This is my second of three TED talk recommendations that I am providing as a follow-up to It feels so good to be right…or does it? In this post, I explained that I am adopting a new way of think about my ideas, the ideas of others, and “the process” of being right or wrong. I wrote:
“I’m trying on a whole new way of thinking about being right that is based on the notion that we cannot claim our ideas, beliefs and even the process of being right (or wrong). In order to have this experience of being right, others must be willing to hear and acknowledge your thoughts, emotions and ideas. Being right involves the individuals who validated your suggestion and also the people who gave you the knowledge and skills to develop them. Conversely, if you are wrong, you have been partly responsible for making someone else right by choosing not to be hardened around your ideas and hearing and affirming something or someone else. When I think of it this way, it starts to feel like we’re all just bouncing around ideas that don’t fully belong to anyone. I feel less personal attachment to my ideas because they seem like they emerge from a process and a collective experience. I start to feel a responsibility to share the stage and to hear opposing ideas.”
I think Elizabeth Gilbert’s talk on creative process and inspiration captures a very similar idea. She talks about looking at creative ideas as something that just pass through us as though we are simply vessels or messengers. I love Gilbert’s stories and humor and I believe this approach takes the ego out of the equation.
“You know, even I have had work or ideas come through me from a source that I honestly cannot identify. And what is that thing? And how are we to relate to it in a way that will not make us lose our minds, but, in fact, might actually keep us sane?”