Martha Graham

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.”

MARTHA GRAHAM

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Martha Graham on the Hidden Danger of Comparing Yourself to Others

jamesclear.com

MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

Keep your Eyes on your own Paper

It doesn't make a difference what the person next to you writes down for his answer. This is your race to run.

It's your answer to create. How your paper compares to someone else's is not the point. The point is to fill the paper with your work.

The same can be said of your work today. No matter what you spend your days doing, every morning you wake up and have a blank piece of paper to work with. You get to put your name at the top and fill it with your work.

If what you write on your paper doesn't meet someone else's expectations … it is no concern of yours.

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The Uselessness Of Judging Yourself

“I thought this was a good article. Why don't people seem to enjoy it?” Or, I'll feel like I wrote something average only to see it become the most popular post of the month. Regardless of the outcome, we are often terrible judges of our own work.

Martha Graham's advice that not only are you a bad judge of your own work, it is not your job to judge your own work.

It is not your place to compare it to others. It is not your responsibility to figure out how valuable it is or how useful it can be.

It is not your job to tell yourself, “No.”

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We have to get over the belief that being competent and qualified means we shouldn't need help finding a new job.

We feel this way because networking makes us feel vulnerable. We are also overconfident in a linear click-apply-send process on job sites.

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Finding Your Creative Genius Takes Years

Most groundbreaking work takes at least a full decade or more to reveal itself.

For example, one study found that of 500 famous musical pieces, nearly all of them were created after year 10 of the composer's career. Similar patterns were found with poets and painters and even in the fields of science and math. This period of hard work is also referred to as the 'ten years of silence.'

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How to Find Your Hidden Creative Genius: 5 Simple Steps

jamesclear.com

What is creativity

Creativity is taking what's already present and connecting them in ways that haven't been done previously.

  • Research suggests both creativity and non-creativity are learned. Some people are more primed than others to be creative but nearly every person is born with some level of creativity and majority of creative thinking abilities are trainable.
  • "I'm just not the creative type" doesn't truly exist. 
  • The creative process:
  1. Gather new material.
  2. Look at the facts from different angle trying to fit various ideas together.
  3. Do something totally unrelated that excites & energizes you.
  4. Let the idea return to you.
  5. Shape & develop the idea based on feedback.

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How to Master Creativity and Uncover Your Creative Genius

jamesclear.com