The Secret to Satisfying Success
“Living in your genius” is a powerful, life-changing concept that exponentially raises both your happiness index and the impact you make in this world; and yet most people have never heard of it. Few even think about what their true, God-given gifts are and how they can ensure they use those gifts every day to become a productive person on this earth.
For example, when Nonie, my personal assistant, came to work for me twenty years ago, I asked her what her goals were. She communicated to me that, even though she had had great success in being an executive assistant to college presidents and other CEOs for many years, her dream was really to be a writer. In less than a year, we found a way for her to do that; and for the last twenty years, she’s been living in her genius. In fact, she feels that she’s been able to exploit her talents of writing and editing to the point that her profession is almost like a favorite hobby.
When you’re living in your genius, you have identified your real strengths and you’re exercising them every day.
Often when I talk to CFOs, I ask them if they were good with numbers when they were young. Almost 100 percent of the time, they say, yes, they were. That validates to me that someone who has chosen to rise to the top as a CPA or CFO is most likely living in their genius; their strength of being great at numbers helped them succeed in an area they enjoy. And it doesn’t really matter what the profession is. What matters is, first, becoming aware of what your super strengths are—things you can do well naturally—and second, you love doing them to the point that it doesn’t even really feel like work. It’s more like you’re living your hobby. And once you’re aware, you can make a plan to get even better and find a way to economically make it a win—in most cases as a profession.
If you take the time to think about your answers, write them down, and determine the potential professions that align with these answers, you’re well on your way to swiftly moving into living in your genius.
Over the years, I’ve discovered that most parents fail to support their kids by intentionally identifying their genius when they are in high school and contemplating what’s next. (In most cases, this will help determine their direction for college.) Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every parent could help guide their teenage kids by giving them assessments and helping them think through their natural strengths? Their lives could be enriched so much more if they were living in their genius in their profession.
I had a personal epiphany when my oldest daughter was in high school. Thankfully, I had the foresight to want to guide my kids toward their natural strengths. What I didn’t think about, though, until one of my clients shared it with me, was that I could hire a college coach to help my kids find the college that best suited them and their strengths.
The college coach I hired expanded my thinking on the whole concept of living in your genius. Instead of focusing on how pretty the campus was or other potential distinctions we thought might determine how much my kids might enjoy attending a particular college, he emphasized taking assessments and strategically reflecting on my kids’ strengths.
I’m fortunate that my oldest daughter Brooke took up art as a creative student, found her genius, and today is a sought-after graphic artist who has more work than she has time for. Our youngest daughter Paige started teaching special needs kids at a camp when she was fourteen, then moved on to became a Sunday school teacher the very week she turned sixteen and became eligible at our church. We started calling her “Champion.” She is a champion herself; and what’s so wonderful is she has invested years into making champions of others. Today, she’s a successful second grade teacher and is definitely living in her genius. I feel very blessed that my client introduced me to the concept of hiring a college coach, which had such an impact on my life that I was able to enhance my kids’ lives and I’m able to write this article today.
I started out as an entrepreneur and had both successes and failures. With prayerful reflection after a major failure, I made a list of twelve things I wanted to do as I moved into my thirties. The essence of all twelve of those things was to advise and guide people to be their best. I love to encourage people. I love to inspire them. And those are strengths I get to live every day as I impact people through my videos, books, and personal interactions.