Genius and cognitive dissonance


2006-2-23

I've been working a lot with the ideas in Dick Richard's "Is Your Genius At Work". Just today something dawned on me. It explains why sometimes we are at a loss to explain the reactions we get.

You know the feeling? You put out something you think is really deep and important? And all you get is a shrug? And at other times people go crazy about something you put together over lunch?

One of the defining characteristics for our "Genius" (our very special and unique gift) is this: "The thing we do so naturally we don't even notice."

It is the one thing we do best, the unique thing we are naturally good at. And we might not even notice, or put high esteem on. We do it as an aside. With a flick of pur hand. It's NOT hard to us. It does not feel difficult, and maybe not deep either. "It's just something I do."

But that does not make it less worthy! It's the one thing we do best!

So here's the cognitive dissonance: we often feel something we did is important or deep because it was hard for us to get there. Because we had a hard time coming up with it. But that mainly means we are NOT doing what we are naturally good at. But when we are in a flow, going easily... we are most likely doing our very best work. It so natural and easy we don't put much weight on it.

And the definition of "Genius" also says that this"gift" is very unique. This "best work" is really something only exactly one person can do. No one else can do what we can do.

So we need to learn to shift our awareness. Not what is hardest for us is our best work. What is most in flow, comes most naturally. That is when we most shine!

[update:] Alison (who writes "Wrestling the Angel") just pointed me to this post entitled "The Path of Least Resistance". Which says it all.

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