TED Conversations

Simon Caira

Personal Coach, Peak Performance Techniques

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If it's true that our gifts, passions and identity were educated out of us as we grew up, how can we reclaim and rekindle these gifts?



Sir Ken Robinson asks that we be mindful of the 'really extraordinary capacities that children have - their capacities for innovation,' and he contends, 'All kids have tremendous talents. And we squander them, pretty ruthlessly.'


He says, 'We don't grow into creativity, we grow out of it. Or rather, we get educated out if it.'

He believes - and I tend to agree - that 'many highly talented, brilliant, creative people think they're not, because the thing they were good at at school wasn't valued, or was actually stigmatized.'

Have you been steered away from your true talents in order to follow a more conventional route to success? Or was it your sense of identity that was in some way challenged and even squandered?


Sir Ken believes that a child's ability to take a chance, to not be frightened of being wrong, is lost by the time they become adults. If this is true I guess it's fair to say there are a lot of us running around with limiting core beliefs that inherently hold us back from our originality and creativity. Beliefs like: I'm frightened to make mistakes, or, I'm scared to be wrong.


Identity statements and beliefs govern our thoughts, behaviors, actions and outcomes. I wonder if you agree that you had your identity, creativity and talents educated out of you and what can be done to rekindle the fire of lost passions and to rebuild those latent talents, qualities and abilities?

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    Dec 1 2013: Aspects of our creative talents and capacities for innovation were probably squelched long before most of us began our formal education. Parents, siblings, relatives and neighbours began forcing their perceptions of right and wrong and began chanting the "Don't do that!" mantra long before we entered the hallowed halls of Kindergarten and First Grade.

    Barring an epiphany, it is up to the individual to identify and reclaim their particular creative spark(s).
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      Dec 3 2013: You've got me curious: Is there a way to induce an epiphany to find what it is that really makes you happy based on what made you delighted when you were a young child?
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        Dec 4 2013: Epiphanies, like dust motes, are floating about (perhaps dust mote are, in fact, cleverly disguised epiphanies [L'sOL]). At any rate, the raw materials for epiphanies are usually at hand; what does seem to be lacking is our youthful innocence and trust in each other, and a lack of appreciation for our present-day good fortune.

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