Where Genius Lies


Arguably the most difficult part of creating something "genius" is having a genius idea in the first place. Every great novel, hit record, and innovative business model began with an idea. In fact, every single thing you see in this very moment came into being after a person had an idea. There's a tendency today to think destiny will find you without warning and simply appear out of thin air, like an acorn unknowingly falling from the treetops right onto your precious, little head and as absurd as that sounds, I'm here to tell you... it does. Genius has no formula and, more often than not, it finds you when you least expect it. Part of the beauty is that we're all capable of it, even if its timing is unexpected.

Now I'm not here to tell all the creative thinkers of the world to laze around and wait for the next big thing to just knock at their door and briskly walk onto their lap. No. I love a good lazy Tuesday as much as the next human, but obviously doing nothing won't get you anywhere. Before your brain can produce your next great idea, first you must feed it. If you're an author, read as much as you can. If you're a cinematographer, watch a movie every day. If you're a painter, visit every museum in your 50-mile radius stat. If you're a runner, run. If you're a chef, eat. If you're a teacher, learn. Experience is essential. Practice is the only way to perfection whether we like it or not and none of us should desire to live in a vacuum.

It's incredibly daunting to begin anything new. Trust me, I know. You're faced with square one when all you desire is the finished puzzle. You're at the way bottom and the top seems light-years out of reach. But it's important to remember that if you're not the absolute best at whatever it is that you're doing, there's nowhere to go but up. The world is truly at your fingertips. You only have to try and keep trying until you get to where you want to be. Anything is possible for those who have the drive to keep going no matter what and take what most would call 'failure' as a minor lesson on their way to major success.

Now I know I've gone a little off the topic of genius here, but bare with me. I'm taking all these tangents, not because I love math (are you crazy?), to lead you to my point so hang in there people!

Contrary to popular belief, everyone is capable of genius. It can strike anyone of us at anytime. It's quick, it's sudden and oh does it feel so good to finally have in your possession. Some people wait their whole lives to feel it's warm embrace, while others seem to see it enough to call it a friend. And here's the sad truth: you have no control over which of those two people you will be. It's completely out of your power and boy does that unsettling reality send an unwelcoming shiver right down my spine.

Take comfort in knowing we all are set up to have the same chance at genius. There's no use in waiting for it because we can never know when it will show up. There's no sulking if it doesn't arrive today because it could just as easily be here tomorrow. The only thing you can do as a person in search of brilliance is continue to be as prepared as possible. Strive to be the best at whatever it is you want in life and hopefully, one day, your efforts will pay off and that unassuming acorn will fall out of the big, blue sky onto your precious, little head striking pure, unfiltered genius throughout your entire being.

This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post and 92Y's "7 Days of Genius" Festival, starting March 5, 2016. The festival's intent is to ignite a global conversation to explore the power of genius to make a positive impact on the world. For more information about the festival, and it's schedule of events in New York and around the world, read here. And to join the conversation on Twitter, follow #THATSGENIUS