Step Up to Genius …

There are 3 steps to living your Joyful Genius, and the first one is to Step Up and find real clarity about what you are brilliant at, and then own up to it. And not in an airy-fairy, just-do-what-you-love-and-the-money-will-come sort of way, but in a pragmatic, sometimes-the-bills-gotta-get-paid kind of a way.  You don’t have to be poor to be a genius – in fact being pragmatic about how you step up to your genius is how you can avoid being broke.

I’m not talking here about the day-to-day, nuts and bolts action you take, but more what sort of a person are you being while you do it.  In other words, how are you showing up in the world that makes you such a joy to work with for your perfect customers or colleagues.

Here are a few tips for the sort of questions to be asking yourself about you and your work, that will help you get clearer about what your genius really is, and give you the courage to Step Up and take ownership of your uniqueness in a way that means you can get properly paid for it:

Always choose for joy

Faced with a choice between money and fun, always choose for joy!

It’s very easy to get fixated on making money, and to convince yourself that you’re supposed to put enjoyment and fun on the back burner until you’ve made your fortune. And it’s also easy to say, to heck with the money, I’m going to have some fun!

And when I say “choose for joy”, understand this: sometimes the greatest contribution to joy is making some money and paying the bills. Because being broke can suck the joy out of even the most meaningful work.

So the question to ask yourself is, what do you do (workwise) that brings the most joy to your life?

What are you afraid of?

Les Brown said “Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears”

Many people are secretly afraid of the changes that would come with fulfilling their dreams. So they tell themselves they are being practical, or realistic, or doing their duty to their loved ones, when they choose to leave their dreams on the ‘some day’ shelf, and knuckle down to normal, average work that anybody could do.

But even when you get all tied up in worrying about what could go wrong, or how you’re going to pay the bills, or what’s expected of you, those dreams are still there, they don’t go away. They are almost taunting you, a constant reminder of the way life could have been.

It’s not ‘being realistic’ to hold back from your dreams, it’s allowing imaginary fears to get in the way of the work the universe has gifted you the genius to do. You just need to choose your genius and put it to practical use to bringing about the life of your dreams. So the question to ask here is, what what you love to be doing, if only you stopped allowing fear to hold you back?

Steady progress

Massive achievements are made up of hundreds of small actions, taken first in courage, and then in consistency. Achieving your dreams takes a lot of pragmatic action. It doesn’t happen overnight, and there’s no grand gesture you can make that will see your dreams miraculously become possible.

When you find yourself facing of all those ‘reality’ things that tell you your dreams are out of reach, if you can take that one courageous action, knowing it won’t bring instant success, that’s the first step toward your dream. Then you take another one tomorrow, and another one the day after that.

Your genius shows itself in things that seem easy for you, not the difficult stuff. So ask yourself, what small actions do you take each day that seem hard for other people? That’s where your genius is hiding!

Business, not busy-ness

Action results in good business; activity just creates busy-ness

Make sure that what you spend your time doing is purposeful action, not just time-filling activity. Days full of fill-in activity are anything but fulfilling! The best way to know that you are taking action and not just doing activity is that you end the day with a sense of having done something meaningful.

And that’s the question to ask yourself here: what did I achieve today that feels really worthwhile to me? (or, in the words of one of my favourite songs – What have you done today, to make you feel proud?) It’s your genius that helps you achieve that.

No limits!

Astronaut Mae Jemison warned us “Never limit yourself because of others’ limited imagination; never limit others because of your own limited imagination”

Sometimes it’s not your lack of imagination that holds you back, but allowing what other people imagine is possible for you to become your reality. If there’s a future of possibilities that you can imagine, then get out there with your genius and make it happen!

So challenge yourself: what do you know is possible for you and your genius, that you are letting other people tell you can’t be done? Because they don’t know your genius means it most definitely can!


Michael Jordon encouraged the world, saying “You must expect great things of yourself before you can do them”

If you aren’t expecting great things of yourself, then who will? It’s the possibilities that you choose to apply your genius to that will expand your reality and create a life and living that excites and inspires you. Just because the ‘normals’ don’t expect much of themselves, that doesn’t mean you can’t.

So ask yourself, what possibilities are *you* going to choose today?

Contribution not growth

As US author Edward Abbey put it: “Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell”

Whatever possibilities you choose to bring about with your genius, remember that more is not always the greatest contribution. If growth will be light and expansive, then go for it. And if not, then peace has just as many possibilities within it.

And I’m not just talking about physical or material excess here. Personal growth as an end in itself is just as toxic, because it ends up with you judging yourself with not being enough. Don’t worry about whether you are meeting someone’s arbitrary standards of growth – even if (especially if) that person is you!

Just ask yourself this one simple question: does this make me joyful? Because if it’s making pragmatic use of your genius to make the world a better place and get you properly rewarded for it, there’s going to be a lot of joy in it!


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About The Author

Andrew Horder

Founder of Joyful Genius Coaching, Andrew has been working with business owners for many years, helping them find and maintain their unique focus - those activities and opportunities that they love, and will produce their success, what Andrew calls your Joyful Genius! Andrew's first book, The A to Z of Loving Work is available from Amazon

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