Creative people are masters of what they do. Not everything that Einstein and da Vinci did was brilliant – far from it. But because they worked comparatively harder within their fields than others, they achieved more creative and successful results, even though they also had more failures than most other people.
We know a great deal about creative people but actually not that much about their creativity. Most of us are aware, for example, that Einstein did not do very well at school, or that Leonardo da Vinci had the odd habit of writing backwards. We also know a lot of biographical facts about other creative people, such as the one-eared Van Gogh, but Einstein and da Vinci will do.
These disparate facts about the individuals themselves do not serve the purpose of getting to know the creative human being. Few of us can lay claim to any deeper insights into creative people. That there has been such intense focus over the years on descriptions and biographies of certain creative people is probably due to the fact that their lives were in fact quite unusual. Roughly speaking, it has been found that 50% of the advances in most fields have come from 10% of the population. In other words, the majority, and the greatest, of all creative results have been produced by a small number of people who have been regarded as unique and exciting.
But researchers agree that ...