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Neil deGrasse Tyson and Neil Gaiman on the Secret of Genius | Brain Pickings

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Neil deGrasse Tyson: If everyone had the luxury to pursue a life of exactly what they love, we would all be ranked as visionary and brilliant. … If you got to spend every day of your life doing what you love, you can’t help but be the best in the world at that. And you get to smile every day for doing so. And you’ll be working at it almost to the exclusion of personal hygiene, and your friends are knocking on your door, saying, “Don’t you need a vacation?!,” and you don’t even know what the word “vacation” means because what you’re doing is what you want to do and a vacation from that is anything but a vacation — that’s the state of mind of somebody who’s doing what others might call visionary and brilliant.

Pursuing your passion is the ultimate luxury in life. 


Love what you do. 

Couldn't agree more.  It's awesome, but as George and Ira Gershwin wrote, "Nice work if you can get it".  It seems the ideal Venn diagram for Genius as suggested here would be: personal exposition from an immersive passion overlapping with broad and sustained commercial demand for the products of that exposition.

We all may truly be the best at what we do.  And perhaps already are.  Even so, I'm not sure this above Venn overlap is attainable by any majority... perhaps why Genius remains an outlier experience that doesn't conform to Gaussian distribution in every day life.  So does it make sense to fashion Genius as a recipe that very few people will ever be able to cook?

Not enough people are paying enough of us daily for our achievements, or at least not enough to sustain our passions.  Most still need to attend passion-sucking day jobs, take ongoing credit from the bank of Mom and Dad, or get Yahtzee as a trust fund in order to get by... and yes, it's still a great ambition to hold onto to and one that I'm fond of bumping along with myself, as well as encouraging others to take a crack at it any time they can.  As Jimmy Dean once said, 

"You gotta try your luck at least once a day, because you could be going around lucky all day and not even know it."

Hope we all strike it rich doing what we love, or at least strike it sustainable--that's luxury enough by any reckoning today.

Well said, Rob. To do what we love is a luxury.

It requires desire but also luck.

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