Do you highlight or hide your unique genius?

Did you know that your so-called flaws can be pointing to your unique marketable genius?

Instead of hiding your quirks and so-called flaws, you should be looking at them as clues to your unique marketable genius. 

Sometimes it’s hard to see. That’s why I’m constantly teaching (through the Pillars of Genius™ Method), and writing about it in articles like this and this.

Here’s another great story I stumbled across while watching a documentary on Netflix that perfectly demonstrates that a so-called flaw can be seen as unique marketable genius.

“Magic Camp” documentary is about a prestigious summer camp where the best teenage magicians in North America go to learn from the best in the industry. Magicians like David Copperfield and Criss Angel once studied and performed at this camp. 

Throughout the camp, the instructors help each kid improve and polish their signature magic act into something stellar. At the end, all the kids compete for best magic routine.  

The documentary follows a lot of kids, but focuses on a handful who each have their struggles – as we all do when up-leveling our craft. One kid gets a call that his dad was in an accident and in the hospital, but his dad sends the message for him to stay there, keep going (bawl); another kid gets so homesick he can’t handle it and leaves halfway through camp.

All the kids are captivating, but for me, it was Brian.  

Brian has Tourette Syndrome (a syndrome which causes involuntary physical and verbal tics). Since magic is all about perfection and precision and controlling every single move of the hand, the elbow, the wrist, the face, etc – there’s not a lot of room for involuntary tics.  

Brian worked out ways to hide his Tourette’s during his act, so it doesn’t distract the audience. He’s tried incorporating dance moves that keep his body moving so his physical tics aren’t as visibly distracting. Unfortunately, he’s a pretty goofy dancer, so that’s not working out too well. The instructors at Magic Camp are working with his act, adjusting some of his dance moves to make them better, but the act still isn’t coming together.  

As the camp carries on over the days and the act still isn’t coming together, you see Brian start to lose his motivation, get sad, then he gets really depressed. He seems to give up and you just want to reach through the screen and hug him (these documentaries are hard to watch sometimes).

Then, something happens.

One of his instructors (who I am going to KISS if I ever meet him!) in one of the lectures tells this room of teenagers:  “revel in your quirkiness. Don’t be ashamed of it, don’t run away from who you are. Don’t try to be someone else. We are different. Take advantage of it.”  

The instructor isn’t even speaking directly to Brian, he’s just teaching this whole auditorium of kids who eat sleep and breathe magic tricks.

But Brian catches it.

Later in the movie, you see the ship turn…..Brian says “my act is stopped right now. I have a new idea coming up for a Tourette’s act which is new for me.”

Then, he gets it.  Brian is in front of the documentary camera saying: “I’ve always separated Tourette’s from my magic life, as far as possible. Magic was to escape the Tourette’s. I’m learning I need to combine them, I need to make them one because they are both part of me…..It”s not only unique among magicians it’s uniquely me, and that’s something I’ve never been able to do before……..”

And I’m jumping up and down in my living room going Yes! Yes! Brian! You get it! You are a genius man, go for it, you are a unique marketable genius and you are going to rock the stage with this Non-dancing, Tourette’s-validating magic act!!!

Do you have a so-called flaw that is just Who You Are – and until now you’ve believed that you have to suppress it, fight it or hide it, because there is just no possible way it fits in with what could be uniquely genius in you?   

What would happen if you decided to highlight, rather than hide, your quirks and so-called flaws?  

Simple. You’d start bringing all of who you are to the table, instead of a lopsided version of everything you can offer.


Brought to you by Cristi Cooke, creator of the Pillars of Genius™ Method

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