In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Friday, August 12, 2011

In Others' Words: Genius

"Everyone is a genius at least once a year. The real geniuses simply have their bright ideas closer together." 
~ Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, German Scientist

Everyone is a genius at least once a year.
Don't get me wrong. This quote fascinates me. I love how much potential this quote gives me. I've been a genius sometime this year. How did I miss that moment?
There are times when I think I'm brilliantly funny. Times I crack myself up to the point of tears. Of course, it's usually when I'm so overtired my kids say, "Mom's doing it again. She needs to go to bed." And they laugh. Not with me--at me. Or maybe a little of both. I mean, I'm funny when I'm tired.
But if I look back over the last eight months, do I recall moments of genius? Even one?
My first response is no. Not me. Leave the genius-status to others. And then I think ... wait a minute. There was that moment when I chose to listen to a friend instead of talk about myself.
That moment when I knew I'd pushed myself way-past my emotional and physical limits. I gave myself permission to rest. (I've heard it said a wise woman knows her limitations.)
That moment when I listened to my mentor's challenge to dig deeper into my character, to write not just a better scene but a "breathless" scene. I may not have landed the scene perfectly ... but I tried.
Maybe it's not so much that I haven't had those moments of brilliance. Maybe it's that I'm under the mistaken impression that genius is something big and grand and larger-than-life-size. Maybe it's that I haven't take the time to pause ... to appreciate ... to be thankful for the lessons learned in my unexpected blink-and-you-miss-them moments of genius.

In Your Words: "Everyone" includes you. You realize that, right? So tell me, what genius moment or moments have you experienced in the last eight months? And do you have any tricks up your sleeve that help you be at your most brilliant best?  

photo by pukeycow*/
* I'm thinking someone wasn't having a genius moment when they came up with that name.

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At 4:13 AM, Blogger Jeanne T said...

Beth, I love this quote, and your thoughts regarding it. Thanks for making Genius Status attainable. I never think of myself as that type of person.
I guess one time I may have had a "genius moment," is when I ask my child a question rather than being too quick to correct. Unfortunately, I don't do that often enough.
Finding ways to be helpful in practical ways may be another small way of being "genius." Not sure on that one.
I don't have any tricks for being at my brilliant best consistently. Perhaps thinking of others not just myself, and allowing myself to be stretched beyond the comfort levels in my life. Thanks for making me think.

At 7:14 AM, Blogger Katie Ganshert said...

This post reminded me of a VERY cool speech by Elizabeth Gilbert. While my God is a bit more defined than hers, this idea of genius totally resonated with me.

It's about 20 minutes, but if you have time to watch it, I'd love to hear what you think!

By the way - I want to hang out with you when you're tired.

At 7:35 AM, Blogger Wendy Paine Miller said...

Yes, we're crashing your room when you are absolutely exhausted at conference! :D

I think God blessed me with a moment or two of surrender and that feels entirely wise to me.

~ Wendy

At 8:40 AM, Blogger Reba J. Hoffman said...

My moment of genius? When I made the decision to read this post this morning! Awesome Beth!

At 9:36 AM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

Jeanne, being blessed to live near you, I've seen your genius moments. I'll be sure to point them out to you more frequently.
Katie and Wendy: ACFW. My room. Late. Bring your favorite munchies. Now to warn my roomies. Or not.
Reebs ... hugs to you!

At 11:11 AM, Blogger Evangeline Denmark said...

I loved this post.
And I've witnessed a few of your genius moments, Beth. Brilliant wedding dress metaphor anyone? And there have been countless OTB moments of genius when you said exactly what I needed to hear.
As for my moments of genius--they happen in the car when I'm driving ALONE. So that's approximately once a year. Yeah, so this quote is accurate.
Wendy, I feel I should warn you that I'll be the official squatter in Beth's room at conference. No, I mean it. I'll be the one in the corner cooking goat on a spit. Come on by, if you're not bothered by the smoke.

At 12:44 PM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

Come one, come all to Beth and E's room at ACFW. Moments of genius and laughter shall abound.
E--we should warn Roxanne that there's an open invite to our room! LOL!

At 10:14 PM, Blogger Lisa Jordan said...

My moment of genius was listening to God asking me to clear my schedule because He had something big in store. Three days later, I received my first book contract. A-maze-ing.

At 11:25 PM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

A-ma-zing is right, Lisa. I've already pre-ordered your book, Lakeside Reunion. Can't wait to read it!


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