Being Brilliant

In a recent conversation with friends, we were talking about being really good at your craft, whether your craft is teaching, leading, managing, giving care, fixing, organizing, engineering, digging in the dirt, writing, coaching, or something else. We were lamenting that there are so few people who are brilliant at what they do and many people out there who seem to be…average at what they do. I really want to use the word, “mediocre,” instead of average but I don’t want you to misconstrue my intent. I don’t think of people as mediocre. You see I have a fundamental belief about people. I believe that we are not called to mediocrity. We are designed and called to be brilliant. And everyone has the potential to be brilliant.

I believe that we are not called to mediocrity. We are designed and called to be brilliant.

Sometimes we are mediocre because we fall into things or don’t see another path open to us. Or life circumstances dictate that we need to do things that we are not especially good at. I need to clean my house – at least once in a while. I also need to organize my files and track receipts for expense reports and filing a tax return. At best, I am mediocre at these things.

Brilliance is not about being perfect at what you do – that sets up an unobtainable goal that won’t be achieved in your lifetime. But you can be brilliant at something, at least some of the time. The seeds to your brilliance are already within you – often they just need to be nurtured and grown.

So how do you unlock the brilliance within yourself? How do you discover what you can do extra-ordinarily well?

Your brilliance shines forth when you do what comes naturally to you – what you seemingly do without effort. It shines when you get comments and feedback like, “You are so good at that,” and “Wow! That was great – thank you!” Often we dismiss those comments by saying, “Oh, it was nothing.” Somehow we believe that, whatever we did, others can do as well or better. That simply is not true.

It’s easy to resist the call to brilliance. I once had someone ask me to lead a workshop for a group that I was sure would not work – in fact, I thought it would be a disaster and didn’t want to take that risk. I will be forever grateful to Norb for asking me three times to do this before I finally said, “Yes.” It turned out that he saw something in me that I could not see in myself, and kept calling that forth in me.

Think back over the past weeks or months. When have others been calling out your brilliance? What do you suspect – or know in your heart – that you are brilliant at? It’s both exciting and scary to acknowledge your own brilliance.

Open MicOnce you have deciphered the clues into what your particular brilliance is, you need to use it – over and over again. The more you practice, the more experience you gain, the more often your brilliance will shine. Look for those situations or experiences where you can use what you do brilliantly.

The world needs your brilliance to shine. It’s waiting patiently for you. What are you waiting for?