© 2005-2010 Paul Cooijmans
In my considerations about genius, I have over the years realized one of the pillars of brilliance is conscientiousness (the other are intelligence and associative horizon). To explain what I mean by this, here is a first list of adjectives describing it. A few of them may belong to a trait called ego-strength. A few other lie in the field of ethics. I consider both ego-strength and ethics subdivisons of conscientiousness.
It should be noted most of these virtues are severely impaired or destroyed by certain serious psychiatric disorders, in particular psychotic disorders. Such disorders can therefore greatly reduce the creative output of an otherwise talented person. The importance of this lies in the wide associative horizon that goes with (disposition for) psychosis; it (associative horizon) is good for creativity, but when resulting in actual psychosis it backfires and destroys creativity by attacking its conscientiousness component. The components of creativity, in this view, are conscientiousness, intelligence and associative horizon.
Also, conscientiousness itself, if driven too far, may lead to disorders that reduce creative output. This concerns primarily disorders of the neurotic kind, involving obsessions, compulsions, anxiety, depression, and more.
Conscientiousness seems to be open to improvement through practice, training and study; that makes it probably the only component of creativity and genius that can be improved at will. Therefore the most likely only key to improving your creative output and contribution to humankind lies on this page.