Tag Archives: Elizabeth Gilbert

“It’s inhumane the pace at which people live in this society”

Liz Gilbert and me

A few of us headed up to Sydney last weekend to see Elizabeth Gilbert speak at the Sydney Opera House.

I am a huge fan – follower might be more accurate – of Liz Gilbert. I have read Eat, Pray, Love numerous times (it’s a handy book to love because there is usually a copy in any hostel you ever stay in). It’s become one of those books I read for relaxation and comfort. It’s like a 350 page reset button for me. It’s a story about travel, language, history, spirituality, self-knowledge and personal drama – my favourite things. It’s light and funny too, so a delight to read for strong stretches from a cosy position on a couch or a less cosy position at a boarding gate.

Liz Gilbert is also a wonderful public speaker and reflects thoughtfully and wisely on a range of topics that seem to overlap with so many of the topics I wonder about too. I guess that is the gift of Liz Gilbert – her ability to reflect so calmly and clearly upon ideas that are swirling around in the heads of so many of us. Her self-assured and calm certainty is also wonderful for someone like me, who often crowds out any pinholes of wisdom with self doubt and the good opinion of others.

I was delighted while watching this long interview below, that Liz spoke to that desperate feeling that I (and I know many others) had about returning to regular, busy, scheduled life after holidays. Skip forward to around 29 mins (if you’re in a hurry) for some wisdom on the indefensible pace of our lives.


TED helping me relinquish responsibility

I’ve been dipping into TED a bit lately so I thought I’d share the two TED talks I watched this morning as a substitute for a real blog post. If you’re not familiar with TED, the talks might seem long, but they’re worth it.

Barry Schwartz on the paradox of choice

Elizabeth Gilbert on a different way to think about creative genius

It’s only now as I post them that I realise a common theme between the talks. Both  discuss the increased burden of personal responsibility. Elizabeth Gilbert talks about the responsibility for your creative successes and failures and the often crippling effect it has on creative people. Barry Schwartz talks about the burden of choice in modern life.

It seems interesting that young people (and old) are often accused of not taking responsibilty for their actions. I wonder if trying to find excuses for your actions (I have a disorder of some kind; I had a difficult childhood) is a reaction to the constant daily burden of being held responsible for every tiny (and grand) success and failure in life.