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Could You Do Genius Quality Work?

Could you do genius quality work?

I know the word genius gets thrown around pretty casually these days, I certainly throw it around pretty casually. But honestly, I don't think it's very hard to do genius-quality work, if you decide to try. Most people don't try. But if you did try, I think you could do some.

What's genius quality work? Hard to define. Let's try, though. "Something that makes a large, permanent impact on an important field." That's not quite right, but it's close enough for now.

Here's the interesting point, here's why I wrote this post: I reject the notion of a person who is a "genius" - you're either doing genius quality work or you aren't. Regular, normal people (you, me) who keep trying to make large, permanent impacts on important fields are likely to do so at some point, and that's genius-quality work. Yes, most people won't try. But if they did try, they'd probably get around to doing some genius quality work sooner or later.

Now, there's a whole other level - timeless quality work. That, I'm not so sure we can just do that. That's the kind of work made by da Vinci and Socrates and Tsai Lun and Confucius. That's Special Relativity and the Parthenon and things like that. Timeless work, I don't know if anyone can do timeless work.

Notes On Doing Massive Amounts of Good Enjoyable Work

I had a really fascinating conversation with Francesca McCaffrey, the Director of Development for the Children's Lifesaving Foundation.

Francesca and I swapped some notes on when the best work happens -- in addition to her role at Children's Lifesaving, she's an avid writer and really immerses herself into the historical era she's writing about to truly flesh out the characters and the environment.

Like everyone else, Francesca looks at those periods of time when things are clicking incredibly well, and wonders how to make them happen more frequently. Here's some observations we came up with:

*The most common time that massively great work happens is when there's a Big Opportunity + A Hard External Deadline

*The Big Opportunity means there's Large Motivation.

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