“You can do anything you want. You are bound by nothing.”
– Sean Maguire (Robin Williams), Good Will Hunting
I caught one of my "old" favorite movies, Good Will Hunting, on tv last weekend. I eat up the scenes between Robin Williams and Matt Damon in that movie.
You know the story, right? Will Hunting (Matt Damon) is a genius kid who has an ability of only a handful of people in the entire world and he doesn’t know what to do with it. So, he does what feels comfortable: he works construction, lays brick with his buddies and then works as a janitor at MIT secretly solving impossible mathematical problems at night.
It appears that Will is unlike most people, and in some ways he is, but in many ways he might be just like you.
There is only one slight difference between Will Hunting and most people miserably doing what feels comfortable: Will’s gift is more obvious to the world.
You were born with your unique brilliance too, even if it’s not as obvious. The challenge is that we often try to hide or construct our brilliance in a way that society, our parents, friends or our employer will value.
So, you could look pretty smart, maybe making good money, and yet... feeling empty. And searching for what you're really meant for.
You are meant for something brilliant.
What is your genius? What are you meant for?
The funny thing is that I bet you already know the answer to those questions whether or not you think you do. Any guesses as to what the answers are? Hint: there's rich information in those "guesses."
If you start jumping to how you can do something with your answer or make a career out of it… just put on the brakes a little.
This is not about what you do with your genius but instead about nurturing it so that you can see it come through you more and present itself in the world. In other words, help your genius become more obvious like Will Hunting.
If you don’t know what your genius is ask yourself this:
What feels easy to you?
Sit with it.
Think of times in your life when you did something that you thoroughly enjoyed and it felt easy, even if you paradoxically felt stretched at the same time.
Here are some answers I've heard that might help get you started:
"It feels easy to listen when someone is hurting."
"It feels easy to write a story."
"It feels easy to make someone laugh."
As you discover what feels easy, look for ways to encourage your genius to come out. This is how you do what you're meant for.
That too might be easy, but if not… trying asking around by saying, “I really love doing (this), can you think of ways I could do it more?”
There’s no need to hide your genius at night or stay in the comfort zone trying to force a difference kind of smarts.
Just as Sean Maguire said, “You are bound by nothing.”
Let it be easy and see how your genius becomes more and more obvious to you and the rest of the world.