Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:November 22nd, 2005 07:37 EST
Unlocking the Genius within You!

Unlocking the Genius within You!

By Simon Bailey (Mentor/Columnist)

Have you ever wondered why some people seemingly get all the breaks, have all the good looks, find all the great opportunities, and achieve all the success they desire? They live their lives in such a way that people beat a path to their doorstep. I used to wonder about that a lot. Why them and not me?

My research led me to even more questions: What is brilliance? Why is it important to release it? How does it make a difference in the world? Simply put, releasing your brilliance means releasing the genius within you. It’s living from the inside out – it’s finding your inner light and letting it shine for the whole world to see.

Every child is born with brilliant genius. No one is overlooked. No one is untouched. The essence of brilliance is in all of us, including you. When we are young, the world cherishes and celebrates our genius, our special gifts and talents. But as we grow older, our brilliance loses its luster.

Howard Gardner, Professor of Education at Harvard, has studied intelligence for more than 20 years, and has developed methods to test the multiple intelligences of humans from birth to adulthood. (For more on this research and the concept of multiple intelligences, read Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences by Howard Gardner.) Through research, Gardner and his colleagues found that virtually all of the children they tested were at the genius level through the age of four. However, by age 20, only 10 percent of the same children were at the genius level, and over age 20, the number dropped to two percent!

It makes you wonder: what happened to the children’s genius? Where did it go?

Actually, it didn't go anywhere. It’s still there, but it’s hidden deep within them. People are born brilliant and then spend the rest of their lives having their brilliance buried by virtually everyone around them.

As children, just as we are ramping up to explore all the spectacular wonders of the big world around us, that world starts to impose its judgments on us. Our parents are the first to stifle our genius with their words: “Be good!” “Put it down!” “You can’t do that!” “I don’t care what you think, just do what I say!”

Clearly, parents don’t intend to harm us. In fact, it’s quite the opposite – they want to protect and help us. And of course, for the most part, they do. And yet, there are aspects of our upbringing that confine and restrict our brilliance. Gradually, we come to believe that we are capable of fewer and fewer things. Eventually, it’s been so long since our brilliance shone that we can’t remember what it felt like, and we forget that we ever had genius and special talents to begin with.

But the soul doesn’t forget. It knows the world needs your unique genius. So it takes your brilliance and locks it away in a vault deep within you for safekeeping until it can safely shine again.

As the years go by, others continue to teach you that your special genius isn’t valuable – bosses, friends, spouses, sometimes even your children! No one acknowledges your brilliance anymore, not even you.

Eventually, you forget the vault even exists. So, you settle for who you are, instead of striving for who you were meant to be. You become just another zebra in the herd and compare yourself to everyone else. John Mason, author of An Enemy Called Average, puts it this way: “People are born originals, but die copies.”

If you’re like most people, you probably experience brief moments when the vault opens and a glimmer of your brilliance is released. In these moments of inspiration, when you catch just a glimpse of your destiny, you feel fully alive – energized, connected, in the flow. And then the vault slams shut again. And because you don’t know the combination, you can’t reopen it. So you return to the comfort zone, settling for a lackluster existence. The most frustrating feeling in the world is to touch what could be your brilliant future and then to feel it slip from your grasp.

My mission is to unlock the genius inside of you and to rekindle the light that has been dimmed. I know from experience that you can unlock the vault. You can access the brilliance that lies hidden within you. But to do that requires evaluating your life, examining your beliefs, and acting on your insights. Only you can unlock the vault – it must be opened from the inside out.