The power of your commitment brings forth the means necessary for you to live in your Zone of Genius.

~ Gay Hendricks

 

I chose to go to driving school this week so that my speeding ticket would be reduced.

(I almost said I had to go to driving school this week but then I remembered everything is a choice!)

 

I walked into the same community college classroom where I used to give lectures on Developmental Psychology and spotted the grumpy-faced instructor fiddling with the computer and muttering under his breath. He appeared to be pretty much exactly what I’d expected – a man in his fifties with a little too much weight around the middle and a gruff demeanor about him. I grabbed a seat and wondered if there was a way I could read my book or return emails during the next three hours.

 

Then he started addressing the class and his whole demeanor shifted, taking my mindset right along with it. I sat up a little straighter, captivated by his lecture. It was clear he was operating in his Zone of Genius. I could see it but more than that I could feel it. I didn’t even touch my iPhone until we took a break 90 minutes later. I was sincerely engrossed. In traffic school! He was talking about reaction time and adjusting your side mirrors and merging and somehow it was interesting. I could feel there was more to this guy than met the eye.

 

And then it happened. He told us his story. When he was 19 years old he was studying Pre-Law as an exchange student in Germany. Driving home after his last final exam, he fell asleep behind the wheel and drove his car head on into a pole. He was in a coma for 6 days. Temporarily paralyzed from the waist down. Lucky to be alive. Eventually he recovered and decided to come home and teach driver safety. He wanted something good to come from his trauma. He wanted his story to mean something.

 

This was the magic I was feeling – a beautiful connection between his “why” and his work. This was how he was able to make driving school feel like Oprah’s Lifeclass live and in-person.

 

We all have our own Zone of Genius. The place where time expands and we’re operating in the flow. The work that allows us to give wildly and receive fearlessly. Mr. Driving School reminded me of the importance of pursuing our passions. He reconfirmed for me that when we follow our hearts and do what lights us up, we brighten the world around us. Your genius matters. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. If you aren’t living it yet, keep moving toward it in whatever way you can.