Several years ago (2002) I showed up at 7 am one morning to do an hour interview at a radio station. I did that as part of the process of promoting several trainings, Prolific Writing and the Accessing Personal Genius (APG). The interviewer, Kevin, was very personable and had a gift of gap.
Before we began I watched him do his magic with the microphone in a small room full of electronic equipment. Heseemed almost to have a relationship with the microphone.
Kevin also knew how to ask great questions and get to the heart of things very quickly. I don’t know if this was a natural gift or if he had developed it as a style. Wherever it came from, it was certainly one of his strengths as an interviewer.
All too often I’ve been interviewed by people who didn’t seem to know what they were doing or what an interview was for. Consequently, they would ask either placid questions which had no energy which weren’t worth answering or such conventional questions that would only bore people to sleep.
But not Kevin. Kevin intuitively went for the passionate center of things to see if there was any core. He also knew that to ask such fierce questions, he had to do his homework. So before showing up at the radio studio, we had sent him some of the promo material on Accessing Personal Genius and Neuro-Semantic. On the day that I met Kevin I noticed that he had marked up the written materials, had circled words and statements, had written large question marks on some, and that he had even been to the website and had downloaded some materials.
Seeing that, I felt excited knowing that this would not be a humdrum interview. I then discovered that Kevin knew about framing. He didn’t call it that, but that’s what he did as he introduced me, mentioned the trainings, and then set the structure of the interview. He would ask questions for the first half and then give the audience a chance to ask questions. With that, he delved right in to it.
“The first thing I think when I hear ‘Accessing Personal Genius’ is over-sell, that you are over- selling and over-promising. Surely you don’t mean that you can create geniuses or that everybody can become a ‘genius,’ do you?”
“That’s a great question! It’s great because what we call ‘genius’ is not something that’s created, it is something that is accessed and released and that’s because ‘genius’ is not so much about I.Q. intelligence as it is about being fully present.”
“You mean we are already geniuses? Is that what you’re saying?”
“Yes and no. No if the word ‘genius’ means high I.Q., but yes if you mean being at your best, being fully engaged in whatever you’re doing so that you are ‘in the zone,’ and fully ‘on.’ We call the genius state a state of flow because when we are in it, things just flow. It’s as if all of our mental, emotional, and personal resources are fully available.”
“That’s a different way of looking at ‘genius.’ So genius is more of an experience than a status. That must be why there’s no Universities that give degrees in ‘genius.’ So if it is an experience, then how do we experience it or as you say, ‘access’ it?”
“Suppose I told you that you were born for genius, that everyone listening to us right now was born for genius? Have you ever noticed how little children can get so lost in a toy or game as they play and become
so engaged in that activity that you have to almost shout or tap them on the shoulder to get their attention? If genius is being all there, then that child is in a genius state of full engagement, of one mind —single minded about that activity.”
“So genius is about focus and concentration? So it is the opposite of multi-tracking? Is that why we think of some geniuses as absent-minded and lost in their thoughts?”
“Yes,exactly. They are of one mind about something and because they are not splitting their awareness, but focusing it, they have a laser-beam focus and that’s what makes them so present, so engaged, so much in the zone.”
“That’s the best golfers do. They get in the zone and are able to stop all the mind-chatter so they aren’t disturbed by the things going on around them.”
“You’ve got it. Genius is a natural state of mind, we were born for it. The challenge we have is not in creating it, but in getting back to it. Our problem as adults is that we have too many things on our mind, we have too many things going on in the back of our mind. We need to ‘Lose our mind and come back to our senses’ so that we can be present and enter that zone of focus and flow.”
[Laughing] “That’s good. When I’m working at my home office on some of my projects, my wife is always telling me that I’ve lost my mind because she can call me for supper over and over and I never hear her. Now I’ve got the best excuse ever— I’m in my genius state!”
“When you’re in that state, what enables you to be so lost in your thoughts? How do you get so involved that you don’t hear the call for supper?”
“Well, I’m just doing what I love, usually searching for songs and clips that I can use on the radio. . . . And then it’s like I’m lost in my own world.”
“And when that happens, what happens to time, to your sense of time?”
“I don’t know, it’s gone.”
“And what happens to your environment?”
“And to other people?”
“Well, Kevin, sounds like in that context you already have accessed your personal genius state!”
“That’s great. Of course, the problem is that I can get lost in that state for hours and hours and then miss appointments, or not get sufficient sleep.”
“So how would you like to be able to switch that genius state of flow on and off at will? How would you like to be able to step into it and step out of it and to do so whenever you want to?”
“That would be great. I’d like that.”
“Well, that’s what our training and books about Accessing Personal Genius is all about. When we can do that, we have the state instead of it have us. That’s what I did with the states of both researching and writing. Prior to doing that, I suffered from writer’s block, but now that I can simply step into my writing genius state, I have not suffered from writer’s block since. Now, I can turn that state on for an hour or five minutes or however long I want it.”
“Now that would be different. Sometimes when I get into flow, I fear that if I stepped out of it, I couldn’t get it back.”
“Yes, that’s very typical. Because it’s such a joyous and powerful experience, when we are there we don’t step out and when we are not in it, we feel that we have to wait until it happens again. But once you recognize how you do it, then you won’t have to wait around for the genius state to occur. Because it is your state,you created it. And if you create it, then you can learn to turn it on and off at your choice.”
“So this is not more over-selling, is it? Just how can we just turn it on and off? How does that work?”
“Have you ever watched the Olympic athlete turn it on and off? Have you ever seen a gymnast, a diver, or a sprinter just step up to the time of their performance and just turn it on. When we watch them, we see them take their stand, access the state, and then explode into the activity.”
“Yes, that’s fantastic, but are you now saying we all can be Olympic athletes? That we can be or do anything we want to be or do? Does it go that far?”
“Perhaps. But who really knows? What I’m really saying is that we can take charge of the focus state itself—that we can learn to run our own brains so that we can get the best attitude, mood, and performance out of ourselves.
Wouldn’t that in itself be enough to make your day? What if you could simply step into a highly focused state when you are here in the studio or when you are creating a new show or when you are with a loved one . . . wouldn’t that make your life a little bit more wonderful?”
“Yes it would. That really would. . . . And you will teach how to do this in the training?”
“And what about you? Are you able to step into . . . what did you just call it, ‘the genius writing state?’”
“Yes, people often ask how I can write so much or how I come up with so many new models . . . and I can only say that since experiencing the genius pattern which I ran with myself in 1996, I have not had writers block.”