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Maintaining Your Drive

Elizabeth Gilbert's Creative Drive Talk Urges Us to Find Our Way Home

— May 8, 2014 — Keynote Trends
It's hard to believe, but renowned author Elizabeth Gilbert was once terrified to write the follow-up to her wildly successful travel memoir 'Eat, Pray, Love,' an experience she recounts in her creative drive talk.

Gilbert was convinced that fans of the book would be severely disappointed in whatever she penned next, causing her to seriously entertain the idea of leaving her beloved vocation all together. She found herself identifying with her former self, an "unpublished diner waitress" swimming in rejection letters. Surprised, Gilbert came to realize that there is a psychological connection between the way we experience failure and success. Though one is objectively defined as "good," and the other "bad," our subconscious can only identify the emotional component of each, a feeling which she describes as being "abruptly catapulted."

Ultimately, Gilbert discovered the remedy for self-restoration was the same in both cases. When it came to failure, Gilbert found that she loved writing more than she hated failing at it, which meant that it was more important to her than her own ego. Tapping into that feeling allowed her creativity to survive its own success later on in life. She suggests that everyone can dedicate their life to something they love more than themselves, something you can do with "such singular devotion that the ultimate results become inconsequential."