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Thread started by Dave Winer on Monday, February 25, 2013.

Young folk and greatness

I was once a very young man with some talent, and luck and perhaps intuition that led me to a place where, at 25, I had arrived somewhere that few people did. Everywhere I went people reminded me what a miracle I was. But there were other people my own age who were even more miraculous, richer and more accomplished. This brewed a soup of emotions that were pretty intense -- pride, arrogance mixed with jealousy and anger.

We were all difficult to be around, maybe I was more difficult than most. But because I could make "magic" happen with the computer, this was somewhat tolerated. It wasn't until I was in my mid-40s that things began to settle down. I realized that while my life might have been different from most people, more elevated in some ways -- I was actually a pretty ordinary person. I learned that the more I could make my actual life normal, the closer to happy I would become.

I'm still able to work the stuff that people who don't know call magic, but I realize now as I did then, that it isn't magic at all. There's a process to creativity. All you have to go by when you're younger is intuition, and the feedback of others who say your talent is without precedent, unless you have coaches who help give you a sense of perspective, who give you a safe harbor to create within, and while giving you positive feedback when your work is excellent, keep reminding you to seek balance. Enjoy your youth, in a physical way. Enjoy the simple everyday pleasures of living. Do not believe the accolades. Strive to do better, and keep your eye on the long arc of life, not just the here-and-now.

We, as a society, make a big mistake when we pump the egos of our young talented people. Love everyone, not just the rich. Don't believe that people are prodigies, they aren't. When people create something you like, tell them! But don't think they're gods.

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