I’ve got good news and maybe a little bad news. The good news is you have a genius. You’ve always had it, and you always will have it. The sort of bad news is so does everybody else. I don’t mean to suggest that you would not wish success or happiness for anyone else. You’re a nice person. But maybe you’ve heard that some people are geniuses and some people are not geniuses. It certainly looks that way sometimes, doesn’t it? Some people seem positively dense, as if they have committed their lives to never uttering a single original thought. That, they seem to believe, would be dangerous; that would be heresy. I’ve spent much of my life drifting between trusting and fearing my own heretical impulses. I’ve wanted to be recognized but not ostracized, acknowledged but not singled out. It often seemed like an impossible balance – you could do one or the other. Unfortunately, heresy seemed like certain death, and as an adult I had to survive, to navigate the world of jobs and money and threats, both physical and emotional.
My genius, your genius, everyone’s genius, always says the same thing: You don’t have to navigate anything. Just trust me. How good it felt when I did, how effortless, how inspired. But where was it leading me, and what of those dangers? What about the rejection letters, what about the bills, what about the shame of failure? The Genius says: Trust me and you’ll be fine. I just wasn’t sure about that, so one day I trusted, and the next three I wouldn’t, back and forth and back and forth.
I’m a slow learner, willing as I am to endure much suffering. It seemed like the grownup thing to do. Fortunately, I seem to have grown less tolerant of suffering as I’ve gotten older. The Genius doesn’t want me to suffer except when I’m not listening to it. Then suffer I will. There is heaven and hell, there is pain and there is relief. The only heresy is ignoring what is speaking, and if I but listen, and if I but translate faithfully, honestly, humbly, others can hear in me what they are listening for in themselves – just as I heard in others what I often ignored in myself.
If you like the ideas and perspectives expressed here, feel free to contact me about individual and group coaching.
Fearless Writing: How to Create Boldly and Write With Confidence. You can find William at: williamkenower.com