She quite literally played out of her mindSerena Williams
After failing on Friday to become only the fourth woman in history to win all four Tennis Grand Slams in the same calendar year, Serena Williams, said of her opponent, ‘she quite literally played out of her mind.’
Novak Djokovic could have said the same about Stan Wawrinka after he lost Roland Garros in Paris in June.
Both were so far out of their comfort zone, they were in the unstoppable zone of genius…
Many said Amaadeus Wolfgang Mozart and Vincent Van Gogh were out of their mind too.
Were they? And if so, what does it tell us about genius and how to access it?
Genius comes from your intuition
Intuition is more powerful than intellectSteve Jobs
In business, intuition generates growth. Just look at Apple without its founder Steve Jobs. For all the razzmatzz and marketing brilliance on display on Thursday at the September Apple Event, were the launches announced by his successor, Tim Cook, on the same level as the iPad or the iPhone? Certainly not, and reading between the lines of the secretive Cupertino company, it would appear the Apple Watch hasn’t delivered on expectations.
Tim Cook is a safe pair of hands, but the products he has launched since taking over do not bear the hallmarks of genius. They look more like incremental innovation that breakthrough innovation.
When Professor John Mihalasky of the New Jersey Institute of Technology ran a series of tests on a group of CEOs he found 81% of CEOs with high intuition scores doubled their businesses in just 5 years. This compares to only 25% of CEOs with low intuition scores who did the same.
Intuition creates value. During its rapid expansion, Google encouraged employees to spend 20% of their time tapping into their intuition to develop their own ideas. 50% of Googleâ€™s innovation came from this.
For a while, Apple and Google were the two most innovative companies and valuable brands. For how long can they sustain this now the 20% time has been restricted in Google and Steve Jobs is no longer with us?
Your stomach is the doorway to intuition
Albert Einstein said, intellect is a â€˜faithful servantâ€™ while intuition is a â€˜sacred giftâ€™.
And intuition is more likely to be accessed through your stomach than your head.
Consider the sayings â€˜listen to your gut instinctâ€™ or â€˜sit down and thinkâ€™. No culture says, stand up and think!
Your stomach really does have a mind of its ownThe Wall Street Journal
Did you know there are as many neurones in the stomach lining as in a catâ€™s brain? Or that more than 80% of the serotonin (the chemical that makes you happy) in your body is found in your stomach too?
In Qigong, Reiki, Tao and Buddhist practices, masters teach their followers to focus on the Lower Dantian, a spot about 3 finger widths below your navel and 2 finger widths back, as the source of balance and access to immense energy and wisdom.
In Japanese cultures the Lower Dantian is used interchangeably with the word hara, meaning belly and in Indian belief systems and yoga it equates to the second chakra. A master of calligraphy, swordsmanship or martial arts acts from the hara. It is also the access point to creativity (and sexuality, which may help explain the number of Picassoâ€™s lovers).
If you havenâ€™t done the following exercise before, try it with a friend. Ask them to stand in front of you normally. And then, give them a firm push in the chest. In most cases they will take at least one step back. Please make sure you do this in a safe place!
Now, tell them about the Lower Dantian. And ask them to take their attention from their forehead down to their stomach and locate their focus in their Lower Dantian.
Then try the exercise again. In most cases, they wonâ€™t take a step back.
However, weâ€™re not just talking about physical brilliance here.
My focus is creativity and more specifically how to access genius to solve the problems we face for good.
You cannot think your way to creativity
We cannot fix our problems with the same level of thinking that created themAlbert Einstein
Genius ideas – the sort that address the biggest challenges humanity faces â€“ financial turmoil, poverty, immigration, climate change etc. â€“ do not come from critical thinking (or design thinking for that matter).
In fact, they don’t come from thinking at all.
It is in the very absence of thinking that ideas emerge, fully formed.
The Theory of Relativity popped into Einstein’s head fully written as he was taking a tram home in Bern; the theory of gravity came to Newton as he sat under an apple tree; and the algorithm behind Google came to Sergey Brin as he was lying in bed one morning.
In modern business it is not the crook who is to be feared most, it is the honest man who doesn’t know what he is doing.William Wordsworth
It is when you go out of your mind, quite literally, that great ideas emerge. Otherwise, all you will get is incremental innovation. And humanity doesn’t need any more incremental innovation. We have enough stuff.
We donâ€™t need more consultants or coaches today. We have a Tsunami of both.
What we need are genius ideas. What we need is more sustainable value creation.
Genius is under your nose If your stomach is the doorway toÂ brilliance, the journey to genius is incredibly short; from your head to your stomach!
There is no coming to consciousness without painCarl Jung
But to get there, each of us must overcome our own enormous challenge. What I will learn in this life is different from what you will learn.
Each of us takes a different journey to unlock ourselves from the prison we have created in our mind.
Helping others find their key is my unique gift.
For some, the start point is physical. Your body receives inspirational ideas through your intuition. However, if there is any tension in your body it interferes and blocks those messages.
Did you know that activities as diverse as horseriding, skiing, walking, yoga, breathing, qigong, swordmanship, and Tantra will help?
Releasing all the muscular tension deep inside your abdomen will help too. Your psoas (pronounced so-as) muscle connects your lower spine to your thighbone. It is crucial to walking. When you sit for extended periods, do sit-ups or cycle a lot it tightens. A tense psoas muscle causes poor posture and pulls on your lower spine.
For others, the journey will be more emotional.
Our thoughts, words and actions create our reality. Behind each lies a belief. Beliefs are stored primarily in our brain. The ones that arenâ€™t aligned with our Life Purpose interfere with our intuition. Some beliefs make such a noise we canâ€™t hear our intuition at all.
You can quieten your mind. Yes, itâ€™s possible to turn off that little voice in your head, the one thatâ€™s constantly asking whether you did it right or are being accepted.
You can do it by changing your beliefs. Beliefs are hardwired into us. Some have been inherited from our parents; others learned through experience.
If you continue to believe what you believe, you will continue to get what youâ€™ve always got. Changing a belief can remove the block and allow you to hear your intuition.
And for others, the start point will be metaphysical or spiritual. Try disconnecting yourself from the five senses of the physical world – touch, sight, sound, taste and smell â€“ so you can hear your sixth sense â€“ intuition.
Our first five senses is how we connect to the physical world around; our sixth sense is how we connect to the metaphysical world inside us. Try meditating or spending time still in nature or listening to classical music.
Genius takes courage Prioritizing intuition over intellect requires us to turn our world upside down and inside out.
What a liberation to realize that the â€œvoice in my headâ€ is not who I am. Who am I then? The one who sees that.Eckhart Tolle
Ask yourself a very simple question â€“ who is reading this now? Is it your intellect or your intuition? Your head or your gut? Your conscious or your unconscious?
If itâ€™s your head, how are you able to observe that you are reading? Who is doing the observing?
I connect to this observer when I paint.
Part of me awakens. I step into another world. If you watch me paint you will see I am in a trancelike state. In this world, there is no sense of time.
I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the processVincent Van Gogh
One moment follows another; one brushstroke follows another. I see the world differentlyâ€“ the way the energy flows through a mountain â€“ the underlying energy that makes up the universe. This is what Vincent Van Gogh saw.
Infrared, x-ray or satellite reveal things the naked eye canâ€™t see. Snakes see entirely in infrared so why shouldnâ€™t I be able to shift my resonance and see the flow of energy?
When I step into this world, this is what I am doing. Sometimes it is clearer when I close my eyes â€“ the colours are more vibrant, and the shapes become clearer. In these moments, I am connecting to my intuition, my inner voice.
If you look at my paintings, you will see they have similarities with the works of Vincent Van Gogh. I am not copying his pieces, far from it; I am just letting the same creative energy that flowed through him flow through me. Because I am different to him, my life, my culture and upbringing is different, and thus the â€˜filterâ€™ through which I create is different, the end result is different too.
You or I could equally access Picasso or Einstein or Jobsâ€™ energies.
After all, this is what Steve Jobs did through his daily meditation.
Really, the only thing that makes sense is to strive for greater collective enlightenmentElon Musk, CEO, Tesla
And, whether she knows it or not, it is also what Serena Williams’ opponent, Roberta Vinca, did last Thursday.
I will be exploring this theme, how to go out of your mind and crack creativity, and much moreÂ on Periscope and in my first two webinars before the end of September.
You can follow me on Twitter.
Or sign up below and Iâ€™ll put you on the special invite list.