F A T H O M || T R I B E
This week’s letter is super duper special because TODAY my good friend Alan Briggs has a new book dropping into the world. The book is titled Everyone’s a Genius: Unleashing Creativity For the Sake of the World. I was fortunate to snag an advance copy of the book, and I highly, highly recommend it. To celebrate the book’s release, I interviewed Alan on what it means to be a genius. I think you’ll find his answers insightful and helpful to you.
**Also, I’m giving away a copy of Alan’s book. Read on for the details!**
Is everyone truly a genius?
Yes! I truly believe it. How? Theologically speaking, God created each person in his image. In the human sense, each of us is completely unique as we bear God’s image differently. In our culture, we look to only a few types of intelligence and affirm only a few types of gifts. We haven’t worked very hard to see how each person has unique hardwiring, skills and abilities. Every person in every career field is amazing at something. As we do these things, we can feel the divine breeze flowing through us that tells us “I was made to do this”!
I’m not an “artistic” person. How can I unleash creativity? Most people say they aren’t artistic.
Two things on this. 1. We all start artistic, and it gets accidentally trained out of us over time. Every kid participates in art class enthusiastically in kindergarten but each year less and less of us believe we are artists. This is shame and pragmatics at work. 2. We are all wired to cultivate things: beauty, people and knowledge. Many times we can see the gifts in others, and we are to help them find their path. For example, each year I take 3-5 younger leaders under my wing and care for them and help them succeed in their big projects.
We unleash creativity by taking risks to create things ourselves and to cultivate others. It’s a both/and. We need to take new risks to push into new areas we haven’t tried before, but we also need to affirm others around us in their unique genius. I liken this to being people archeologists of those around us. Affirmation is missing in our culture. Followers of Jesus can lead the way in this.
I’m in an entry level work position where I don’t have a chance to let my genius shine. Any advice?
Our vocation is much larger than our job. Most people can’t let all of their genius shine in their job, and they need to find creative outlets to do this. We can take a lot of pressure off ourselves and our paychecks if we realize we will never exercise all of our creative gifts within our job. Some of the best writers, graphic designers and entrepreneurs I know do this “on the side”. Some will never collect a dollar doing it. The point isn’t the pay, but the exercise of our gifts where we feel the divine breeze flowing through us.
Any other advice for twentysomethings and creativity?
You will have so many more outlets for your creativity than you can imagine right now. But, you will discover them through risks. Without pushing through fear you won’t find what you’re truly wired to do. Take the next right step!
***Win a copy of Alan’s book!***
To enter the drawing, all you have to do to is reply to this email by Sunday and finish this statement: I, [insert your name], am a genius because ___________ .
Worth Reading: As the season of Fall approaches, I highly recommend you go outside and read the poem, The Peace of Wild Things, by Wendell Berry.
Worth Watching: Watch this brief video featuring world renown Japanese painter Makoto Fujimura on the Art of the Four Gospels.
Worth Pondering: “Beauty is the illumination of your soul.” — John O’Donohue
Let your genius shine this week,
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