One of my favorite authors, Tama Kieves wrote this for her most recent newsletter, seems rather salient to a Master’s student in Philosophy. 😉 Couldn’t resist sharing, read on fellow geniuses and while you are at it check out her Website http://www.awakeningartistry.com/
The Genius Code: How One Step Creates Everything
You may think that passionate, successful people shot up as an arrow one day– knowing exactly what they wanted to do. They drew up the perfect business plan on crisp white paper, not a grape jelly stain in sight. Got it done. They’re lying on a beach right now–near a bonfire of self-help books.
Except that’s not the way brilliance rolls.
If you talk to actual successful, inspired people they tell you, “I had no idea what I was doing.” And then they share the same ramshackle story every time. One thing led to another and another. “I fell into it.” “I stumbled into it.” “It was grace, man.” You almost get the image of them flopping around and falling into great big barrels of honey and investment portfolios. You might just think they were all lucky bozos. But there is a technology to every one of these stories that you can use. It’s the arc of their magic, or the genius code, if you will. It’s this. They took one step in the direction of their hunch or desire. That’s it.
In my career, people have thought I must be a marketing genius or opportunity magnet. But I’d say that what passes as “genius,” is really me following a sacred whisper inside. My tiniest gestures net results that others spend years and wads of money to make happen. I’m a believer in following that inner voice, the wispiest silver thread, and allowing the Mistress of Tapestry to weave together the Big Picture and the flying carpet.
Right about now, you’d like a concrete example, I suppose. Here’s one of mine from the vault. I wanted to be a paid speaker at this one conference that, well let’s just say in laymen’s terms, hadn’t given me the time of day. A friend of mine got invited to go camping with some of the organizers. “I want to come with you on that trip,” I thought immediately. It felt like a ray of clarity. Then came the cold feet: It would be a long drive, time away from income producing work, and hours spent with individuals who obviously saw me as chop liver–instead of prime time or prime rib. But I’m glad I followed my initial enthusiasm.
On the trip, I met Ann, one of the organizers and told her how much I wanted to present a workshop at the conference. “I’m sorry Tama, the speakers have already been selected,” she said kindly. I “stayed in the conversation” as all good entrepreneurs or inspired freaks do. “I’m happy to speak for free,” I volunteered. I really wanted to be there. I had this white hot sense that I belonged there and I followed that crazy, demanding energy. “Well, at this point,” she said, “there are no rooms left for workshops, since they’re all in use.” She went back to eating some baked beans off her paper plate, poor woman, assuming I’d let her chew. But my inspiration, knowing sense, messiah complex or whatever it was, just wouldn’t quit. I spoke from the place in my heart that loved the work I do. “Maybe, I could offer an optional workshop during lunch, maybe outside, allowing people who wanted to– to drop in.” A butterfly flitted nearby and Ann’s eyes lit up with possibility. “Let me see what I can do,” she said.
So get this. She called the next week. A room had opened up. And Ann decided to cover my travel expenses. Then the video team at the conference decided to film my workshop. Later, Ann sent me a check for the workshop as well, even though I hadn’t expected it. But better still, some other conference organizers saw me speak at this conference and invited me to speak at their coveted event in San Francisco. At that conference, I met another woman who invited me to lead an all day workshop at her organization in New York City. Someone saw me speak at that New York City event and invited me to speak to a large audience in Seattle. This bright coin is still rolling down the hallway with no end in sight. And this is what I think to myself. What if I didn’t listen to that first fleeting desire to go camping? What if I ignored the electric hunch to talk to Ann? I would have missed so much abundance in my life. Those involuntary suggestions are not isolated, random impulses. They are foundational seeds for a garden that will keep growing.
Let me give you another example, this from Ray Bradbury, a famous science fiction writer who also encouraged others to chase the light. One day Bradbury felt inspired to walk on the beach. While strolling, he glimpsed some debris that he creatively imagined as the skeleton of a dinosaur. The image stirred him to write. That night, he got out of bed and wrote a short story. He ended up selling that story to the Saturday Evening Post. The story became a film two years later. John Huston read that story, and called and asked Bradbury to write the screen play for his film Moby Dick. Because of working on Moby Dick, Bradbury wrote an essay which got read by The 1964 World’s Fair people, who asked him to take charge of conceptualizing the entire upper floor of the United States Pavilion. Because of that pavilion, the Disney people hired him to help plan a major part of the Epcot Center.
You could say Bradbury just got “blessed” over and over again. I’d say he just did his part. He followed his desires. He worked according to his design. He honored the “messengers” that came to him. He walked on the beach when the impulse struck. He got out of bed and wrote the story. He didn’t say “maybe tomorrow.” Or “once I get the kids through college, create world peace, get all my emails answered, my ducks in a row, and the laundry done.” He didn’t ask, “Where’s that going to go??He took his next step and found out.
Just like Steve Jobs, the former CEO of Apple Computer, who attributes his mega-success to taking steps that had “no practical application.” He shares how he dropped out of college, and took a calligraphy class for fun. “None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts.”
His ultimate success advice? Follow what fascinates you even though you can’t imagine where it will go. Says Jobs: “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
So, what’s your next step? Remember, it might not look like a “career” plan– because it’s a soul plan, a development in your destiny and your identity. You might be led to go into the bead store or book store. Or to take a nap for a week. Or forgive your ex-husband. Or sign up for a workshop in a faraway place. Or hike your dog in the wilderness.
When it comes to “next steps,” avoid being literal. Become spontaneous, ablaze, and panoramic. Become guided. Allow yourself to be moved from within. And do take a step. Move the chess piece forward and stay in the game. You’ll have a new vantage point and new brain chemistry. You’ll have a swelling sense of integrity, no matter what happens.
It’s easy in our culture, to think you need a plan, a map and a guarantee. But that’s what keeps you stuck. Free your genius. Stay committed, true, and dogged to the one thing you can do. Your only job is to listen to the next step. Your only job is to sniff the ground, let the wind inform your cells, stay alert to your desires and the undercurrent of a Universal Intelligence. Every step is an answer to prayer. Every step is a devotion. Every step is a pledge—I will serve, I will serve. I will listen. I will honor. I will allow Life to reveal itself to me. I will discover. I will learn. I will upgrade my cells with this experience. I will allow the Mystery to teach me. I will allow the Mystery to infuse my veins with a cocktail of love and amnesia, so that I forget every single limitation I ever thought I had– and stumble into….and accomplish that which I came here to do. I am willing to take my steps. I am willing to go forward.
Love and blessings,