You Don’t Decide On Your Genius. It Decides On You.

Did you know that tennis is *not* Andre Agassi’s true genius? How do I know? Page 1 of his autobiography reads: “I play tennis for a living, even though I hate tennis, hate it with a dark and secret passion, and always have.”

Turns out, Agassi was in one of those scenarios where his dad forced tennis on him – one of those “living your dreams through your child’s accomplishments” kind of things. So while on the outside, the mass might think tennis is Agassi’s genius, it’s not…it’s his dad’s dream. It’s actually quite heartbreaking to read this story about a guy who was so good at something, but was so unhappy with it.

Genius is not something forced by you, or forced on you. Your unique Pillars of GeniusTM fuel you; they are as natural to you as breathing in and out, you do them without realizing it *because* they are so natural they don’t need to be forced, cajoled, or pushed (especially not to the point of misery, as in Agassi’s case).

So – what are Agassi’s unique Pillars of GeniusTM?

In my opinion, something’s got a hold of this guy, that he himself didn’t seem to choose and I’m not even sure he’s aware of it, even though it’s on the tip of his nose.

It seems to me he’s got some kind of passion and driving force behind precision, accuracy, and focus on time. This raw genius around precision, accuracy, and focus on time – is in his DNA. He couldn’t get away from it if he tried (and he does try, as he explains in the book, to not be that way). Agassi doesn’t own his genius – it owns him. While I was reading his autobiography, I could see the clues littered all over the place and felt myself wondering many times if Agassi himself can see it, but I doubt it… were just a few of the clues that I see:

• Page 6 – “Our morning ritual. Each blueberry must be surgically removed, which requires precision, concentration”
• Page 12 – “I obsess about my bag. I keep it meticulously organized, and I make no apologies for this anal retentiveness…I can feel every ounce of its weight”
• Page 18 – “….the portraits are three feet tall and spaced evenly – too evenly…I tell myself: Stop noticing such things.”
• Page 45 – “I can’t imagine the pleasure my mother takes in jigsaw puzzles. All that fractured disorder, all that chaos – how can that be relaxing?”
• Page 25 – “And because my mind notes and records the slightest details, I see everything with bright, startling clarity.”
• Page 77 – “Straight from breakfast we board a bus for school, Bradenton Academy, twenty-six minutes away.”
• Page 8 – “The afternoon shower is always longer – twenty-two minutes, give or take.”
• Page 17 – “…what time? Is it seven thirty? Seven twenty? I don’t know, and it suddenly feels important. But there are no clocks.”

Wouldn’t you just love to see what this genius could have evolved to (and maybe still could evolve) into? Brain surgeon? Actuarial scientist? Best damn clock and watch maker EVER BORN? Will we ever know?

I would love to have just an hour with him to see how that true genius could grow into marketable work that fills him with joy and makes him #1 in a role that fuels him and brings a smile to his face because it’s who he is at his core, and he doesn’t know how to be any other way.

What are your unique Pillars of Genius™? What are the clues and patterns in your life that are trying to throw hints at you every single day? The clues to your Pillars of Genius™ are probably right in front of you. Look closer.


  1. Wonderful post, Cristi! Deliciously written. Your passion for your genius is palpable.

  2. Thank you Jovanna! I picked up Agassi’s bio at a second-hand bookstore, thinking it would be a nice light read – I had no idea I would find the fuel for a blog post – you should see the book, with margin notes and underlines everywhere! I can’t help myself. LOL 🙂

  3. I love this post! I feel so much like him and his constant details. I think I may have found my crazy genius in comparing myself with him. For instance, I have to clean the room before I can sit down and work, or… I remember and record in my mind all the finest details and am constantly refining them. Thanks for sharing this!

  4. Hi Janice! It’s so funny isn’t it, how someone you think’s genius is obvious “tennis” is not actually his real genius (at least not in my opinion!). I love how you started to see your own genius (it’s not crazy, it’s likely a goldmine for you and your Perfect Match Clients™! Janice, your Perfect Match Clients™ *want* what you’ve got!! Great job!

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