Are you a genius? The definition of a genius includes all the predictable stuff, intellectual ability originality, brilliance, skill, creative, mathematics. One thing I don’t find in the standard definition is focus or persistence. The fact is that most of the people we celebrate as geniuses invested about 10,000 studying before being noticed.
Accomplished scientists, athletes, engineers, artists, business people, musicians, dancers all practiced as many hours or more before making their mark. 10,000 hours is 416 days, 24 hours a day, several years of persistence for even the most dedicated. For those of us that like to watch TV or zone out getting 10,000 hours in on one topic or skill could take decades, if at all.
My guess is that most us want to accomplish some great things in this life. It’s a pretty safe bet that with focus, intensity and persistence you can become a genius in your own right. Raising a child or building a business will force you into becoming a genius, three cheers!!! What do you want to accomplish? What turns you on? What do you lose time doing? Whatever it is, why not become a genius at it? Do the math, if you put 20% of TV time and 20% of zone out time toward mastering something, it will happen much faster.
I had a boss once, Sam Parisi, a great can-do fellow who consistently challenged me to complete big projects. Every day come early afternoon Sam would dial into his office for an undisturbed hour to focus on one project, his Hour of Power. I learned quickly that to have a prayer of doing the work I was charged with several hours of power were needed each day. No email. No Facebook. No funny cat videos. Over time the projects came to life and prospered. Sam payed attention, supported, celebrated and guidedd me in doing good work. Confidence brought more challenges, responsibility and opportunity. I think of Sam often while writing or celebrating others for their accomplishments. Sam helped me to remember that discipline meant getting the skills, doing the research, taking the risks, investing the time and celebrating.