I work with many leaders who are interested in knowing what their purpose is, or what I like to call their zone of genius. The zone of genius can be defined as that thing that you do or your way of “being” that provides the greatest levels of productivity with the least amount of effort.
The issue for most leaders to overcome, however, is the way that we keep ourselves from knowing our zone of genius. We do this mainly by attaching ourselves to following key beliefs:
- Work has to be hard. How did the words “hard” and “work” ever get linked together in the first place? Either way, if it isn’t hard, then clearly you’re doing it wrong.
- Paid work that falls in line with your zone of genius doesn’t exist. In other words, either you live to work or you work to live. Additionally, most people have a limiting belief of, “How dare you!” How dare you have a life in which you feel at ease and full of passion doing and being exactly who you are?! We have been conditioned to believe that surviving is good enough and thriving is basically out of the question. Thriving is reserved for the elite of the elite, and living a life in which you and your organization are both thriving is absolutely out of the question.
A healthier way to look at our zone of genius is to view it as a gift that we’ve been given. Depersonalizing it helps us accept and recognize it. Of course, it still feels personal since it is about you.
For example, I’ve been given the gift of humor. I don’t ever remember waking up one morning and thinking, “Hey, I think I’ll start being funny.” It just naturally occurs, and it is certainly something that comes through me very naturally as well. Our genius isn’t personal; however, it is something that we are meant to use to support others and to create a thriving existence.
So, what is your genius?
Wait! Before you answer, we need to make another important distinction. Due to our natural conditioning of how we relate to work, we tend to immediately attempt to answer this question as a thing that we do. For example, “I’m really good at making spreadsheets.” Now that could be true. However, I want you to consider What is it about working with spreadsheets that you enjoy? What is it that comes through naturally and that makes you a genius at working with them?
So, what is your genius?
What do you love to do and how do you enjoy “being” that brings you energy, passion, and thriving in your work and life. Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear about it.
The Leadership Weekly
Weekly wisdom from the DS Leadership Life team.