Genius is pretty heady stuff, seemingly far beyond the reach of ordinary mortals. So how dare I post a blog on “How to Live Like a Genius”?
Simple. While few can have the intellect of a genius, many more can achieve a genius level outcome in their lives. Stay with me here. I’m going to put just a very slight twist on the definition of genius.
What if we defined genius as the ability to elevate our life far beyond our or others’ expectations? To take what we have and raise it to heights previously undreamed of? To lift our emotional level, our effectiveness, our happiness to peak levels? Instead of being born an intellectual genius, we choose to become an emotional genius.
Truth of the matter, we all know that Abraham Lincoln pretty much nailed it when he said over 150 years ago, “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Yet today we have advantages over other generations.
First, an incredible amount of self-help literature has come out in the past 75 years and much of it is good stuff.
Second, the past few decades have seen an overwhelming amount of fascinating research on the science of happiness and emotional well-being. Previously, psychology focused mainly on attempting to cure mental illness. Then professors such as Martin Seligman (“Authentic Happiness”) and Daniel Goleman (“Emotional Intelligence”) decided to focus on positive psychology, how to help ordinary people achieve extraordinary happiness.
Seligman’s path to the good life:
* P(ositive) emotion – achieve by writing down, every day at bed time, three things that went well, and why
* E(ngagement) – achieve by using one’s highest strengths to perform the tasks which one would perform anyway
* R(elationships) – achieve by investing oneself in interesting others who reciprocate your investment
* M(eaning) – belonging to and serving something bigger than one’s self
* A(chievement) – determination is known to count for more than IQ
Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence (EQ) focuses on honing the ability to accurately perceive and evaluate emotions in oneself and others as well as controlling, managing, and directing one’s own emotions. Unlike IQ, which is believed to be fixed at birth, EQ is a skill that can be learned.
The tools now exist to allow ordinary people to achieve extraordinary levels of contentment, happiness, joy, and peace of mind. Or, become emotional geniuses.
“One is not born a genius, one becomes a genius” — Simone de Beauvoir, French existentialist philosopher, author of “The Second Sex,”; 1908-1986
“For 37 years I’ve practiced 14 hours a day, and now they call me a genius” — Pablo de Sarasate, Spanish violinist; 1844-1908
“Common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson; 1803-1882
NOTE: Some factual information found at Wikipedia.org.