ARTICLE

YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A GENIUS

By James McPartland

Imagine standing on an assembly line when suddenly - your soul is picked up and placed into a newborn baby. You open your eyes and begin crying, wondering what this abrupt change is all about and what's to come. The doctor looks at you with a smile on his face. "Welcome to the world, little one."

But you didn’t arrive on this planet empty-handed. You came here with a unique set of gifts inside of you waiting to be discovered and shared with the world. The greatest gift of all being your genius - an innate potential to operate at the highest level; to be a life-changing, earth-shattering, ground-moving force in the world.

Every one of us has the ability to access our exclusive, customized gift of genius, yet until we make the connection, it often lays dormant at our core. No one can tell us exactly what it is or how to use it. It's our sole responsibility to discover this unlocked potential within ourselves.

When I was young, there was someone who tried to tell me I would never become anything of importance, and that no one cared about anything I had to say. They were wrong. Like you and every soul who was picked up and put here on earth, I had been given a voice, a life filled with opportunity to live and learn from, and plenty to say to help those placed around me on their journey.

Today I'm using my voice to say this: Be up for the challenge of accessing your genius. Be eager to learn how to awaken the giant within. I can’t tell you what you'll find, but if you're willing do the work, I'll tell you what the journey looks like and offer support as you climb the heights to new levels.

What Awaits Us on the Climb

There are four levels of performance when it comes to how we choose to ascend in the world. Many choose to do the bare minimum, which is what I call the acceptable level. Whether it's the amount of work and heart they bring to their jobs or the time and energy they give to their personal relationships, some view life as a mere pass or fail test, doing just enough to get by.

Now take it up a notch, and do a good job - this is where most people like to hang out and rest. They do a tad bit better than the expectations put upon them, and the performance level they bring to both their professional careers and personal lives is good. Why fix what's not broken? The majority are satisfied and comfortable here.

However, for those of us seeking more out of life – higher achievement, greater joy, and deeper fulfillment – we keep on climbing. We are the high performers in pursuit of continual personal and professional advancement.

Embracing growth is where the game begins to change. This next level of performance is where we've become great at what we do and others start to take notice. Accomplishments pile up, awards and rewards come at us left and right, recognition and admiration are behind every corner.

And this feels fantastic! We've attained success, and the accolades are our proof. So we loosen up and start enjoying it all. We settle into a comfort zone because we've finally arrived at greatness.

After a while, satisfaction begins to wane. We notice a subtle nagging from deep within - a voice in our head we immediately try to silence. The echo comes and goes, but returns with more urgency each time. Now a roar of discontentment, we hear: "Is this really it? Is this all you've got?"

When this voice becomes too loud to ignore, and the force behind it starts moving us toward more, we discover there is one final level of performance - the genius level.

When we play the game of life at the genius level we begin to access the unique gifts we received at birth and discover ways to fulfill our purpose through our daily responsibilities. The mind, body, and soul become connected as we operate in harmony within ourselves. Genius is the highest level of performance, where the power to impact the world on the scale of Michelangelo, Martin Luther King or Mother Teresa is within our reach.

Be encouraged! The genius zone is not reserved for a select few. Every one of us has possession of everything we need to do in life at the genius level. It's a matter of being brave enough to let go of the comfort of being great and embrace the challenges that come with climbing a mountain that has no top.

The Real Reward Lies Outside of Your Comfort Zone

The world tells us to pursue a certain status in life – and that the compensation of all our hard work will come when when we've finally arrived at that status – when we can enjoy the high life and rest on our laurels. But that's not the life of a genius.

There are stories of people who achieved greatness but didn't fully invest in their greatest gifts. Their best song was still inside them, and they deprived the world of it because they stopped growing.

Can you imagine what kind of a world we would be living in today if every one of us pushed ourselves to access our genius within?

The legendary Jesse Owens broke the world record when he won his race in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. But there were actually two people who broke the old Olympic record in the race that day. The second guy was Matthew "Mack" Robinson who ended up only four-tenths of a second behind Owens.

Roald Amundsen, the Norwegian explorer, was the first person to reach the South Pole. Robert Scott, a British explorer, did the same thing a month later. They both knew about the other's competitive plan to reach the South Pole first. It was called "The race to the South Pole."

Alexander Graham Bell created the telephone, just two hours before Elisha Gray created the same thing.

It will always be those who pursue mastery and push themselves beyond perceived limits that will reveal genius to the world and beat out everyone else.

There are plenty of other examples to be found throughout history (and presently) of people who settled in their comfort zone. Their notorious names may always be a synonym for greatness, but not genius.

If you're reading this, you're probably not interested in settling. I'm writing to those who want to push themselves, and make a significant impact on the world around them using their gifts.

So how do we take our performance level from great to genius?

Set Your Pace to Cruise Control and Don't Take Detours

When Nicolas Cole, a writer, entrepreneur, and 4X Top Writer on Quora with millions of views, was asked by friends to go grab a beer, he responded "Maybe next time. I need to go home now and work on my book."

Once his book was published, Cole's friends asked him to go out with them again, and he responded, "Maybe next time. I need to go home now and work on the next one."

Jerry Rice, the greatest receiver in the NFL history, played 20 seasons on a position which is notoriously perilous and prone to injuries and short careers. He did this by always propelling himself forward, leaping out of greatness and into genius.

Rice knew he still had the best game in him, and he kept pushing himself to always grow, become better, and take the climb to mastery. And the genius inside of him rewarded him for the hard work and leap of faith.

The road to mastery is paved with uneven gravel, constantly enticing us to stumble back into our comfort zones. If there is something in us that wants to play on a "Michelangelo" scale of impact, we must recognize and accept that it takes a hell of a lot of work to do so. Going beyond greatness can only be accomplished if we keep pushing ourselves to genius. Remember, we still have the best song in us, and the world will be impacted by what we have to offer... IF we will do the work.

But it’s not just about doing more - we need to think and work differently.

Make the Connection. Are You Ready?

When we apply our genius to our daily responsibilities, we begin to create a direct line from our head to our heart. Our life becomes more fulfilling, and the potential for growth is exponential.

When we persist in climbing that mountain, merging our day-to-day actions with our genius, we will start to notice a gradual change in our behavior. The hard work will be challenging... but it will somehow feel easier. Doing becomes the new way of being as the doing becomes second nature.

This state of being is what Dr. Joe Dispenza calls the skill from the cerebellum. It’s when our mind - which logically, informatively, and philosophically understands knowledge - merges and connects with our body which experiences everything collectively.

It’s the moment when our body knows as well as our mind does – when we know how to do something, but we don’t know how we know. We have internalized the practice of climbing the mountain to genius with no top, to the point that it has become our new way of being.

Welcome to the genius zone – the highest level of performance. Now go use your greatest gifts to make a phenomenal impact on the world around you.

Ryan Holiday once said, "This is a fundamental irony of most people’s lives. They don’t quite know what they want to do with their lives. Yet they are very active."

But that's not us.

We will focus our efforts on accessing the gifts within us.
We will work to align our daily responsibilities with our larger purpose.
We will connect our mind and body from head to heart.

This is the journey to becoming a genius. Will you take it?

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James McPartland | Keynote Speaker, Author, Executive Coach