Five years ago, in the middle of my life, I deviated from the path. I was then forty and already had, seemingly, everything I wanted to achieve. I nurtured a perfectionist and tough façade: a business career, well-designed offices, sweet kids, real estate investments. A life that is a long-distance sprint run, goals and tasks. There is not much time left for breaths.
But at the same time something cracked. I saw the accomplishments, but I did not feel successful. There was no joy in the meticulous house. The relationship became a battlefield, a negotiation about the layers of the children, about emptying the dishwasher, about time.
Something was missing, but I did not know what. My dream, I told myself, is to find my dream.
I had a voice that wondered if dreams were not childish fantasies. If I did not fulfill them all, and that’s it, the lid was on. A second voice mentioned that life is not dripping with honey, and that I was just spoiled, that I had everything and I was not satisfied, that this was life, and say thank you.
But I wanted to find my dream.
I watched a Ted talk called “How to Find a Job You Love.” The lecturer, Scott Dinsmore, concluded his lecture with an exercise. Review your day from morning to evening, suggested, and ask yourself one thing: What is the thing you can not help but do?
I reviewed my days. Every day looks like the one that preceded it and like the one that is about to hurt: peeling off the bed, traveling to the office, work, dropping the pen at the appointed time, picking up kids from frames for play dates, playgrounds, plays, dinner, showers, story reading, layering.
But there was something else. Something I was waiting for: a soul-searching. With a friend or girlfriend, by phone or face to face. It was during these hours that I felt myself. Secrets were deposited in my ears, motivations analyzed, his partner’s feelings. Conversations to the depths of the soul and thought patterns. Time flew, and my soul took off.
In those moments I did something that was not called working in front of unpaid clients – and as Dinsmore said, I could not help but do it. I found the thing where I shine. I found the missing piece I was looking for: my genius. And my genius is to find the genius in everyone.
A lot of people who hear this term cringe in embarrassment. “Genius” sounds bombastic, arrogant, even flattering. Are we all geniuses? come on.
Yes. We are all geniuses. really.
Part of the world
We live in a democratic state, on the free side of the world. We are all equal, seemingly, we are all born with the same potential. This is what we are always told.
But actually, we internalized another subtext: that we are actually really, really not equal. There are better and less successful marbles. That humanity is like a vertical axis, a ladder anchored to the earth and its head in the clouds. If you look up, you will find all the Einsteins, the Mozarts, the Zuckerbergs. If you look down, you will find the worldly and oppressed: losers, homeless, marginalized people or desperate housewives, not us.
And who is in the middle? Just people. We, or at least most of us. Those who do not set the rules, do not disrupt, do not innovate, do not invent; But also do not give up, do not throw in a dark alley. Ordinary people, the mice on the wheel who make sure the world keeps spinning on its axis: that products are produced, stored, shipped and purchased, that money changes hands and continues to feed the pyramid. Because people who do not have a dream of their own – will end up fulfilling the dream of others.
Already when we came through the gates of the school we were taught this Torah – some professions are more considered and some less so. Physics and computers versus art and the Bible. We were not asked what interested us, we did not examine what we were inclined to do, we did not try to understand what intrigued us.
But what if our working assumption is wrong? What if we were deceived? What if we are not standing on a vertical axis, and there is really no hierarchy, and we are not really inferior to anyone else? What if we are really, really equal? What if there is no such thing as “just” people?
Suppose humanity is a huge puzzle. Each person is part of this puzzle – one-time, unique, one-piece. There is no other like him. And each part connects to the other parts – connects, does not trample – and completes one big picture. The uniqueness of each person – this is his genius.
Psychologist Howard Gardner coined the theory of multiple intelligences, according to which there are eight types of intelligence: linguistic, logical-mathematical, musical, spatial, motor, interpersonal, personal, and naturalistic. Most schools cultivate only two of them: linguistic and mathematical. School, as stated by education researcher Prof. Ken Robinson, kills creativity.
I recently conducted a workshop among teenagers and asked them if they too, as was the case in high school in my time, have a hierarchy between the trends. “Obviously,” they replied. Physics and computers are for the geniuses, environmental science is for the weak.
Saving this planet is perhaps the greatest challenge facing humanity. The natural ecosystem has been violated by man, animals are disappearing. Floods, fires, extreme temperatures and epidemics mark us as the subject that requires brilliant human capital, which requires knowledge, research and creativity – but environmental science is for the weak. Tell that to Greta Tonbury.
The distribution plan
The genius zone model was developed by the American psychologist Dr. Gay Hendrix. We all, Hendrix argues, move in our daily actions between four regions. The first is Inability zone. There we operate poorly, our products are poor and we really do not enjoy. This is an area that has no profits for us, and we are not tempted to operate in it.
BAbility area, However, we operate quite a bit. This is where we work “okay”, with minimal pleasure and without applause and over-recognition. These are actions that it is better to transfer to time-saving services and for those who will succeed and enjoy what for us is no more explanatory.
The most unifying area of all is Area of Excellence – The actions in which we excel. This area has many benefits: high abilities, excellent products, success and recognition in the form of grades, awards, job promotion or financial rewards.
Still, something is missing in the area of excellence. He has no passion.
This is where many of us get stuck. We go for sure: study in a department at the university that will ensure excellence, work in a company with great conditions and a coveted title, mark V For everything that guarantees success – and do not experience success. We feel depressed, bored. Life “just”.
But no one should just live.
The problem is that we are junkies of consciousness. Our overarching goal is to feel loved. We want to make sure they see us, that they know us. And for recognition we are willing to pay the price of lack of passion. This is what makes the area of excellence our golden cage.
But every now and then we break into the golden cage. Occasionally – unconsciously, spontaneously, randomly – we flicker toThe area of genius.
In the realm of genius are the actions that entitle us to maximum enjoyment, to a sense of inner pride, to an experience of kindness. There we are in the fluo (a concept coined by the Czech psychologist Mihai Chiksantmihai), a sense of no “I”, an experience of time flying and of oneness with the mission. This is where we say “I flashed”, “I flew”, “I was in the zone”. When our soul takes off.
Alan Carr, for example, was a wealthy and successful accountant, until he found his genius when he quit smoking – and turned his success into a method. Greta Tonbury is also in the realm of her genius: the ecological crisis did not leave her from a young age, so she learned more and more, staged demonstrations, influenced others. She has taken on a role, to be the voice of the future, to change consciousness, and to formulate ideas and ways of change.
Nas Daily is also in his genius. After getting out of Araba, being hired by Harvard and working for two years as a programmer, he decided to pursue his dream – to travel the world. On the Facebook page he set up, he undertook to post a one-minute video every day for a thousand days. These are inspiring videos that give young people growing up in the backyards of the world a glimpse into the life they can live.
Our area of genius is not a job title. Definately not. It is an accuracy and formulation of the meaning of our life, our personal “why”. This is the meeting point of the Holy Trinity: our abilities, our passion and our contribution.
In praise of jealousy
But how do you find the genius area? How, like Michelangelo, do you recognize the angel in the marble and carve him free?
There are tools that help us extract the genius from within us: childhood memories, exploring successes, using imagination and key questions. Here are three examples:
1. Who am I jealous of?
Jealousy is an emotion we repress. It is shameful to be jealous, petty and destructive. One of the seven sins of Christianity. But every emotion has a function, and every emotion serves something, signifies something. Jealousy is one of the fascinating indicators. It folds essential information into it. We do not envy anyone who is more beautiful, smart, successful or rich than us. Our objects of jealousy usually shrink us because they itch us the feeling of “I want too” or “this is something I could have done too”. And so, in fact, they tell us about our genius area. When we acknowledge envy towards those people, it can become an inspiration, and they – our mentors. When I realized that I was jealous given to people who do what burns in them, but alone, I realized that I do not really want to set up an operation, but to influence from the lean business of one person. It was from this very insight that my podcast “Ma’ale Batov” was born.
2. What is the thing that is most urgent for me to learn and change myself?
Many times our genius corresponds with the “hole” that is urgent for us to fill in ourselves. People whose bodies have been betrayed and who have managed to find a cure for this will pass the gospel on, shortening a path for others. People who grew up under a glass ceiling and managed to shatter it will want to inspire children with similar life circumstances. Sometimes precisely what is most important for us to learn on our own, is what is urgent and burning for us to teach others.
My hole was associated with an unhappy life experience despite promising life data. When I set out in search of the joy I had lost, I found tools and ideas, exchanged paradigms, and gained an improved life experience. This is what I am researching today, this is the gospel I seek to spread.
3. What were the moments when I felt “full”, overwhelmed with a sense of “wow”?
Think of the moments when you felt a dizzying, powerful, maximal inner feeling, and that did not involve external cognition and applause (even if there was such cognition, it is important to separate the pleasure from the cognition and the pleasure from the action).
Concrete moments that took place in military service, at work, at school or at home and earned you a sense of fulfillment, of kindness.
In my work with people I often find that in all the moments they were at their maximum, connected to an inner passion, a pattern recurs. Some find that they “fly” when they connect with people, successfully match. Others find they are great at managing crises. There are those who are surprised to find that their “thing” involves making knowledge accessible to others, and there are people who identify themselves when they are building by hand or dealing with materials.
The journey to the genius area
What I once did and for myself and my friends is what I do for others today: listening to hidden secrets and motivations, hunting down heart desires – and distilling the genius of others. Identifies thought patterns that take us away from our nature and opens cracks in them to set other angels free. I do it under a professional title in the clinic, podcast and lectures. I do it in my private life with my friends, with my children, with my spouse. This is my mojo. To find in every man his genius.
Finding the genius area is a journey; An inner journey that requires an expansion of everything we have been taught, from the paving, the rules of “what life is supposed to look like.” Unlearning.
It is not a short journey, it is not a simple journey, but in the end a coveted treasure awaits.
Dana Regev researches the happiness and genius of the site, YouTube, podcast and the “Ma’ale Batov” community on Facebook