Decoding Your Genius

nyt20year20in20ideasDo you ever wish you had a secret decoding device that would help you determine what it is that you’re meant to do? All you would have to do is input a few details and BLAM! Out would come the perfect business idea suited specifically to your skills, strengths and interests. This flawless device would  present you with the work you are meant to be doing and would ensure that you are recognized (and paid) for your expertise.

First ,the bad news. I have no such device.

Now for the good news. I’m going to show you how to become your own decoding device!

The catch?

Well, first off you have to answer the questions (do the work) and second, you will need to trust your answers and be bold enough to take sustained action towards creating a business that solves a real problem or meets a deep need.

The truth is, in order to be recognized for your brilliance, most of us have to dig a little deeper to understand our true value and how we can offer this to the world in a meaningful way. Big things can happen when you gain clarity around what you have to offer. 

Here is a simple exercise that you can do to gain immediate clarity about what you have to offer the world. Answer the following three questions about your skills, strengths and interests. DO NOT write anything down unless it meets these three criteria:

  • it completely energizes you
  • it makes you feel Alive
  • it has a deep meaning to you

Think of this exercise as creating a master list of only the very best skills, strengths and interests that you have to offer.

SKILLS: These are the skills that you’re really good at and they energize you because they give you a sense of satisfaction. These are typically things that you have acquired through repetition and practice. These could be hobbies or things that you learned in a work environment. Skills are typically more practical and tangible. Examples might include building spreadsheets, organizing closets, remodeling homes, finding the best travel deals, cake decorating, washing windows, designing web sites.

My deepest core skills are?

STRENGTHS: These are the strengths that you absolutely love! What are you naturally good at? These are the things that come easy to you? You have probably received many compliments for these. Some examples might include singing, writing, cooking, swimming, drawing, dancing.

My deepest core strengths are?

INTERESTS: What do you deeply care about? What deeply fulfills and excites you? What are the things you simply cannot live without? You would pursue these ideas whether you were paid for them or not. These are typically deep seeded within you. You long for these experiences in your life. Make no mistake – these are probably obsessions for you. Examples might include teaching, adventure travel, non-profit work, canning vegetables, playing guitar, making beer, running marathons.

My deepest core interests are?

Now go back and take note of any similar themes. Circle anything you wrote down more than once. These are your sparks. These sparks will be used to ignite the path to doing work you love.

The final step – decoding your core genius

I believe that we all have a natural core genius inside of us. It’s that unique combination of skills, strengths and interests that you love to do and you do it so well that you might not even recognize it. People often take their core genius for granted and assume that because it’s so easy and natural for them that it must be easy for everyone else too. And nothing could be further from the truth.

In many cases, your core genius is such an integrated part of who you are that you might not recognize it as anything special. But the truth is, this is where the gold is. This is something that you could be making money at and you could easily make it your life’s work. If only you knew what it was!

“Everyone is born a genius, but the process of living de-geniuses them.”

– R. Buckminster Fuller

For me, my core genius is teaching, creating, coaching, adventure, travel, connecting, simplifying, and organizing. My purpose is to inspire authenticity – freeing talent, ideas, voice, opinions, consciousness. I inspire people to be the best version of themselves by doing work that matters. To turn their existing skills and interests into a predictable income doing work that they love.

Now it’s your turn. Take the repeating patterns and words that you identified above and see if you’ve gained more clarity about what you have to offer to the world. And please share your insights. The more we share, the more we all learn from one another.

– Michael

 

13 thoughts on “Decoding Your Genius

  1. Katherine Harms
    Twitter:

    What a great post! I actually worked through it (much too quickly) to see if my work as an editor pops out of that exercise. It most certainly does! It fits my skills, my strengths and my interests. You probably won’t be surprised to know that I was a champion speller in school, I was the only person in class who loved diagramming sentences, and I can still lose myself in a dictionary for hours. Add to that the fact that I love helping people who don’t have the same strengths I have. I think of myself and my client as two pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. It takes all the pieces to make a nice picture. Each of us contributes our best effort.
    I know your clients will benefit from your inspiration and leadership.

    Reply
    1. Michael Knouse Post author

      Katherine – isn’t it great knowing that the work you do is a reflection of your core genius? It sounds like you are firmly planted in your sweet spot. You are a shining example of someone that is using their brilliance to make a difference. I love your description of you and your client being two pieces of a puzzle that fit together perfectly. And how all of us doing this together makes for one beautiful picture! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.
      Michael Knouse recently posted…Remembering Your BrillianceMy Profile

      Reply
  2. Jesicka Labud
    Twitter:

    Hey Michael! I love how you build it up from skills to strengths to interests- I never thought of it this way! And the progression to the “spark”! How great! I really love this post… and the Bucky Fuller quote makes my day. As an architect, I always admire his work and philosophy. In the end, it’s sad when many people (who have a core genius) don’t end up finding it, looking for it, using it to bring gifts into this world. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we all found our genius again? Thanks for this article! It certainly helps me to re-evaluate my core genius.
    Jesicka Labud recently posted…10 Common Misconceptions About Programming- Part IIMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Michael Knouse Post author

      Jesicka – So great to see you here again! :-) Glad you enjoyed it. One of my core motivating goals is to help 1000 people get paid for work that is a true reflection of their core genius. I believe that Gandhi said it best when he stated “you must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Thanks for being one of the ones out there being the change.
      Michael Knouse recently posted…Remembering Your BrillianceMy Profile

      Reply
  3. erica
    Twitter:

    Wow, great post!
    I’m really digging your template for gaining clarity on what one has to offer.
    It can be overwhelming writing down a list of things that come easy to you, give you joy, make your heart sing, and provide value. I love how overlapping these qualities provides answers so seamlessly, it’s as though they jump off the page!
    It took me a long time to realize that my passion for helping people become their healthiest, radiant selves could become a home-based, online business. I’m still learning how to best implement the tools to create predictable income, but I’m thankful that I made this discover before I’d already been miserable for decades.
    Thanks for a valuable tool in self-discovery!
    erica recently posted…investigating the blood-type dietMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Michael Knouse Post author

      Hi Erica. Thanks for chiming in here and I’m super happy that you are finding it useful. I love how you are so clear on what your passion is and how you can help others with it. You’re miles ahead of many. How are you currently offering services to people? There is such a huge need for what you have to offer.
      Michael Knouse recently posted…Remembering Your BrillianceMy Profile

      Reply
  4. Michael Durek
    Twitter:

    Nice post! I like the part about freeing talent! I know many people with talents that locked within negative thought patterns. I try to free them often because the world needs everyone’s talents! I think my core also involves inspiring people, and bring ideas from imagination into the world, in the form of tracks, or writings, etc. Well done

    Reply
    1. Michael Knouse Post author

      Michael, thanks for sharing your comments. It’s amazing how our talents and desires can remain locked away unless we take deliberate steps to unleash them. So many people have such greatness to share but instead choose to remain in a state of denial. It takes guts to put your greatest self out in the world but, for some of us, anything less is unacceptable. I love that you are out there inspiring people to bring their ideas to life. That makes me real happy! :-)
      Michael Knouse recently posted…Remembering Your BrillianceMy Profile

      Reply
  5. Renee
    Twitter:

    I’m one of the lucky ones, I’ve known what my passion is since I was a small child and its been my livelyhood since I was 17 (and that’s a long time ago). I’m glad the current trend in America is to connect with ones’ passion and do meaningful work. Thank you for showing people one way to connect to their passion, to their source of being. Yay!

    Reply
  6. Paula
    Twitter:

    Hey, well I am working on this right now but am working on it as I go. I am really not going to stress about it anymore and just go with what feels natural. Sometimes I find it hard to actually pin point what makes me feel alive. But for me it would be connection, talking with other’s about inspiring things, sharing the same goals and going after what makes us who we are. I have this ability (which i’ve only sort of realised) of seeing something more in people, seeing behind their masks and understanding that there is something they are hiding. I want to help bring them out from behind that mask and be who they really are. Thank you for making me look into myself more deeply. Appreciate you and your writing :)
    Paula recently posted…Stress, ride it like a waveMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Michael Knouse

      Paula – Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It sounds like you are gaining clarity around what makes you unique and what you have to offer to others. I would encourage you to fully embrace your brilliance of connecting with others. This is so powerful and believe it or not, there are a lot of people who have a hard time with this. Connection is one of your natural gifts!

      As I stated above “your core genius is such an integrated part of who you are that you might not recognize it as anything special. But the truth is, this is where the gold is. This is something that you could be making money at and you could easily make it your life’s work.” Your ability to see people as they really are, to see behind their masks and understand what they are hiding – this is your brilliance and your core genius. Those that are clear are the most influential and I encourage you to get crystal clear about your natural strengths and interests so that you can radiate them in a huge way. I have read your blog and you have tremendous talents, gifts and knowledge to offer. I look forward to seeing it all evolve in a way that feels great to you.

      Reply
  7. Martin Labud

    Hey Michael, I am really inspired by this post. Since a very young age I’ve always wanted to be an animator and I have followed that path for a long time… but recently I’ve shifted my focus alittle bit and it is scary, because I always thought my core genius is animation, but I realized that it’s slightly different- it is in the idea behind by I loved animation so much in the first place- that ability to capture human beauty and movement through art… and the work and craft of animation isn’t my main focus anymore, but to create a technology business that helps people have better lives. I guess partly I was also disappointed with the 9-5 job (more like 8-11pm job + weekends) of being an animator. It’s not easy to let go of one but this means I really have to embrace the new.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge