We are like diamonds, our beauty can only shine through cuttings and being hammered. The finest diamond is simply the one with the finest cutting, a well hammered diamond.
If we don't stretch ourselves we will never discover our inner genius, the one thing we can have an absolute advantage in. Meaning that one thing we can become as good at as anyone in the world and thoroughly enjoy the process. For me, teaching is that one thing. With spoken or written words, I can share my knowledge on anything and achieve a near 100% comprehension by my audience. I can write under any circumstance that doesn't have my hands tied. I am currently writing this blog post on a blank A4 paper at midnight, to hurriedly type out on my low battery PC (no thanks to PHCN) before I sleep. As naturally shy as I am, even before joining Toastmasters, I have never been shy explaining what I know. In fact, I have often spend my own money to teach others what I know that may be of value to them. When I joined the UN online volunteers, I only got accepted by an online university as a faculty admin (lecturer). In April, via Catchafire.org, I was matched with a US NGO to train their staff on Excel. I got lots of thank you mails from the organization's senior manager, and ended up getting a public recommendation that is only rivaled by the recommendations I got on LinkedIn from my former colleagues (at work and school). There is hardly anything I know that I haven't tried to teach someone else. And it's probably the reason I never run out of what to write on my blog daily.
But why do you need to work hard, far and wide to discover your inner genius?
I'll answer one part at a time.
1. Why Hard?
Working hard on anything leads to one of 3 outcomes: you give in, you give up or you keep screaming game on. You give in when you reach a point where your performance begins to degrade severely, more effort from you yields negative result (negative progress), and you decide to stop completely. You give up when progress is painfully slow and you are sure that you don't want to bear that pain anymore. And it's game on when every increase in difficulty amazingly brings about an enjoyable increase in your performance. Like you are playing your favourite game. You see everything as a pleasant challenge. And that's where your inner genius lies. Unfortunately, you'll never know for sure till you push really hard and find yourself in an unending trend along one of those 3 outcomes.
2. Why Far?
To be sure that the state you are in is a permanent one, you'll need to go very far. There are some activities you'll engage in that will be daunting at first and you will want to give up but as your persevere it suddenly becomes game on. And there are still some others that seem pleasurable in the beginning but becomes unbearably boring after some time and you give in. So the distance matters. You need to go far.
3. Why Wide?
Obviously, you will enjoy and go far in most of the activities you excel at at. But it's only in your inner genius that you will go as wide as possible. Many people enjoy singing and attempt to sing all songs, but only a few go wide (and wild) with singing. Only those whose inner genius is singing will give up everything to pursue a career in singing. They are the only ones who will attempt ceaselessly to sing before everyone. They go wide with it. And that's what seals a talent or ability as your core genius. But you will never know how much you love an activity or how much you are willing to give up for a talent if you don't work hard at it and go far into it.
And these are why you need to work hard, far and wide to discover your inner genius. To find your inner genius.