Yesterday, we spoke about Genius. We touched upon a question of interest to us:
“How do I make the leap from Talent to Genius?”
I don’t have a complete answer yet. So let me offer the part of the puzzle which I am very confident about: Courage.
It’s a key ingredient, a necessary catalyst for one to make the leap from one to another.
A natural question follows, what do we mean by courage? How do you recognize courage?
Of course, there is the Die Hard version of running into a gun nest. That is a subset of courage.
Courage also has some other flavors. Many of us recognize them almost instantly in the form of honor and duty.
The other smell for spotting courage is the acting on something despite fear and/or knowledge of harsh consequences. Many outsized entrepreneurial and military ventures are built with this courage.
There is also a lot of courage which stems from not caring about what people have to say. To neither be bound by shackles of history or tradition, but also respect Chesterton’s Fence.
It frees you to learn about reality from other people, but not be bound to the reality of today. An ability to envision a future state which others don’t imagine.
Pressfield’s Resistance is the most dangerous element to one's life and dreams since its sole mission is to sabotage aspirations. The first step to fighting Resistance is knowing that you can, and you can win a battle here and another there.
That is empowering you to action. That is a form of courage.
It frees you to make bets that’d make others shiver in fear of uncertainty. It frees you to act in ways congruent to your values and aspirations. To seek truth, beauty and craft above all else.
For a craftsman mindset, to do their best work, the ideal state is where they can act freely. For that specific form of high agency, courage is a key ingredient, a catalyst. Without courage, no talent can truly do their best work. The leap is impossible from Talent to Genius.
Courage in any flavor: pride, duty, honor, self-confidence is a foundational belief.
This is a belief that not only is something achievable - but there might be a means and methods to do so. It is a specific form of Arbitrage against Reality. An advantage which you, my dear talented friend, now have over others that don’t have the conviction, or the courage.