• What does the term mean and where did it come from? Historically, the term was used to describe an individual who had a experienced a stroke, paralyzing part of his/her body. After having a stroke, some people found renewed motivation to spend their resultant excess time learning a vast amount of information. They became experts on certain topics — geniuses in fact!

    The more you learn, through either reading or hands- on, the more experience you gain.

    In today’s society the term has taken on a whole new meaning. When someone does something brilliant or gets lucky at accomplishing a task on their first try, everyone jumps to say, “It’s a stroke of genius.” But is it? The answer is most definitely “Yes.” Luck can be a factor, but sometimes we engage in a completely novel task, that feels easy and familiar. We are just as astonished as others at how quickly we are able to command certain skills. Now we can get crazy here and start talking about metaphysics and the after-world. Perhaps we engaged in this activity in a previous life. While I can neither confirm nor disprove that theory, I have another take on it.

    I see each of us as having a “stroke of genius.”  I’ve met foolish educated people and brilliant uneducated people. How is that?  Having the discipline to study and regurgitate information simply proves that you are “book smart.” While this is no shabby title in itself, it doesn’t mean that you’re smarter than anyone else. Just as well, if you cannot score well on written tests, this does not mean that you’re not smart. It all comes down to exposure to different experiences and what you have become accustomed to seeing. Therefore, environment and surroundings are a key factor to consider when attempting to measure one’s intelligence level. It’s pretty simple. The more you learn, through either reading or hands- on, the more experience you gain.

    So what does this mean for me? Well, I have yet to meet a person who did not have a “gift” or inexplicable talent in a certain field. I quickly learned not to judge or underestimate anyone’s skills. For those of you who think “I’m not really that good or much of a genius at anything?”  Well here’s my response. We all have something we’re inclined to do and have a “gift” in a certain area. The problem is that most of us just haven’t found it yet. For those who are lucky and discover their talent at a young age they get labeled as “Prodigies” or “Virtuosos.”  For the rest of us we have to keep trying everything from surfing to neurosurgery until we stumble upon “our genius.” The good news is that once you find it you’ll know right away. The down side is that there are so many professions, that it would virtually take you a lifetime to go through them.

    “So, what do I do” you may ask. Don’t let this deter you.  The more you get out there and the more you allow yourself to try new experiences, the faster you’ll find your “genius.” It’s like finding a life partner. There’s a lot of garbage out there we have to sift through before we find the right match. The nice thing is that all of your experiences will lead to a better quality of life. Every experience you have will only improve your decision-making techniques and add to your overall intelligence. Some may even feel that they’ve found their purpose in life. Never discount any field because it may not be where you thought you would see yourself. Allow life to unfold naturally and be open to go where life takes you. Your race, sex, build, genetic make-up, and other descriptors may not necessarily be good indicators of your talents. Allow yourself to be surprised and explore. Your “genius” lies there!