To decide on an artistic or intellectual life is to believe that one is personally capable of contributing something new and valuable to human history. To believe oneself capable of such a feat is at once arrogant and quotidian, it is to see oneself as a genius but in a sense which all people rightfully ought to see themselves. Of course, every human being is just another thing evolved from millions of years of an idiotic (literally mindless) unfolding of the universe. Nonetheless, we have evolved a morality in which the real potential geniuses (the millions of latent artists and intellectuals and all other kinds of potential conscientious objectors) are afraid to truly see themselves as, and become, the geniuses they really are (for that is prideful and arrogant and egostistically delusional) and the lowest human beings (the truly vain) are the ones who always seem to earn this therefore dubious accreditation.
Murphy, Justin. 2013. "An ironic note about genius," http://jmrphy.net/blog/2013/08/25/an-ironic-note-about-genius/ (April 24, 2017).