Oleg V. Lukyanov, Anastasia Shushanikova, Peter J. Mitchell, and Ekaterina Alekseevskaya

Genius. Talent. Golden Mediocrity

  • FREE
  • English
  • Psychology
  • Certificate included

What is the course about?

Course Summary

Genius, talent and golden mediocrity are different dimensions of human existence. Our course shows how these three dimensions manifest themselves in life and how you can fulfill your genius, abilities, talents more fully and completely.

The 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 course is made in the popular form of short videos relying on free network resources users.

What will I learn?

A phenomenological description of genius, talent and golden mediocrity as specific dimensions of human life, correction of errors and misapprehensions of common sense. 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.

What do I need to know?

No prior knowledge of phenomenology of genius, talent and mediocrity is needed in order to attend the MOOC. General cultural knowledge, interest in creativity, phenomenology, and psychology is welcome. It is advisable to understand what benefits a person in general and a student of this course in particular to have an access for literary writings, for the environment (online in our case) to meet with people, for travels, for participation in the upbringing of children, etc. We assume that students will be quite tolerant to some uncertainty in the process of clarifying the meanings and fundamentals for the intensive creative life.

Our target audience: students of psychology, social sciences, art; professional psychologists; specialists whose activity involves empathy, inspiration, understanding and creating of daily life; everyone who is interested in the topic.

Course Structure

General Course Outline

Three chapters: Genius, Talent, Golden mediocrity.

There are three modules in each chapter.

In each module there are 6 topics.

Each module takes one week of studying.

There are 54 topics – video clips including lectures and visual examples.

After each lecture you are provided with understanding questions and creative activities.

Talent is what is given. Care for the world. Motivation.

Mediocrity is means, tools, instruments, resources. Efficiency.

Genius reveals itself.

Talent is allowed (we allow it to come out).

Mediocrity develops.

Talent and socialization

Violent mediocrity

Talented people, mediocre minds

Examples of mechanical systems

Examples of biological organisms

Examples of human will

Examples of creative events

Examples of miracles in daily life

Am I a GENIUS (intonational stress on the word “GENIUS”)

I, a genius? (intonational stress on the word “I”)

I am a genius! (inspiring statement)

Complete Course outline


1. Am I a GENIUS?

Very often what people think about genius is not correct.

Examples of definitions and opinions from dictionaries and textbooks.

Meanings of genius – primacy, care for fundamentals, wholeness, sufficiency, initiative.

Phenomenological thinking “Exact Fantasy” by Goethe.

Genius and evil can be combined unfortunately, more often than we can imagine.

1.1. Doubts about genius

1.2. Misbeliefs about genius

1.3. Phenomenology of doubts about genius

1.4. Method of worthy doubts about genius

1.5. Risks of doubts about genius

1.6. Examples of experience

Learning activities

2. I, a genius?

One cannot seek genius, it always ‘already exists’.

Genius is not combined with ambitions; one cannot want to become genius.

Genius is not combined with motivation, it is often contrary to the wishes.

Changing while responding.

Method of responsive phenomenology.

Genius is a trial for a person.

2.1. Doubts about your own genius

2.2. Misbeliefs about your own genius

2.3. Phenomenology of doubts about your own genius

2.4. Method of worthy doubts about your own genius

2.5. Risks of doubts about your own genius

2.6. Examples of experience

Learning activities

3. I am a genius!

“In each of us a genius is sleeping. And day by day he sleeps tighter and tighter”.

Genius holds a lot, if not everything, it doesn’t exclude mediocrity and talent. You can talk about genius mediocrity or genius talent.

A man is a genius to the extent to which he is full of initiative to life renewal.

To be a genius means to surround oneself with genius phenomena and allow others and the whole world to be genius.

3.1. Confidence in genius in general and in your own genius in particular

3.2. Misbeliefs about confidence in genius

3.3. Phenomenology of confidence in genius

3.4. Method of confidence in genius

3.5. Risks of confidence in genius

3.6. Examples of experience

Learning activities


4. Am I talented?

By being talented we often imply abilities to create. In reality talent is an ability to repeat something.

Talent is care for the world.

Talents become obvious after we lose them.

Aiming for something that doesn’t belong to us can suppress abilities. It is a Deal with the Devil – to give away your abilities for someone’s achievements.

4.1. Doubts about talents

4.2. Misbeliefs about talents

4.3. Phenomenology of doubts about talents

4.4. Method of worthy doubts about talents

4.5. Risks of doubts about talents

4.6. Examples of experience

Learning activities

5. I, talented?

Yes, I am talented, but what are my talents?

This is my talent and I don’t have to force myself to do it.



Too serious concern about myself. Loss of humor.

5.1. Doubts about your own talents

5.2. Misbeliefs about your own talents

5.3. Phenomenology of doubts about your own talents

5.4. Method of worthy doubts about your own talents

5.5. Risks of doubts about your own talents

5.6. Examples of experience

Learning activities

6. I am talented!

To the extent to which we are connected with the world, with life.

To accept something, to enrich it and to give it to the world.

Creative self-expression and self-fulfillment.

Being obsessed with the result.

6.1. Confidence in talents in general and in your own talents in particular

6.2. Misbeliefs about confidence in talents

6.3. Phenomenology of confidence in talents

6.4. Method of confidence in talents

6.5. Risks of confidence in talents

6.6. Examples of experience

Learning activities

MEDIOCRITY (defined as such: another name for the Golden Mean was golden mediocrity)

7. Am I mediocrity?

Very often it is considered to be offensive, but to be mediocre is good if it happens at the right time.

Something average, the mean, repeating itself, normal, something between.

The principle of economy.

Identification with the means only.

7.1. Doubts about mediocrity

7.2. Misbeliefs about mediocrity

7.3. Phenomenology of doubts about mediocrity

7.4. Method of worthy doubts about mediocrity

7.5. Risks of doubts about mediocrity

7.6. Examples of experience

Learning activities

8. I, mediocrity?

Is wrongly associated with lack of talent.

To live well according to their means (without debts).

The principle of balance.

Violent mediocrity.

8.1. Doubts about your own mediocrity

8.2. Misbeliefs about your own mediocrity

8.3. Phenomenology of doubts about your own mediocrity

8.4. Method of worthy doubts about your own mediocrity

8.5. Risks of doubts about your own mediocrity

8.6. Examples of experience

Learning activities

9. I am mediocrity!

It is not correct to suggest that if I am mediocre, then I cannot be a master in something.

Freedom from circumstances and effectiveness.

The principle of sustainability in motion.

Negligence to the world and a too cautious attitude to the media (the means).

9.1. Confidence in mediocrity in general and in your own mediocrity in particular

9.2. Misbeliefs about confidence in mediocrity

9.3. Phenomenology of confidence in mediocrity

9.4. Method of confidence in mediocrity

9.5. Risks of confidence in mediocrity

9.6. Examples of experience

Learning activities

Course instructors