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Upgrade your life through the zone of genius

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The Big Leap
Gay Hendricks
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 4 minuuttia.


We all know that the first biggest believers in our projects, businesses and ventures are ourselves: we desire more than anything for our ideas on changing the world to come to life, thus becoming lightly blinded to the realistic resources we have. One most likely finds themselves in a position, where you are working on scaling your business, marketing your activities, closing sales and doing a billion other things on the go. While you might not necessarily dislike doing some activities, there are naturally some areas that suit you better than others – where your activities flow and that you genuinely enjoy more.

A zone of genius simply refers to recognizing the activities that you excel at and that brings you both, a successfully developed area of business and fulfilment within the business to keep you going. The theory is that the activities rooted in your zone of genius are those where you will also create the most value as you will have the willpower, interest and fluency meet. Coincidentally, this is also the place where the competitive advantage of your company may reside.


Breaking down the zones.
The four zones that Gay mentions in his book are incompetence, competence, excellence and genius.

The zone of incompetence includes activities that you are simply not great at.
The reasons for this may be that the activities do not provide fulfilment, you do not find necessary, are bored by them or are not suited to. To understand the activities you might write include here, you could ask yourself what work do you do that almost everyone can do better than you?

The zone of competence is the zone that comprises things you are good at. The activities in this zone are doable and you are not bad at them but you also do not seek to improve your skills nor do they interest you as much as others. To outline these activities, you can try to answer the question What work do you do well but doesn’t feel truly satisfying?

The zone of excellence is a zone dedicating to a mix of activities that you are good at and enjoy doing. The key here is enjoyment – if you find pleasure and fulfilment in ice skating but are not planning on training to become a pro athlete, the ice skating could be listed here.
However, the zone of excellence is also described by Gay Hendricks as a dangerous zone in terms of our potential. If we enjoy doing something, we may want to continue doing it and ultimately get blinded by its comfort. A way to understand what activities belong to this zone is by asking from yourself, what do you consistently get good feedback on – even from yourself?

The zone of genius is the final zone and that is where we have activities that we truly love doing to the point where we are willing to put in extra resources to creatively develop and challenge ourselves. The zone is where it is easy to achieve your state of flow and lose time. As Julia Chanterey puts it in her article, the activities in your Zone of Genius are ideally also the activities bringing you’re the most profit since they provide the uniqueness to your company making you stand out from others. To find out the activities belonging to the zone of genius, you could focus on the question What tasks do you love so much it doesn’t seem like work?

Other supporting questions from the book are the following:
“What do I most love to do? (I love it so much I can do it for long periods without getting tired or bored).”

“What work do I do that doesn’t seem like work ?”

“In my work, what produces the highest ratio of abundance and satisfaction to the amount of time spent?”

“What is my unique ability?” (What can I do that others are unlikely to be able to do at this level?)

The best way to utilise the zone and optimise your life is by taking the time to focus and be honest with yourself about the zones. Since this method works for multiple areas of life, you could first outline the field of zones to focus on, such as work life. After that, it is time to focus and write down the activities by dividing them into zones.
Once you have written down the activities into different zones, you can analyse and see what tasks you can stop doing that does not make sense to you and try to outsource those tasks or delegate them to others.

Of course, in the beginning you might need to work in all zones to ensure that your business is taking off. Luckily in our degree programme, it is possible to find teampreneurs whose values align with yours and whose zone of genius might include the activities that are in your zone of incompetence.


The Upper Limit Problem
Even the zone of genius may experience a lag and the impostor syndrome can try to reach us in areas where we work best. It is natural for us to feel like we may be undeserving of the activities we do or have a pang of guilt on getting to do the things we love. However, we need to accept that not every day can be an amazing day even if you love what you do. It is at that point that we need to rest, reflect and appreciate the work we have done and hopefully find meaning and gratitude for the opportunities we have had. After all, so little of us find what they truly love to do and get to properly embrace those opportunities. By practising gratitude, we will get further and with your zone of genius, you can truly advance your operations for success to arrive.


Source: Hendricks, G. The Big Leap. 2010.

Article. Chanterey, J. The Joy of Business. How to find your zone of genius. https://www.thejoyofbusiness.co.uk/how/how-to-find-your-zone-of-genius/

Seminar. Sigrun Gudjonsdottir. 12 Days of Masterclasses. https://www.sigrun.com/



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