Recently, I read Richard Feynman‘s Six Easy Pieces and felt staggered. Not only was this man a brilliant physicist but also an extraordinary teacher. As he described the structure of matter and atomic processes, I could see what he was explaining. It was absolutely breathtaking, in a super nerdy* way.
When I was a kid, I went on a school field trip (an art museum, the Getty, the Huntington?) and saw a marble sculpture of Cleopatra sitting on a cushioned chair. The pillow she sat on was so exquisitely carved it looked as soft as velvet and down. I held my breath looking at it. I wanted to reach out and touch it. I held back but others did not, if the black smudge on one corner of the pillow was any indication. They must have felt just as I did.
I felt the same when I read James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. That stream of consciousness writing. I’d never read anything like it.
When we come across the work of a master in any field, we’re likely to stand in awe and think there’s no way I could do anything like this. This dude/chick is a genius.
And, when we think genius, we typically think born that way and no amount of work is going to get me there. Continue reading “How to be Great at Anything, Part Deux”