Life without genius is drudgery.
Genius without action is but an empty dream.
Life guided by genius is joy,
and the hope of earth.
adapted from several ancient sayings about vision
When you are the genius you were born to be, you activate a unique-to-you operating system that will help you:
- Discover and fulfill your true passions and purpose;
- See more clearly what is (problems, opportunities, allies, resources and more);
- Be inspired and guided throughout your life to do what is right for you and say no to that which is not;
- Solve pressing problems with ingenuity, resourcefulness and your unique talents;
- Focus and build many visions that create a better world now and leave a legacy for the future.
Genius has almost nothing to do with IQ.
IQ, which measures certain gifts of the left or logical brain, is just one of many types of intelligence. By itself, it can’t gather, interpret and work with the many types of information and inspiration you need to create brilliant life and work.
In fact, believing you are super-smart can diminish your ability to see clearly what is. It can keep you from developing the persistence and patience that you’ll need to move from idea to effective reality.
Genius is not limited to stratospheric, spectacular achievements.
Ancient definitions of genius and cutting edge wisdom don’t even mention this common distortion. They focus on guidance, originally in the form of a creative muse; your natural tendencies and your talents.
When all three aspects of genius are working, you may never qualify for, say, a Nobel Prize for peace. You may never broker everlasting peace in the Middle East or quash gang violence in the US.
But by following your best guidance from self and others, by stretching your talents and natural tendencies, you may well build real peace in a your own part of the world. As Margaret Meade said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Genius is available to all of us.
Your natural tendencies include the gifts that spill out of the DNA in all healthy children. Thus, you were born loaded with the capacity to receive and handle information from all your senses, plus the perspective of your intuition, imagination, emotions, instincts, memory, rational mind and many more gifts.
Your DNA also gives you the capacity to wonder, to dream, to follow your curiosity. You were born with a hunger to become fluent in the language of your own heart, to love, and to make a difference. You also were born with the seeds of patience and courage, so you can hear your most shy dreams and move forward again every time you fall.
Each of these gifts is so powerful that I now call them “elements of genius,” or collectively, “natural genius.” Develop and use your natural genius, and you can see more clearly every day how to live best for yourself and others — including the natural world.
Genius is not about the most spectacular or innovative idea. It’s about integrity.
Integrity means being whole, so you bring all your abilities to any issue: right brain and left, gut instincts, what you’re learned in school, and many more information-gathering abilities. Integrity means looking not for a quick fix but for the wisest advice of your full consciousness and conscience.
Integrity requires honestly facing yourself — warts, gifts, fears, failings, dreams, and all. Integrity means being true to yourself and on the level with others: honest, just, naturally ethical. All this makes a great bottom line for your life, your job or business, our economy, nation and world.
The guidance part of genius allows us to be more visionary in life and work.
In ancient times, visions were seen primarily as gifts from the gods or perhaps creative inspiration from a muse. Today, there’s a wealth of wisdom about how all of us are born with the capacity to envision and do that matters.
In the beginning, our visionary process was pretty instinctual. But instincts are powerful, for long before we had the words for walking and talking, basic instincts were already guiding us to pull ourselves up, crawl, toddle, then race into the world speaking the language of our parents.
A real vision, whether it’s about answering an immediate question like “what’s for dinner?” or a sweeping one like “how am I called to help create peace in the world?” will meet real needs of body, mind and spirit, including the need for pleasure. It will lead to increased value for self and others, not clutter or harm.
Real visions are often self-motivating because they are true to you, and they come from your depths. Further, visions often inspire you to stretch your talents way beyond their present capacity, or to take creative risks you never imagined. They will engage more of your gifts and make you more present to your world, within and without.
That’s why following a vision is way more satisfying and meaningful that following a quickly set goal or bowing to our culture’s obsession with quick or easy answers.
You were probably trained more to quash your natural genius than to develop and use it.
Though our visionary gifts were not designed to be disposable, our world generally does not help us be the geniuses we were born to be. 90-98% of pre-schoolers are highly imaginative; perhaps 2% of adults are. Curiosity, intuition, instincts and all other elements of genius are also highly repressed.
Our culture prizes quick answers, not reflection or discernment. It’s hard to find visioning or creative time when we are overloaded with activities and information, sparse on wisdom or silence. Few of us have had training in industrial or design arts, business planning, or other tools that could help us shape ideas into effective plans. Fewer still have the courage to be clueless long enough to see or hear the quieter wisdom of our hearts and souls. Rare also is the support we need to discover our true gifts and callings, or to tell the truth in a workplace setting
Little wonder, then, that we live in a polluted world, with unstable economies, rampant illness, a lot of violence, and a lot of exhausted, unhappy people who do not know or live their dreams.
Fortunately, our most hidden visionary and genius gifts are still alive. They can be reclaimed and activated — as if we were archaeologists into our own minds and hearts, bringing to the surface treasures beyond our richest imagining.
No matter how repressed your natural genius is, you can rediscover and develop it, starting now.
Start with the article, “Finding Visions for Work and Life” for tips you can use now to rediscover your visionary abilities and experiment with them.
Be inspired by lives of people you admire. Discover inspiration and tips for your life based on the life of Albert Schweitzer: master musician, theologian, author, medical missionary, hospital builder, ecologist, and Nobel Peace Prize winner.
Check our resources and blog for a growing body of inspiration and ideas, especially in the areas of work, money, and integrating your values with your everyday life.
We’re here to help you be the genius you were born to be so you can thrive — to benefit yourself and others.
Check our products and services section to see how you can focus a vision for your life, create a bankable business plan based on your values, market and sell with integrity, or enhance the visioning and guidance abilities of your group.
Watch for our forthcoming books on how to be a genius again and the special genius of people over 50.
And keep coming back. All the work of Visionary Resources is designed to help all of us live and work with integrity, purpose and great joy.
To your particular genius and visions,
Pat McHenry Sullivan, principal
copyright 2014 by Pat McHenry Sullivan, t/a Visionary Resources