My guest today is Gay Hendricks. He's a huge voice on psychology and social behavior. He's written more than 40 different books. Some of his best sellers have included Five Wishes and the Big Leap.
Gay is always operating in his own genius and he’s here to talk to us a little bit about the zone of genius and the upper limit.
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[02:10] Gay’s Purpose and Mission
Gay shares with us his mission and life purpose to expand and share. Gay promotes love, abundance, and creativity to inspire other people to do the same.
Gay has been doing this for quite some time. Since the 70’s in fact, so it’s easier for him to stay in his zone of genius. Although, it didn’t always start that way. In the 70’s Gay was a Ph D. Student at Stanford and worked in a counseling center. He used to see a lot of Silicon Valley executives running against the upper limit. This opened his eyes to the human transformation and the real source of the problem lies in fear.
Gay explains that a lot of our problems with succeeding are because we’re afraid to succeed. This could be because we don’t want to supersede other people. Or, we don’t want to hurt anybody else’s feelings, disappoint, or bring shame to anyone including ourselves. This causes us to get stuck in these feelings. It keeps us under a nice mode of genius until we try to grow and often end up sabotaging ourselves to get down again.
[07:24] Upper Limits and Their Effect on Relationships
Gay has talked to people around the world. His experience is they have an easy time defining the upper limit problem in themselves.
Guy shared examples of how we define these problems. Breaking new year’s resolutions or trying a new diet to name a couple. People also have a hard time seeing these same behaviors in relationships.
When you’re in a relationship love plays a big role. You're afraid that you're going to lose the love of the other person. You're afraid they're going to go away. They're afraid you're going to go away. Human beings also have a big fear wired in them of getting too close. So, it takes a long time in a relationship to get through the fear of being separate and the fear of being too close.
Gay shared how he and his wife had very different personalities. He was always kind of a loner and independent. Being a writer, he could go into a room by himself for four hours, not speak to a person and work on how he presented. Throughout he gradually learned to appreciate a little bit more the second half of his life.
[11:00] Comfort Zone
It feels sometimes that we build comfort around failure. This is because we’re afraid of executing so we get stuck in our comfort zone. When we go into our comfort zone it’s underneath our zone of genius. Sticking our heads out of that comfort zone can be scary. One of the reasons for that is we have a fear deep down inside of our magnificence. Gay sees a lot of people being afraid of their real pure raw inner creativity. The heart of themselves that’s creative and wild.
One of the things Gay does at the institute helps people reconnect with their creative genius. Some haven’t had that connection since they were children. Gay shares an experience he had with a group of 40 people. He tells how beautiful it is to see each person fall in love with themselves. The love towards their life, and their own creative genius.
Gay starts his visitors at the institute with 10 minutes a day. 10 minutes of focusing only on their pure creativity. Even if it’s going in a room for 10 minutes. Explaining what their creativity is or asking a question. Ask yourself what you want to bring forth on your brief journey through planet Earth.
There was a man Gay talked with who was a dentist and felt like he was dying inside. He had a six-figure salary and a happy marriage. But he wanted to get back into writing poetry like he did when he was younger. Gay took ten minutes and told the man to write a poem to reconnect with that part of him he left behind so long ago. The process transformed him and he began to write poetry again. Poetry about healing and the counseling process. This, in turn, helped him identify what he truly loved about his profession.
It doesn’t matter how old you are, you can rekindle that feeling you had and embrace your inner creativity. If we could showcase who we are and what we do it’s the most beautiful thing. It only takes 10 minutes to sit down and start tasting that creative sense of yourself. Then you’ll do 15 minutes the next day. Then began increasing the amount of time you spend reaching your inner creativity. You could be spending only 10% of your life living in your zone of genius. This leaves 90% spending your life doing things you don’t really like to do.
[20:32] Getting Into Your Genius Zone
The simple way to get into your genius zone is to spend time with people whose faces light up when you walk into a room. Enjoy the fact that you’re spending time with them because they’re bringing you up, not bringing you down.
Finding your zone of genius is a more internal journey. Most people want to include their friends and family in the process. But there comes a point where you have to say “OK, I dedicate myself to finding my genius and expressing it in the world.” Then you need to do that in your community, family, and be in this new space where you start to inspire other people.
Those are two things that go hand in hand to our own genius. Along with the commitment to meeting a life that inspires other people. You should want to lift the lid off your own genius and other people’s genius.
Sometimes you catch onto the basic idea that you’re limiting yourself in one area. But you may not see the same happening in another. You may see it at work but not see how you’re doing the exact same thing at home and with your family.
Most people don't wake up to everything all at once. The foundation of any kind of big change process is commitment. It’s one thing to make a promise to yourself. But it's another thing to make a sincere heartfelt commitment. It's something you do with your mind, body, and emotions. The commitment needs to be a sincere commitment.
You'll know if your commitment was sincere if you keep it. If not, you need to come back and go even deeper to make a deeper level of commitment. Gay shares his level of commitment from being obese at 24 years old to lose 100lbs in a year.
It was a very epic monumental weight loss experience. He continues this commitment 30-40 years late by going to the gym 3 days a week to work out. But, he was the same as most of us and made a commitment only to blow it off, go back to his commitment, and repeat. This happened until he’d go in deep enough into his commitment that it became a part of his everyday life.
[29:50] Setting Your Focus
Gay and his wife visit a place in Southern California called Meditation Mount. They’ll go up and sit together and get clear on what they want to do during the year. This is something Gay recommends everybody do to get clear on what your vision and focus should be. It doesn’t have to be on a mountaintop, it can be in the corner of your apartment or a park bench.
Gay mentions his book Five Wishes and how that’s constructed his life. His first was to create a loving relationship with a woman with whom he could grow and change with them over time. His second is he wanted to get closure with friends and family members. Along with other people in his life so there wasn’t anything unspoken or unheard between them. His third is he wanted to learn how to write from the heart and not just writing textbooks. His fourth was to learn as much about the spiritual aspect of life and God, spirit, and divinity. His fifth is to learn how to save a life and really be there for people.
[33:40] Excellent Activities Vs. Genius
Your zone of genius will always have a flavor to it of being something you really love to do. The presence of doing something you love to do is the genius. Whereas you might be excellent at being a lawyer or a dentist. You might not have found a way to engage within yourself. Have a job that you never want to retire from.
Gay doesn’t want to retire from anything. He’s most interested in how to maximize the experience of people everywhere. Whenever he can be thinking or talking about ways to do this he will. He’ll continue doing it until there’s no more air coming out of him. Gay shows how he is dedicated and committed to inspiring others.
[36:34] Mysteries and Netflix
Gay shares his thoughts on how he got where he is today with his mystery novels and a potential Netflix series. It all happened by being more of an imaginative genius. He didn’t start writing mystery novels until about 7 years ago.
He was looking for a way to reinvent himself as a writer. One morning he woke up at 3am and began making up a mystery. He began thinking about reading the mystery as a book to help him get back to sleep. When he woke up the next morning he started writing the mystery he devised in the night. It led him to 5 mystery novels. All which involve a Tibetan Buddhist private detective which have all been published.
Earlier this year, Netflix began conversations with Gay. The conversation involved turning his novels into a mystery series. A process which he is in the midst of now. He is also working on a new series with a new main character. The first novel in the new series was published in December. The second published in September.
[39:58] Get in Touch
To get in touch with Gay you can visit him at www.hendricks.com. Which also includes information on his non-profit foundation, the foundation for conscious living. For relationship work of Gay, you can visit www.heartsinharmony.com. You can visit his websites to look up all his work with conscious living and loving.
[41:50] Gay’s Definition of an Inner Changemaker
Gay tells us his definition of an inner changemaker is being open to the fullness of ourselves. We’re all here to find out what our upper limit is and to find what our genius zone is. The act of loving yourself is the same act of loving humanity. So by loving as much as we can from wherever we are that will take us into an absolutely full life experience.
Follow Gay @GayHendricks