A client who first started working with me said, “I was on a hike the other day, and it was a great moment. I was in flow. But I know hiking isn’t my Native Genius. How do I know that?”
When we distinguish our Native Genius from other pleasurable experiences, we’re better able to direct ourselves towards that magic combination: the inner smile at our successes, being excited to go to work, and of course, making good money.
The difference between flow and Native Genius is this...we can be in flow, but not contributing to what matters to us. If my client had natural inclinations along the lines of teaching about the wilderness, trail maintenance, or things of that sort in nature, the hike could have been in the realm of his Native Genius.
Flow, as Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi named and concepted in the seventies, is about being immersed in an activity with a kind of automaticity that feels great. This is a pleasurable experience and it might point to your Native Genius, but not always.
My client is an attorney involved in real estate. He loves putting deals together. He’s in flow when pouring over certain kinds of spreadsheets (but not all). When he’s pouring over certain spreadsheets (among other Native Geniuses), he’s also contributing to something that matters to him. For him, a hike is flow but not his Native Genius.
Amidst the swirl of things you’re interested in and enjoy, look for the things you crave doing and you’re also contributing to something that matters to you. These things are your Native Geniuses.