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Personal Growth

Core Skill: Follow Your Gut

Oscar-winning filmmaker James Marsh discusses the moments of inspiration behind his films and emphasizes the importance of trusting your instincts. 

Every creative project begins with an epiphany moment in which the artist or entrepreneur decides to commit years of his life to a story or an idea. James Marsh, director of the Academy Award-winning “Man on Wire” and the upcoming “Project NIM,” told us all about his own epiphany moments during a recent Big Think interview. As Marsh describes it, he experiences “an instinctive reaction” when he comes across the ideas that inspire his films, and they immediately begin to stimulate other thoughts, ideas, images, and insights. “You have to trust that reaction,” Marsh says, no matter if in response to a story that inspires a film or an idea that motivates a new business.


—When choosing projects, follow your gut instinct; let your natural curiosity lead you to the ones you should pursue. 

—If you have to persuade yourself to write about a particular story, it’s probably the wrong choice.

—If you get lost during the creative process, return to your initial impulse or moment of inspiration; this will help keep you grounded. 


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