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Why I'm Very Skeptical of Genius

Gosh, I like the Wall Street Journal a lot. I like this piece, too -

No You Can't: "Is genius a simple matter of hard work? Not a chance"

I like the whole piece, except I disagree with the conclusions.

You'd need a certain baseline to be able to do the kind of work or craft you want to do. Enough to understand the discipline. But that's not such a high bar.

If you can understand the discipline, then, is it possible to make incremental progress every single week? Could you tighten your fundamentals, study related disciplines for synergy and crossover, and experiment on the hardest problems every single week?


On like an apple


I struggle with self-pity. I almost wrote "these days," but the truth is that I suppose I always have. For various reasons, legitimate and not. So, the title of this post ("The Luckiest People Who Have Ever Been Born") by Andrew Cohen immediately struck me. I would have been less open to it if it hadn't been linked to by one of my favorite writers, Rob Brezny at Free Will Astrology. Though I don't know much about Andrew Cohen, I did find a ring of truth in much of what he wrote, especially this:

When we begin to grasp how hard the universe has had to work for the last 14 billion years to make it possible for each of us to have the profound and multidimensional experience of consciousness and highly developed cognition that we're privileged to have right now, our perspective changes dramatically. We realize how lucky we really are. And considering our wealth and unprecedented privilege on top of that, we have a moral awakening, a cosmic epiphany. We begin to grasp what a miracle it truly is to be ourselves--the luckiest people who have ever been born. In fact, and I know to some this may sound like a radical idea, we may actually begin to feel morally obligated to be happy . . .

When I am able to quiet my mind a bit and just experience the moments of my life as they come, that simple gratitude for being alive comes so easily. It doesn't even feel like it "comes," it just "is." Too bad my darn mind is so noisy and gets in the way most of the time. :)

Thinking about this post this morning also connected with a sweet moment I had last night with my younger son. In an effort to introduce more order and routine to our nights and mornings, I created little "checklists" for my boys, for bedtime and for mornings before school. The second to last item on each list (right before "let your sleep come") is "Think of something you are thankful for." I didn't label this a prayer, just thankfulness, gratefulness. Last night as he was completing his checklist, my younger son asked, "wait, there is one more thing, the prayer?" He meant thinking of something he's thankful for. It struck me as sweet and telling, how naturally he connected a moment of gratitude with connection to God or spirit.

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