Are you a genius? Let me rephrase that.
You are a genius.
In my book UnDiet I write about how we're all an inspiration. That somehow, at some time, we inspire someone else. We just rarely know it. The same applies to your genius powers. You have them, but you may not be using them.
Genius is defined as having an exceptional intellectual or creative power or other natural ability.
We easily see genius in children. They can sing or dance, paint, write, build, imagine, play, tell stories, invent, explore and discover. Though it may not be done much in school (though thankfully the cookie cutter curriculum box is shifting), we typically work to nourish the genius qualities in the little people we love, until it's time to be "realistic" or "practical" about life.
what Happens To Our genius powers?
Well, nothing. They're still there and they're always there. The challenge is that often what makes us genius can often also be what makes us feel weird or different as we grow up, and so we start to suppress it or have others suppress it out of us. In many workplaces, thinking differently is not rewarded (Now here! We love inspired thinkers - and we're hiring!). In fact, there are few places in life where thinking differently, asking questions and moving away from the generally accepted or popular way of thinking is rewarded.
I certainly was never rewarded in school for the questions I asked. And I'm not talking about grade school. I had a teacher, as an adult, in nutrition school who reprimanded me for my questions. Being an employee, with a dress code and set hours when I was supposed to be creative and working, and other hours where I was expected to turn it off, was always a struggle. It still is.
The questions that we have, that we ask and that we seek answers to, are at the root of our genius. Too often, and too soon, we learn to stop asking and to stop seeking.
When I was faced with the challenge of having to figure out my health problems, the questions came fast. What started with questions about my own health, grew to become questions about my diet, then the whole food supply. I questioned my personal care products, and my home cleaning products, and then the companies that were making them. The questions continue to flow and I am grateful that finding the answers has become not just my work, but one of my areas of genius.
I do not say this with conceit. And we do not need to shy away from acknowledging our genius powers.
We do not need to shy away from acknowledging our genius powers.
I am very good at finding answers and translating them into informational tools that can be used and shared by others to improve their own quality of life. This is what I do.
I add to it my genius powers of celebrating bright colour, humour, writing and connection, and mixing that in with my passion for using technology to communicate and a deep interest in what inspires action. That's my genius mix and since falling into this work, I have learned to become increasingly comfortable and confident with what I am good at, and do the work in the areas that are not my strengths.
Being brave enough to acknowledge where we can shine may be the biggest barrier of all. We are more than enough!
This month I am welcoming students from around the world into the fifth run of the online Culinary Nutrition Expert Program and I am so excited to get to learn and experience the genius these men and women are about to ignite. As a teacher, my goal was to develop a program that would enhance the genius powers of my students and allow them to grow into and explore the areas that make them light up. Getting to be part of this is incredible.
Welcome Back Your Genius Powers
It is our genius powers that set us apart and these unique sparks are big, great and important. It's a set of differences that should inspire unity, rather than create a divide. We bring together our genius powers and grow them into something greater and mightier than ourselves.
Be proud of what makes you genius. Nourish the area in your life where you bring natural talent and ability.
We often fail to acknowledge our key areas of genius because they come so easily to us. Be with that. It's your power and the world needs you to use it for good. Your genius power is what makes you unique and different and this may be the very reason you've been trying to keep it quiet. Life becomes remarkably easy when we stop trying to live it like everyone else.
This doesn't mean you should quit your job and chase your passion. That's not necessary. Bring your genius to what you do, whatever that is. It will transform the job you have and the work you do. It matters.
As we send our children back to school this fall, and perhaps we may be joining them in a new class or program, a new job, or a new project, acknowledge where the genius lies and celebrate it. Remember always that the genius of your child, or your own genius, doesn't make anyone better than anyone else. It simply makes us uniquely awesome.
When we can brave our own uniqueness, this is when our genius will shine the brightest. This is where we make the magic happen in our lives and in the world.