Geoffrey wrote: ↑Thu Jul 27, 2023 4:52 pm
...yes, some people are indeed better than others at finding solutions - and much literature has been written attempting to understand why that is. many volumes focus upon the differences between aptitude and intelligence. it seems that sometimes it is not enough to simply gain knowledge from books, for one can then only become smart. one occasionally needs to be blessed with a born ability to think beyond the realms of limitation - which is why genius is so closely related to madness. for a creative person, it is like balancing on a tightrope - because the price of finding what one lacks could cause the destruction of what one already has...
As you know very well, the brain/mind is a very complex and complicated thing, and how we are as individuals is shaped by many things, both known and unknown (and perhaps unknowable), including being shaped by both nature and nurture. Some people are more highly affected and influenced by their nature, while others are more strongly affected and influenced by nurture elements -- their environments, the people they encounter, and the things that happen to them. And, it often depends on the circumstances as to how much something -- be it internal or external -- affects a person -- sometimes a person can shrug things off, whereas at other times they may be devastated by whatever has affected them (and anything in between).
We obviously cannot change the things that happen to us from external sources (including what other people do), and I don't think that we can change how we were born -- our nature is just that, the way we are -- but I do believe that we can learn how to deal with the things that we feel and think, that we can learn how to control our thoughts and our reactions to things, or at least, we can acquire some capacity to reduce the effect that these things have on us (at least, some of the time).
Of course, we have to want to control the things within our minds (however they got there, be it by nature or nurture), and we have to want to change how they affect us -- if we believe that there is no reason to change, or we are resistant to change, then it isn't going to happen. But, if we are determined to take control of what goes on in our heads, then it takes a lot of mental work, a lot of mental practice, a lot of figuring out what is effective and what isn't, and a lot of mental discipline.
One can read every book ever written about psychology, one can amass a huge volume of information about these matters, but I think that, to actually change how we think and feel and react to things, it can be compared to learning how to play a musical instrument. One cannot truly and fully master a musical instrument simply by reading about how to play one, or reading about how others play one, or watching others play one: while those things are useful and perhaps even essential for the information that one can acquire from them, they are only a part of what one needs, and not enough in themselves to accomplish the goal of mastering an instrument, for one has to actually play the instrument, one has to practice a lot, and one has to be dedicated to it and disciplined enough to spend great amounts of time practicing and learning and developing their skills and their techniques and their feel for the instrument and for the music.
Of course, as with anything else, some people have a greater aptitude for learning an instrument, and thus it may be easier for some than others, just as we have agreed that some people have a greater aptitude for learning how to control what happens in their mind. However, that doesn't mean that a person with less aptitude cannot do it -- it may simply mean that some people have to work harder at it than others. And, then we are back to the issue of wanting to be able to control what happens in our minds, and being willing to put in the considerable effort required to change it.
It may be the case that learning how to control what happens in our minds is the most difficult thing we can ever do -- and it is probably also the case that, the more active and complex a person's mind, the harder it may be for them to learn, recognise, and understand its many facets well enough to control it, because some people have a lot more going on in their heads than others! And, as always, some people will be better at it than others.
I honestly do not know whether or not a creative genius would be negatively affected (i.e., lose some of their creativity) if they were able to get a better hold over what happens in their minds: is being mentally tortured a necessary element to being a genius, and/or does it depend on the genius in question? It seems likely to me that some people are better able to function with a greater amount of internal mental chaos, whereas other people may be incapacitated by it -- that is, perhaps for some, their creativity and productivity would be reduced because they may be unable to find the strength or motivation to create something while feeling overwhelmed by whatever is happening in their minds, whereas another creative person may thrive on the chaos, and may be able to channel it into something creative.
I always tend to believe that we are all different, and that, no matter how many similarities one may find between/amongst people, there will always be stark differences that make generalisations about people as a whole both impossible and invalid. Mind you, it may be the case that the simpler the person, the less differences there may be with others, such that generalisations can be more accurate, but the more complex a person's mind, the less likely it will be that they can be adequately and accurately compared to anyone else, for the more complicated and multifaceted something is, the more unique it is likely to be. Therefore, everything that I think and feel and say and write is only how I perceive, understand, think, and feel, and whether or not it is applicable to anybody else, or even if anybody else can relate to it or truly understand it, I do not know -- all I know is myself! (And, I actually quite like myself!)