Are geniuses real? The neuroscience and myths of visionaries

Labeling thinkers like Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs as "other" may be stifling humanity's creative potential.

  • Revolutionary ideas and culture-shifting inventions are often credited to specific individuals, but how often do these "geniuses" actually operate in creative silos?
  • Tim Sanders, former chief strategy officer at Yahoo, argues that there are three myths getting in the way of innovative ideas and productive collaborations: the myths of the expert, the eureka moment, and the "lone inventor."
  • More than an innate quality reserved for an elite group, neuroscientist Heather Berlin and neurobiologist Joy Hirsch explain how creativity looks in the brain, and how given opportunity, resources, and attitude, we can all be like Bach, Beethoven, and Steve Jobs.

How to think smarter about failure

There is no success without failure, but the fear of the latter is what's really keeping you from achieving your goals.

  • What does it mean to be a failure? Failing is typically seen as moving in the opposite direction of a specific goal, when in reality, most achievements in history were made possible by a series of non-successes.
  • "The very concepts of success and failure are words that never really meant anything," says astronomer Michelle Thaller. She and others argue that successes and failures are inextricably linked, and that how we define them for ourselves is what matters.
  • As Ethan Hawke, multidisciplinary filmmaker Karen Palmer, entrepreneurs Steve Case and Tim Ferriss, executive coach Alisa Cohn, and others explain, finding personal success means taking risks, being willing to fail, and recognizing when—and why—things are not working. "Most things will fail, but that doesn't mean you're a failure," Steve Case says. "That just means that idea failed. And what can you learn from that idea and then move forward."

How to get materialism under control in your life

It's insidious and destructive, but there are some things you can do to develop a healthier relationship with material things.

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  • Materialism is a personal focus on acquiring possessions that can steer your attention and behavior away from things that make you happy.
  • There are several things you can do to tame materialism in your own life.
  • Satisfaction ultimately can't be found in collecting the most stuff possible, but rather in achieving intrinsic values.
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    How leaders influence people to believe

    Being a leader is about more than the job title. You have to earn respect.

    • What does it take to be a leader? For Northwell Health president and CEO Michael Dowling, having an Ivy League degree and a large office is not what makes a leader. Leadership requires something much less tangible: influence.
    • True leaders inspire people to follow and believe in them and the organization's mission by being passionate, having humility, and being a real part of the team. This is especially important in a field like health care, where guidance and teamwork save lives.
    • Authenticity is also key. "Don't pretend, be real," says Dowling. "Accept your vulnerabilities, accept your weaknesses, know where your strengths are, and get people to belong."
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    Inspirational quotes from famous people on the autism spectrum

    Words of wisdom from H.P. Lovecraft, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Dr. Temple Grandin, Hannah Gadsby and more.

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    • Autism (commonly referred to as ASD, autism spectrum disorder) refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication.
    • The effects of ASD and the severity of symptoms can be very different in each person. Additionally, these things can also change over time. This is why it's considered a spectrum.
    • Many people with ASD gift the world with inventions or new ways of thinking. Judy Singer, for example, is the woman who coined the term "neurodiversity" in the 1990s.
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