Creativity Video: The Playful Search for Beauty [TED Talk]

Each Wednesday, for a while, I’ll be sharing a creativity video from TED. Some weeks I’ll choose a TED talk directly about creativity. Video choices on other Wednesdays might focus on creative people or creative ideas.

If you’re like me, you love TED, but don’t get as much of it, or as many creativity video presentations period, in your life as you’d like because you don’t think of it or you don’t have time. And you miss some videos you’d love just because you don’t find them. So, I’ve appointed myself our TED Talk/creativity video provider for the foreseeable future.

Today’s creativity video from TED features Eva Zeisel, a lifelong artist, on “The Playful Search for Beauty.”

The Motivation Behind The Three Leonardo Trait Books

The Motivation Behind The Three Leonardo Trait Books - The Leonardo Trait - Angie DixonI get emails saying, “Thank you for writing The Leonardo Trait.”

I always respond the same way—“You’re welcome. I’m glad it helped you.”

What I don’t say, and will from now on, is this:

You’re welcome. And thank you for reading The Leonardo Trait.

I’m excited that my book helped you, and excited for you that you’ve discovered you’re a Leonardo and that you now have some context for who you are and why you’re rare and special.

The thing is, I have to admit that I didn’t write the first edition of The Leonardo Trait to help anyone else.

I wrote it because I had come up with an idea that might explain my life and help me make my life work.

I hoped that my book would reach others and help them the way writing it helped me.

But I wrote it for myself. I wrote all three editions for myself.

And I believe that the best books are the ones written for the author, not for the reader.

When I wrote a book that would help me, I think that’s how I created a book that could help anyone.

Here are some excerpts from the introductions of the various editions, which I thought you might enjoy:

From the First Edition:

Why This Book and Why Now

Over the last few years, I’ve done a lot of exploring into my personality, work habits and general uniquosity, as my husband would say.

In doing that, and talking to other people, I discovered that I’m really not that unique, that a lot of people share the qualities I have, of doing “too many things,” not settling down, and generally being multipassionate, multitalented, multitaskers.

As soon as I realized this, I saw the potential for a book. And I wanted to write it because Toni Morrison once said, “If there is a book you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”

Now is as soon as I could get it done. I’m sorry, for those of you who’ve been waiting for so long to find out that you’re absolutely okay and that all hope is not lost. But here it is. I hope it helps.

What I Hope For You from This Book

I hope you will read this book and discover that something you’ve always suspected is true – that you are a special, incredible, creative genius.

I hope this book will set you free to be your Leonardo self.

A Magnificent Discovery

For me, the Leonardo Trait has been a magnificent discovery, and I’m eternally grateful that I was able to discover these things about myself and share them with others. It gives me goose bumps every time someone calls themselves a Leonardo. I hope you’ll share my delight with this concept.

From the Second Edition:

I believe that some people exhibit a much stronger Leonardo Trait than others. These are the profoundly imaginative, curious and creative individuals I call (and who now often call themselves) Leonardos.

My favorite discoveries around the Leonardo Trait are that everyone has a natural creative ability and everyone can improve this innate ability.

This book helps Leonardos—and those who simply want to improve their creative ability—effectively live a “multipassionate life.”

I hope this book will spark an “aha” moment, when you realize you’re a Leonardo, that it’s a great thing to be, and that you’re not alone.

For me, that moment came slowly, but it did come, and I have led a fuller, richer life since realizing that I am a Leonardo and everything that means.

From the Third Edition:

Seven Years and Many Months Ago…

The Leonardo Trait concept popped into my head, almost completely evolved, during a conversation on March 25, 2006.

The first edition of The Leonardo Trait saw the light of day on October 20, 2006.

As I write this, it’s now September 9, 2013.

It’s been an interesting and exciting seven years.

Instead of going into a lot of detail in this introduction about why I wrote this book and what I hope you will take away from it, I’ve included the introductions from the first two editions, right after the foreword to the first edition. I thought it would be nice to include a little of each book in this one.

Why I Wrote a Third Edition

I’ve written several million words since I wrote the second edition of The Leonardo Trait. Before that I wrote several million after the first edition.

I have new ideas, and I have more skill and experience writing those ideas.

That’s one reason I wrote this edition.

The second reason is that I felt that some parts of the second edition weren’t authentically me, due to a variety of factors, and I wanted to correct that in this edition.

The third, and final, reason I wrote this edition is that I felt that the first two editions were about an idea, and I wanted The Leonardo Trait to be about a solution.

I do not believe we need a solution to being Leonardos; that’s not where I’m going with this.

I believe that The Leonardo Trait needs to focus more on becoming the person you want to be and living your dream. Everything else—spouses, young Leonardos, time management and organization—is surplus information.

Some of that surplus information is useful and valuable, but not in this book. I’ll be putting that information into free reports available soon for download from

This third edition is uniquely and authentically me, in ways that the first two editions were not.

I hope you find it both useful and hilarious, not necessarily in that order.

How Writing The Leonardo Trait Changed My Life—And Why You Might Care

How Writing The Leonardo Trait Changed My Life—And Why You Might Care - The Leonardo Trait - Angie DixonLet me say this up front:

I hate blog post and article headlines that begin with “Why I…” or “How I…” or something similar.

I hate those headlines because my immediate, involuntary question is, “Who are you and why should I care why you did that or how you did it?”

I don’t think I’m alone in that. Most people want to read a blog post or an article that they’re going to find interesting. And most of us are tuned to radio station WIIFM – What’s In It For Me.

There’s nothing abnormal or selfish about wanting to read something that you can relate to and that holds value to you. That’s normal. It’s human.

So who am I and why should you care, first?

I’m the author of this blog and of three editions of The Leonardo Trait. The latest edition is subtitled “How Creative People Can Turn Creative Eccentricity into a Life You Love.

In this blog post I’m going to show you five ways writing The Leonardo Trait (three times) changed my life.

You should care, or rather you might care, because The Leonardo Trait can bring these same changes to the life of any extreme creative. If you want your life to work without giving up your creativity, The Leonardo Trait can help you get there.

And here’s a hint: Giving up your creativity won’t work anyway.

So here are those five changes:

  1. I realized that there was nothing “wrong” with me. Well, there are things “wrong.” I get bad migraines. I have a bad knee now, though I didn’t when I wrote the first book. I don’t have a filter between my brain and my mouth. But my creativity is not something that is “wrong” with me.
  2. I realized that I am not “wrong” because of my creativity. Sometimes it felt like more than just having something wrong with me. Sometimes it felt like I was wrong or bad. I’m not. And neither are you.
  3. I realized that not only is my brain not like everyone else’s, it’s not supposed to be. This is the way I’m made. And after I discovered the Leonardo Trait, a friend said, “That’s why we love you.”
  4. I wrapped my head around the idea that what I am and what I can do, as a creative Leonardo, is pretty damn cool. Pardon my French. I realized that instead of thinking I’m a freak, people think I’m awesome and amazing and that I rock—their words, not mine.
  5. I started finding other people like me. And that was the best thing of all.