Okay, let’s clear something up before it gets awkward: I’m not a guy.
Maximillian Kaizen likely shimmers to mind some manly-sized teutonic fellow, built to storm the dark fortresses of doom, right?
I prepare people for taking on worthwhile quests, getting them to the places where the mighty or heroic might emerge in them. To win more victories for life by ensuring fewer brilliant, interesting people die with their gems still neatly-wrapped inside them. Like Morpheus or Dumbledore, I offer the call to adventure to those who may not yet realise their own power.
“Somewhere something incredible is waiting to be known.” – Carl Sagan
Wait, before I go on – are you here on business?
If you came to this page looking for my bio, you can stop here. Go here >>
Waiting to begin our “life’s work” until we’re anointed into leadership; earn an advanced qualification; get that BIG IDEA; the time-luxury of retirement; feel financially secure = the bogus version of reality. It hasn’t proven effective over time. Imposing the default stories of race/age/nationality/religion on ourselves, or others, impedes the wonder that may otherwise emerge.
Greatness is lost to all of us when curious people get wedged into work smaller than the size of their soul. Worse yet, regretting the risks not taken, clinging to a suffocating normality … until it’s too late.
We’re wasting too much brilliance that could illuminate us out of the omnishambles we find ourselves in. Traditional blueprints of how life should be led, don’t fit well for some. So we don’t always recognise what we should give attention to.
“Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself; but talent instantly recognises genius” – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Because I’ve never fitted in elegantly either, I hunt “genius“. Not so much the fabled individual version. Rather: a pursuit of the subtle, erratic forces that drive those ingenious upgrades to life. Genius rarely shows up in obvious packaging, with prestige and applause heralding its arrival. Anomalies. Stuff from the periphery. Often slow born of annoying obsession, mistakes, last-ditch attempts, discomfort, boredom, play.
For the odder sorts, intelligent leisure
We should all experience the full power of obsession, that feeling that you’re doing what you are uniquely built to do. Only a slim few know what that even looks like, or where to go looking.
I help restless, bright people learn, actively break and remake how they work – and have fun. And, teach what they’ve figured out. It’s an all-ages punk version of “education” where smart is sexy. Tech strong. Sometimes in structured classes, sometimes brain-stimulating leisure, sabbaticals, and distinctly nerdy travel.
Connecting curious people to ideas, tools – and most importantly, each other. Genius begets genius. The company we choose to have around us, counts disproportionately to the quality and shape of our reality.
“Chance favours the connected mind” – Steven B Johnson
Learning fresh skills, and peering into other disciplines blows open new pathways and problem-solving. Especially when it’s for fun, not directed outcomes. Exposure to a lavish variety of knowledge, conversations with eccentric strangers and useful tools = more novel combinations. It’s a potent enzyme for a daring career-change or to spawn a side-project.
Even especially if it looks foolish to everyone else around you.
“The best ideas come as jokes.” – David Ogilvy
… or perhaps for that startup glamour: “The next big thing will start out looking like a toy.” – Chris Dixon
Though no-one says it better than Isaac Asimov: “The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ but ‘That’s funny…”
I’m with the optimistic oddballs who believe there are ways out, without leaving the planet. Stupidity and defective hand-me-down systems threaten to suck us over the brink. But at last, we have the tools to accelerate evolution. To upgrade our ancient operating system.
We humans are an unruly, super-organism now as we all connect to each other with superhuman tech powers. Waiting on intelligentsia and leaders to find us a fix through proven routes, is likely to take too long. A full range of interesting and unlikely minds need to be on the case. And fast.
Let’s make smart the new sexy. Could be fun. Might save our collective asses.