You are a genius.
You have a unique talent that only you possess.
You are capable of achieving great things.
I sincerely believe all three of these statements. I believe the task each of us has is finding this genius and accepting it as wholly ours. Celebrating it. Shining it up so that the whole world will be blinded by it. The closer we are to realizing how unique we are, the more fulfilled we can become.
God Rolls Our Attributes
My son recently played a game of Dungeons & Dragons with some of his high school friends. He came home and started telling me about his ‘character’ that he rolled up to play. I started out by not paying much attention, just giving him the normal Mom ‘uh-huh’ when he goes on about some game or other.
I know this might not make me the best mother ever, I’m sure that other moms out there listen to every word, learn about every move in the latest video game, remember every Pokemon stat with their kids. Me, not so much. I listen and I try, I really do. But after the fifth Pokemon special move or whatever, my eyes glaze over, and I start thinking about what I’m going to make for dinner later. Shh. Don’t tell my kids.
Well, something about his D&D character creation system really caught my attention. He said that he rolled up the scores for each of six attributes (intelligence, wisdom, strength, charisma, dexterity, and constitution) using three six-sided dice. No one ever gets high scores on every or even most of the attributes. He was then able to shift points around, customizing his character for the game he was going to play.
This awoke something in me that I had thought of many years ago when I first started teaching and learned about multiple intelligences. Namely, that in my opinion, I believe that each person is given the same amount of ‘stuff’ from which their person is created. No one has more raw ‘stuff’ than anyone else, but it is just distributed differently among out personal attributes.
Our Unique Skill Points and Attributes
In other words, God has given each of us a unique combination of skills that when added up equal the same raw ‘points’, just recombined differently. What this means is that each of us has something or some things within us that make us a genius in our own way. For example, some of us are artists. Some writers. Some of us are awesome at sports. Some of us are deep thinkers. Some are great with animals. Some care deeply about their fellow human beings. Some are wonderful cooks. And the list goes on.
Celebrating Our Unique Combinations
The key task for us here on this earth is uncovering our key attributes, discovering what our genius is. I like the word genius which replaces purpose because it truly encompasses how amazing we are. No other person on this earth is just like you. No one else has your characteristics, your life experiences, your talents, your attributes. That is quite amazing considering that there are close to seven and a half billion people sharing the world with us.
The first step to uncovering our attributes is truly believing that we do in fact have talents that are unique and special. It is so common for people to discount their own talents because they might seem commonplace to them. However, they are anything but commonplace to those who don’t have those talents.
For example, my son has an amazing sense of smell. He truly can smell notes and hints of things when he walks into rooms. Smells bother him too because they can be overpowering to his senses. To him, this is normal. He doesn’t think it’s anything special. On the other hand, my husband does not have that strong a sense of smell. I know this because he always asks me to smell the milk to make sure it’s not spoiled. Unless it’s really strong, he just can’t tell. He so wishes that he had our son’s sense of smell. To him, that is quite a unique ‘talent’ that our son has.
How to Uncover Our Genius
Once we have accepted that there are talents within us, the next step is to start celebrating them for how special they are. However, many of us are unaware of our own talents, our own genius. If this describes you, or if you want to uncover even more talents that might be percolating under the surface, then the following questions might help.
Questions to Guide Your Journey
- What did you love to do as a child? Did you sing all the time? Skip rope? Read? Draw?
- What have people complimented you on in the past? Have they liked the way you put together outfits? Dance at parties? Make great food?
- What activities cause you to lose track of time?
- What would you be doing right now if nobody was looking or paying you to do? What about tomorrow? What about next week?
- What do you regret not learning more or studying more in the past?
- What occupies your thoughts when you’re thinking about what you would like the perfect future to look like? What would you be doing in your picture?
- Pretend I just paid off all your bills, you have no debt, you have money in the bank for daily expenses, you have a full retirement account and if you have them your kid’s college funds are fully funded. You have also been able to provide for all family in need of financial assistance. Now, with all that in mind (and I hope with you in your happy place), pretend I hand you $100,000. What would you do with it?
- If no one is around and you are home alone, what do you do for fun?
- What do you feel particularly good at when you’re doing it?
- What are you most proud of accomplishing in your life? Why?
- If you could go to school (trade, college, dance, etc.) to learn something, what would it be?
Answering these questions can help lead you on the way to discovering your talents.
So I’m a Genius, Now What?
Okay. As you grow in learning where your personal genius lies, you might be wondering what to do with this information. First, I hope that just knowing it can help you realize how special you are. Self worth is one of the keys to being successful. Believing that we are special allows us to understand why God would want us to live an abundant, happy life. It also provides us with many things for which to be grateful.
Beyond building feelings of self worth, uncovering your talents can also help you lead a more fulfilling life. As I’ve gone through this process, I’ve rediscovered my love of singing. When I was young, I sang all the time. I sang solos in school assemblies. I really wanted to do something with my singing. But then, I joined band and moved on to other musical endeavors.
Now, however, I realize all the years that I truly missed singing. I’ve started practicing and really working on my voice. I just feel more fulfilled as I use one of the talents I feel God gave me. This is what I hope will happen for you too, that you can begin using those areas where God has blessed you to help you feel happier, more fulfilled.
Help with Discovering Life’s Purpose
Additionally, focusing on your strengths can help you uncover your life’s purpose. It can lead you down paths to careers that you might not have considered before. I personally always loved collecting things. I loved antiques and learning about history. By celebrating this and keeping my eyes open, I was able to find a career path where I could use all of these talents, namely selling old postcards. However, this only happened once I shed the need to please other people and started looking at what truly made me happy. I know that this can happen for you too.
You Don’t Have to Settle on One Talent
I hope the use of the word genius hasn’t been misleading in this article. The truth is that, at least in my opinion, you are a bundle of many different talents, each to a varying degree. You don’t have to settle on just one thing. You don’t have to think that there’s ‘one’ thing and until you uncover it you can’t truly be fulfilled. Instead, as you journey towards finding your special talents, you will find little joys, hidden corners, things you have forgotten that you loved as a child. When you do find something that truly clicks for you, you will discover as Mr. Miyagi in Karate Kid said, “No can difference.”
I wish you the best of luck as you discover and celebrate the unique wonder that is you.