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 9 2013: I saw a very thought provoking message on Twitter this weekend that has been haunting me ever since: Can you remember who you were before the world showed you who you were supposed to be? Simon's question is about creativity and I think that's where our very basic essence begins. The labels that I've come to inhabit in my adult life really have nothing to do with what I remember as my basic "being" when I was very young. I felt creative even before I was able to use that word, in the sense that I used to think about thinking - pondering the nature of consciousness. So I think looking back and working to recapture very early memories of what we loved when we were very young, our earliest memories of wonder and excitement, could be one path toward recapturing our core passions. Great question!
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      Dec 9 2013: This talk is quite related to your post: http://www.ted.com/talks/randy_pausch_really_achieving_your_childhood_dreams.html

      One question I find interesting is what makes some people retain a strong connection to who they always were, despite the environmental influences surrounding them, and who loses that.

      The answer surely lies partly in a person's fundamental, inherent dispositions, but also in whether the formative environment at crucial times either encouraged authenticity or by chance good fortune encouraged values and perspectives that resonated with "who they were."

      I feel, for example, that I came of age at the time that was probably best for me.

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