Albert Einstein, the primary international symbol for genius, frequently insisted that he had no special gifts except passionate curiosity. “The important thing is not to stop questioning,” he said. “One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day.”
Throughout life Einstein was playful, a quality that’s only recently been recognized as a treasure, not something childish to be trained out of us so we can become capable adults. He obviously never lost his genius-level ability to think of many possibilities in any situation — a trait which Einstein shared with 98% of young children but only 2% of adults.
Needed: a new picture of genius
Einstein’s life and work demonstrate a plethora of skills, abilities and attitudes that can be cultivated by ordinary humans, including persistence, integrity, strategic planning, intuition, and courage — all of which contributed to his great work. And all of which are available to us.
But current images of genius don’t resonate with rapidly evolving research about the natural genius in all of us and its potential to enrich all our life and work. As our images of genius catch up this expanding new paradigm about genius, the word cloud here may give you some hints about the brilliant treasures you might find in your own body, mind and spirit.
Genius starts with what comes naturally.
Notice the words in the smallest type including imagination, awareness emotions, intuition, persistence, hope, and open-mindedness. Notice the words that hint of a love of surprise and hunger for learning
These are just a few of the raw elements of genius that spilled out of your DNA when you were young.
Don’t believe these gifts are elements of genius? Then re-read the quote by Einstein above. Better yet, study his life and see what you can learn from his model.
Genius grows with experience.
Once you childhood brain has matured, you can develop grownup elements of genius to help you make the most of your natural gifts. As shown in the medium-sized words in the cloud, these powers include full creativity, what you learn from experience, problem-solving and visioning skills, guidance practices, craftsmanship, planning skills, and discernment.
Not shown, because my word cloud program only allows single words, are spiritual, emotional, and logical intelligence. Also you can learn to 1) assess which elements of genius are alive in you and which you gave up as you grew up and 2) reawaken hidden or forgotten inner treasures and cultivate them.
Genius is as ordinary as it can be miraculous.
Like love, genius can enrich your life and work in small, often overlooked ways and in big, dramatic ones. As suggested by the largest words, genius is meant to be used every day in all we do.
Genius expresses integrity in all its meanings — being whole, authentic, true to ourselves and on the level with others. It’s naturally purposeful and innovative, and it constantly reminds us to slow down and remember wisdom we may have forgotten.
Genius can bring joy to any challenge or dream, even when times are tough. In fact, our genius loves a problem to be solved or a mystery that calls for exploration.
Insights from your genius can come alive anytime, anywhere.
Rene Marsh of Alameda, CA reports that taking her dogs for a walk is a primary way to know and live her gifts. Being in beautiful nature melts her stress and inspires new hope. The playfulness of the dogs makes her laugh, which liberates her potential for new visions.
Some of my most life-changing insights have come while I was busy doing something else.
Taking a shower to clear brain fog led to my call to study the genius potential in all of us. While walking up a mountain in Scotland in the early 1970’s, an inner voice gave surprising, right-on career advice. Looking into the eyes of John Sullivan the night I met him 37 years ago led to my trustworthy inner voice saying, “This is who you’ve been seeking. Relax and enjoy.” Many later inner voices have guided me through innumerable challenges, including the inevitable conflicts that happen when two very imperfect people dare to love each other.
How do you experience your genius?
How would you draw or describe it?
Where and how do you most easily experience it?
What information and inspiration would help you rediscover and cultivate your best gifts?
Your comments are welcome. Until we meet again through this blog, many blessings for your ordinary, wonderful life and your potential to make it richer, more meaningful every moment.