Genius is not the sole domain of a rare breed of person. Both you and I are entitled to that label and to play in that space – if so choose. Here’s the big idea: focus on any area or skill with a relentless devotion to daily improvement and a passion for excellence and within three to five years, you will be operating at a level of competence (and insight) such that people call you a genius. Focus plus daily improvement plus time equals genius. Understand that formula deeply and your life will never be the same.
Michael Jordan was a basketball genius. Was his spectacular success on the court purely the result of natural gifts? Absolutely not. He took what nature gave him and ran the formula: focus plus daily improvement plus time creates genius. He didn’t try to be good at five different sports. He didn’t scatter his focus. He just got devoted to being brilliant at basketball. And he was. Or think of Thomas Edison, the man registered a stunning 1093 patents over his lifetime and invented the light bulb as well as the phonograph (a schoolteacher labeled him a slow learner when he was a kid; he didn’t listen. Kudos.). He didn’t try to be a great merchant and a great poet and a great musician. He focused on his inventions. He improved daily. And he let time work its magic. Genius came knocking. Makes me think of the story of Pablo Picasso. One day a woman spotted him in the market and pulled out a piece of paper. "Mr. Picasso," she said excitedly. "I’m a big fan. Please, could you do a little drawing for me?" Picasso happily complied and quickly etched out a piece of art for her on the paper provided. He then smiled as he handed it back to her. "That will be a million dollars," "But Mr. Picasso, "the woman replied, flustered.”It only took you thirty seconds to do this little masterpiece." "My good woman," Picasso laughed, "It took me thirty years to do that masterpiece in thirty seconds."
Know what you can excel at – your ‘genius points’. Discover your talents and then work like crazy to polish them. One of the most important of all personal leadership skills is self-awareness. Know what you are really great at. Reflect on those abilities that others admire in you. Think about those capabilities that just come easy to you – and that flow effortlessly from you. You might be a fantastic communicator or have a way with people. You might possess an extraordinary ability to execute and get things done. Perhaps your special talent involves innovation and creativity and seeing what everyone else sees but thinking a different thought. Find your genius points and then develop them. Focus plus daily improvement plus time. Start today and in three to five years people will be writing about you. Calling you a genius. Celebrating your magnificence. And don’t worry – I’ll be one of them.