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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.

Love Work

On Tynan

I used to dislike to work. I saw how most people lived their lives, slogging through work that they hated, and I was determined not to fall into that trap. I made the mistake of generalizing, lumping all work together in the same bucket.

Since then, things have changed. In terms of monumental personal life changes, becoming a hard worker is the most recent one I've undergone. About a year ago, for reasons I touched on in this post, I decided that it was imperative for me to become a hard worker. I didn't do it because I had suddenly fallen in love with work, but rather because I had began to feel as though I was behind. And believe me, it wasn't love at first sight.

To fall in love with hard work, you must understand why it's necessary. When I was young I was told that sugar was bad, but I never understood exactly why it was bad, so I kept eating it. Only when I learned how it chemically affected my body did I finally give it up. The same is true of work-- if you don't know why you have to work hard and love it, you'll probably never actually do it.

Work is your gift to the world. That sounds corny, but it's true. And believe me, you owe the world a gift or two. Think of all of the various things that millions of people around the world have done for you to enjoy the life you have. They made up languages, invented stuff, procreated at the exact right times to create your ancestry, and managed to not kill each other in the process. We're lucky to be here, and the high standard of living we all enjoy now is only because of those who came before us. Some, like Einstein, had huge impact, but even people you don't notice, like the janitors, are making your life better.

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