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Tomsk State University

Genius. Talent. Golden Mediocrity

Tomsk State University via Coursera

This course may be unavailable.


This course is of an applied nature and is oriented to studies in the field of creative life intensification psychology, help with the experience of crises, human potential realization and care. It may be useful for professional psychologists, for specialists whose activity involves empathy, inspiration, understanding and creating of daily life, and for all who are interested in the topic.

The main idea of the course
Genius, talent and golden mediocrity are different (perpendicularly oriented) dimensions of human existence. They should be studied coherently with their manifestations. All together they construct a space for creative life, but each taken separately provokes traumatic, devastating and exhausting forms of anxieties. Our course shows how these three dimensions manifest themselves in life and how you can fulfill your genius, abilities, talents more fully and completely.

Our Method
We critically examine the manifestations of the studied "dimensions" (phenomena), in order that by putting off all "the supposed" we could find specific and inherent meaning. The phenomenological method is to understand and express in simple terms the fundamental structure of creative activity, to express everything that was, that is and that will be important in the psychology of creative life.

Course objective
Our main objective is a phenomenological description of genius, talent and golden mediocrity as specific dimensions of human life, correction of errors and misapprehensions of common sense regarding these phenomena.

What you gain
After taking this course you will know what it is to be genius. You will see the phenomena of mediocrity and talent in a new light. You will understand these phenomena better based on our various examples. You will also be able to practice various aspects of these dimensions of creativity in your daily life.


  • Welcome to the course
    • Welcome to Genius. Talent. Golden Mediocrity!
  • Genius
    • This week explores on the first dimension of creative life : Genius. The topic is discussed in three chapters: 1. Am I genius? (intonational stress on the word “GENIUS”), 2. I, a genius? (intonational stress on the word “I”), 3. I am a genius! (inspiring statement)
      We will study phenomenology of genius, doubts about genius, and misbeliefs. We will explore on the concept of genius not only around us, in the world, but of our own genius, the genius we fulfil in ourselves. You will find the answer to the question: “Could it be true that I am a genius?”
      The third chapter “I am a genius!” concludes the formal examination of genius as a mode of intensive creative life and invites you to focus on confidence in genius, on its assertion rather than on doubts, as we suggest in first two chapters. Knowing all that you will be ready to start practicing genius in your daily life.
  • Talent
    • This week explores on the second dimension of creative life : Talent. The topic is discussed in three chapters: 1. Am I talented? (intonational stress on the word “Talented”), 2. I, talented? (intonational stress on the word “I”), 3. I am talented! (inspiring statement).

      In the first chapter, we will discuss doubts about talent. The second chapter in this module is devoted to the way a person experiences talent, talent in life and reveals a surprise - “Could it be true that I am talented?”

      The chapter “I am talented!” accomplishes two cycles of topics about intensive creative life that concern individuality, uniqueness, initiative and primacy. We hope now you pay less attention to other people’s opinions, and the fact that they do not accept you as well as you want does not make you sad. He who has talent and genius in his life is rich. We hope you are becoming richer.
  • Golden mediocrity
    • This week explores on the third dimension of creative life : Mediocrity. The topic is also discussed in three chapters: 1. Am I mediocrity? (intonational stress on the word “Mediocrity”), 2. I, mediocrity? (intonational stress on the word “I”), 3. I am mediocrity! (inspiring statement).We hope by this time you have formed your own opinion about two aspects of creative life that concern individuality, originality, uniqueness and distinctiveness. We proceed to the study of golden mediocrity, to universal, typical, normal and identical. Sometimes this aspect emotionally irritates those people who are not confident in their individuality. However, it is mediocrity that guarantees the majority of things that make our life predictable and comfortable. In the chapter “I, mediocrity?” we discuss doubts about our own mediocrity. What can we say about the last chapter this week? It is about the use and the danger of mediocrity. We spend most of our time doing mediocre work and thinking mediocre thoughts. It is not bad or shameful to be a mediocrity. However, it is a shame to compare mediocrities. Mediocrity is good for inner use. It is good to hide behind mediocrity. It is convenient to trade in mediocrity. It is important not to confuse it with other dimensions; it should be harmonized with them. This chapter is also the last chapter of our course.
  • Final module
    • We have finally reached the final module. However, as we have already said in the beginning, the course is a door rather than a palace. The end of the course will not eliminate your questions about creative life. Perhaps, quite the opposite, the course will help you to hear new questions that are now within your means and forces. We hope your creative life will go on. We hope now you pay less attention to other people’s opinions (including our opinions), but that you are more responsible as regards your own opinions.This week you are to perform your peer-review assignment. Choose one assignment you like the best out of four and have fun working on it.
  • Final module: Lesson Choices

Taught by

Олег Лукьянов (Oleg Lukyanov) and Анастасия Стайпек (Anastasia Stipek)


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