"The Work" Need Not Be Genius

"The Work" Need Not Be Genius

Yesterday, we saw that the work has the potential to change the world. That is why we recommend finding the work that is your special contribution as soon as you can, so you can start changing the world as soon as possible.

Today, we discuss a problem that many people have when they first hear about finding the work that is their unique role in life: they wonder how good the work has to be, and often this stops them from even trying to find it, because they are afraid they will not measure up to some abstract standard. Let’s attack that question right now.


Does the work have to be on the level of genius?

Some people wonder whether the work has to attain the level of genius in order to make an impact. Again, this concern arises from the influence of the Myths. Everything that is created in freedom is in some sense genius, even it only serves to make you a better creator, and even if no one else notices what has happened to you.

Perhaps these people are more concerned about achieving notoriety than in doing the work. If you crave notoriety, you are probably not doing the work. Being noticed is not creative, unless you are creating a personality in order to be noticed. And then the work is acting, which you should probably get on with instead of trying to make yourself noticeable.

If you are a good enough actor, you will be noticed by someone. Even if you never become a star, there is a good chance that one of your performances touched someone somewhere and made his or her life better, more beautiful. And that sort of influence on the world is what flows from the work that is truly yours, whether or not you are aware of it.

You don’t really need appreciation in order to know you are doing good. If you are working hard at the work, then you will be doing good. It’s almost the definition of doing good. And by a strange law of reciprocation that seems to exist in the universe, appreciation will begin to come anyway—almost as soon as you no longer need it.


Tomorrow we will investigate whether the work implies utopian fantasies that are unrealizable.

Until tomorrow, then.

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