Let it Go

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Austin Kleon explores the concept of the lone genius in his attempt to debunk it. The myth of a lone genius stems from a concept that is ingrained in most of us from a young age with the special snowflake ideology. We grow up learning that we are super duper special, so we all believe in our heart of hearts that one day we’re going become president or that we would totally survive the zombie apocalypse.


Then in comes the quarter-life crisis when you figure out we’ve all been told the exact same thing, and we can't all be special enough to transcend death because somebody has to die in the zombie apocalypse or else where will the zombies come from? Then all you have left is fear and the blind hope that you don’t die.

Kleon advocates that this disillusionment with ourselves is why we have the potential to be good at what we do. Once we realize we don't have to be everything we can create with abandon.

1. Know you can't do it all
2. Come to terms with the inevitable cold embrace of the grave
3. Do you anyway

We can’t all be Barrack. But we can still be dope.



kpyfrom's picture

I found this to be an

I found this to be an extremely interesting post! When I read the title, I thought, Oh this will be something about the movie Frozen because of the title and the snowflakes. I was so wrong, but that is great! I loved being surprised and really loved what you talked about!
Great Work!

jmalone's picture

Really funny and really true,

Really funny and really true, Brianna! We are, as many would say, the 'everybody gets a trophy' generation, and frankly most of us are simply not well-adjusted to the big-bad world where being good at something is not enough, but being good and knowing how to use it is the real way way to get your next meal. Kleon's giving us a little bit of a cheat sheet as to how to navigate this, and it sounds like you did a great job of evaluating it and adding your own thoughts on the matter. That being said, there's nothing wrong with being an optimistic pessimist, either!

Gavin Oliver's picture

Great post, Briana! Our

Great post, Briana! Our generation has experienced firsthand the negative results of the failed social experiment that was coddling and continually rewarding children even when positive reinforcement wasn't warranted. I agree with you and Kleon in that we shouldn't all believe we will defeat the zombies to come, but nevertheless, we can still find success by being ourselves and working hard.

maisyjoe's picture

Snow Storm

Hey Brianna! I love your post! It is so true. I think in our generation the "special snowflake" phenomenon is so prevalent that people don't realize that snow isn't really snow without more than one snowflake. Kleon talks about the importance of collaboration through the creative process and I think that your analogy captures perfect how we all feel! I think it is important, as Kleon says, to realize that we are all going to die and live like each day is our last! I mean, look how it turned out for George Lucas.