Your own personal genius

Is there something you were meant to do that you haven’t discovered yet either? What I can tell you is that there is every chance you’re just around the corner from it, but what is it?

It seemed appropriate to start with a musical reference to this as the history of modern music is loaded with these life twists. Martin Gore was just a band member before the previous songwriter quit and he was thrust into the role as he already wrote one track for his band Depeche Mode.

There’s of course the story of how Phil Collins replaced the exiting Peter Gabriel because he had a go from his drum set and all the guys freaked right out. But what’s really interesting is often sparkling talents for a given instrument like how Jaco Pastorius was originally a drummer before the bassist quit and thought he’d try, and within weeks was on his way to being the greatest bassist in history.

It makes you wonder and what if it’s not confined to music? There’s every chance you are the world’s greatest cojone player but it could also be in some other realm beyond playing crazy cool world beats.

There’s the classic story of 3M, where the scientist was trying to make a permanent adhesive and instead got this stuff that was sticky but didn’t work at all. He realized the potential of a sticky note and the rest was history.

I like the idea that, put simply, the search continues and as you do, you follow what intrigues you. Jaco was in the right area. In fact, from his drum kit he only needed to be on the instrument a few feet to his right. It’s all “In the Meantime” as you search for your thing. How long can you search? I’m 44 and I’ve had bass students 20 years older than me. I know people older than that who are trying their hand at boatbuilding.

And you don’t have to… anything. You don’t have to be the world’s best to enjoy it. Sometimes it’s just fun. I’ve been digging into keyboard playing over the last few months because of a Christmas gig that had long breaks and a piano in the back. I started thinking (ironically) “You know, I think I get how that bit from Depeche Mode would go..”(I had a understanding of keys, but never tried to really play two-handed that much)

But isn’t talent reserved for some higher-blessed types? Possibly not. There is lots of study on this, in fact one book to look out for is called “The Talent Code” by Daniel Coyle where he slueths out world famous talent hotbeds around the world to find what’s going on. What he discovers is that it is less magically bestowed talent than it is simply how we approach learning something. Daniel has another book called the “Little book of Talent” which condenses this idea of deliberate practice which I won’t go into other than it’s about pushing into the weak spots of what you do, in a way that you can repeat with immediate feedback. Definitely check out his books which are available on the Hoopla app. And no, I don’t work for him, he’s just good.

So is there anything you’ve thought of trying your hand at recently.

Who knows? You might be the genius we’ve all been waiting for.

😉

Cheers,

Tom

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