The Myth of Genius

Beware the myth of genius. 

I’m sure it exists, but if it does, it’s the outlier and not the norm. 

If we look to those we admire and equate their accomplishments as feats of genius, it’s easy to get discouraged. After all, they must be a genius to have created such an elegant and moving work of art. The confidence they have in their craft must be something only reserved for those bestowed with the gift of genius.

I used to believe this myth. It made it surprisingly easy to justify playing small. If I’m not a genius, what chance do I stand at making an impact? Surely, I could never achieve the same level of mastery. 

Thankfully, the idea of genius is a bunch of bullocks.

We celebrate it in a higher proportion than what is reality. Sure, there are always going to be true geniuses in their field or craft but they are the exception. 

Instead, I’ve found a practice that’s accessible to all of us and helps us achieve more than we think is possible.  It’s simple but rare because it’s not easy. It requires commitment, which is no small feat in a world of ever expanding choices.

It’s consistency. 

Look at the people you admire. Examine their behavior.

If I were a betting man, I’d bet they decide to show up over and over again. They’ve made a discipline of sticking with their craft for the long haul. They have a desire to continue playing their game and finding ways to incrementally get better. They see failure not as something to embody, but rather an event to learn from on their journey. They don’t chase perfection or genius. They recognize the path is messy and hard but stick with it because not doing so is short-sighted.

Consistency is a long-game.

Success is a long-game. It compounds upon itself. But, there are no short-cuts. 

And it’s certainly not something reserved for the genius. 

The Secret of Running (And Anything that Matters)

I love to run.

Over the course of my life, I’ve completed 7 marathons and 4 half-marathons.

I also hate to run. 

I’ve been running long enough, logged enough miles to have learned the secret of running. 

Not every run will be perfect, I won’t always hit my splits or hit a PR. The runners high I desperately crave, won’t always come.

Some days my body just isn’t in the mood and a four mile run feels like a death march through the Gobi desert. So, I do the bare minimum on those days

Other days, without any warning, my body feels like a well-oiled, finely tuned machine and a four mile run becomes nine or ten miles. When things feel good, you take advantage of it. So, I push myself on those days.

This thing I love, that I’ve been doing for many years, doesn’t always come easy. Even with all the experience. Even with all the PRs. Even with all the races I completed. 

It’s those days that I hate running.

But, I still lace up my shoes and show up day after day. 

Especially, on the bad days. 

Because the secret is that for each bad day I have, I know I’m one step closer to the perfect run.

It will come. It always does. 

It may not be when I want it. But without the bad days, there are no good days. 

I have to trust the perfect run will come. 

And when it does (because it always does), it’s bliss.