Gay Hendricks, in his book, The Big Leap, says one’s Genius Zone is, “the set of activities you are uniquely suited to do… that draw on your special gifts and strengths.”
The formula, according to Hendricks, for discovering our own Genius Zone is to answer the following four simple, but powerful questions:
Question 1 – What do I most love to do?
Question 2 – What work do I do that doesn’t seem like work?
Question 3 – In my work, what produces the highest ratio of abundance and satisfaction to amount of time spent?
Question 4 – What is my unique ability?
So, after a little thinking and head scratching I came up with the following statement about my Genius Zone:
“I love to write articles, letters, presentations, models, plans, and strategies about important and complex concepts and make them easy to understand and share with others.”
Last Wednesday morning, almost immediately after answering those four questions, I felt amazingly energized and took the rest of the day to write the complete outline for a new marketing program.
That was definitely me in my Genius Zone! The work was productive, easy, fun, energizing, and fulfilling. (That’s when you know you’re in the zone.)
The question is, “How can I maintain and live in this zone?”
I routinely write an article every Monday, but I can’t write all day every day, can I? There are a lot of other things I need to do in my business and life that aren’t necessarily “Genius Zone activities,” right?
Even if we discover our Genius Zones – where we’re tapping into to our highest potential and making the biggest difference – how can anyone possibly maintain that level of intensity?
Aren’t we going to ultimately slip back into our comfort zones?
So I continued with Hendricks’ book to learn what he suggested once we’d identified our Genius Zone.
But I gotta tell you, I was severely disappointed.
He’s come up with what he calls the “Universal Success Mantra” which is nothing more than a rather hokey affirmation.
Pardon my skepticism, but the idea of discovering and working from your Genius Zone truly is genius, but a Success Mantra is most definitely not.
I learned recently that the key to developing positive habits has very little to do with affirmations, positive thinking, or studying motivational ideas. Research studies* on this issue have shown these have very little impact on creating lasting change.
And even if it did work, how many people will take on the practice of reciting an affirmation all day long until its message permeates our subconscious?
Sorry, to say, but the answer is “damn few.”
The good news is that research has shown exactly what it does take to establish a new positive habit. And it’s so simple that most people have missed or disregarded it.
I’ve been proving it in my life over the past month. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday I go to the gym and work out.
After resisting any form of exercise for a very… long… time, I finally did three simple things:
1. I made a plan to go to the gym and work out three times a week, 2. I made a promise to someone else I that I’d do it and, 3. I put it on my calendar.
That’s it. That’s the great secret to establishing a new habit. You can dump the motivational books and affirmations.
And as I result, I’m stronger, more flexible, have less pain in my back, and sleep better – with just three hours of exercise a week.
So, back to my original question: How do I stay in my Genius Zone?
The answer is, “I don’t.”
And to try is an exercise in futility. It would be like trying to work out at the gym all day, every day. I couldn’t, it wouldn’t work and it isn’t necessary.
What I can most definitely do, however, is take some actions that are in my Genius Zone every single day. I can plan for this, make a promise, and put it on my calendar. That’s doable.
I can do a little writing, strategizing, and planning every day. And my experience has shown that when I do this, it affects my day-to-day attitude, just as exercise affects my daily health and vitality.
Now, I don’t know what your Genius Zone is.
Answer the questions at the top of this article and discover for yourself. It can be a wonderful and liberating discovery that can lead you to the path you were meant to follow.