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Jamie Foxx, in "The Soloist"

"Meeting Your Inner Genius"

B Y   D A N I E L   J A C O B

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No one is more fascinating to watch, and therefore more influential, than a person who moves from a place of absolute focus. He has no thought about how he appears, and he is completely relaxed in the joy of his moment. For such a person, the rest of the world seems to go away, and all that exists for him is the task at hand.

Such purity of interest and awareness frames itself with a corona of honor and power, regardless of what is transpiring within it. It is just such moments that are a photographer's dream - expressions of natural genius, which set the painter's brush in motion and drive the poet's pen to the page.

Such pristine clarity goes on all around us everyday. As many hurry to complete their list of assigned goals and daily tasks, the world is unfolding with such wonder and majesty that many of us could barely contain ourselves if we actually noticed it. I would suggest to you that a primary essence of genius is found in one’s ability to notice what others tend to miss.

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It seems that the experience of such genius can often be a solitary one. Being the only one who notices can create quite an advantage. But it can also be a burden as well. Trying to share a vision with those who can’t or won’t see it can be heartbreaking at times. Many geniuses are not recognized until long after their death. Some go insane, while others simply remain in poverty and obscurity, until some historian finds their work and makes it known.

There is a difference between “personal genius” and “public genius.” The former is a blessing that can be the heritage of anyone who cares to reach for it. The latter comes and goes, at the whim of society. In truth, public genius has more to do with society’s immediate need for a hero, than with the person who is being honored.

Many people balk when I use the term “genius,” especially if I am applying it to them. “What?” ME? A Genius? No way!” But I am convinced that, hidden within every person there is a Wizard, waiting to step forth. I think of this aspect as the “Genie in us.” All we have to do is make a wish, rub the bottle, and out he comes. But how do we do this?

It feels to me that one primary hindrance is our tendency to look to the outside world for validation or permission, rather than relying upon our own feelings and bodily sense of things. Many are afraid to be “bewitched” by something or someone. We fear passion and power. We also fear excitement, if it doesn’t seem to conform to what’s accepted as the “norm.”

Folks used to capture and burn “witches.” These women (usually healers and shamans) were doing unfamiliar things that society did not understand. There is an old saying that goes: “You can always tell the pioneers. They’re the ones with the arrows in their back.” Being a genius can be a harsh experience. It can also be the closest thing to heaven.   What we need today is to stop looking for witches to burn and start paying attention to what truly sets each of us on fire!   MORE

THE ART OF REMEMBERING AND FORGETTING  (click here, turn on speakers)



Copyright, 2002, by Daniel Jacob.  All Rights Reserved. Special thanks to Aven Thomas for permission to use copyrighted Star Child Art.  Writings may be copied and shared, for purposes of personal growth and/or research, so long as the above URL and this copyright are included.  All reproduction for profit, by any means, requires the written permission of Reconnections, Inc.