling teeth sometimes!! So, about 10,000 words later the assignment is over for now.

I’d love to have lots more feedback from the thoughtful, well-informed regular blog readers.

BBC News – ‘World’s fattest man’ Paul Mason looks to the future

An extraordinary story of a man determined to reclaim his life despite challenging circumstances. I liked his realistic comments at the end acknowledging that when you’re doing something as challenging as losing 2/3 of your body weight you’re going to have some tough days and days when you doubt yourself or your ability to achieve the goal.

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