How to Be a Genius

//How to Be a Genius

How to Be a Genius

Last week, I was invited to speak to a group of college students at the Next Generation Summit at UCSB. I knew that most of them were probably under extreme pressure from their parents, peers, and society to go forth and “get a fricking job,” so I thought it would be fun (and helpful) to tell them the exact opposite: “Don’t get a job. Get in your Genius Zone!”

My core message is that everyone is a genius at something. If you don’t know what that is, and if you want a life with greater success, meaning, and happiness, then your mission is to go forth and find that “thing.” Once you’ve found it, then you must sacrifice to design everything in your life around it.

When someone hears this message for the first time, the typical reaction is, “OK, but what am I a genius at?” I answer this question in the talk with a simple formula: Talents + Purpose = Genius and then I give several examples of college students living this formula right now who are showing up as geniuses within their niche and making a positive impact on the world.

I, too, benefitted from giving this talk. My personal key takeaway is that there are committed and talented people in every generation. While the media often portrays “Millenials” as a spoiled, over-parented, unaware, and texting- and Ritalin-addicted bunch, I found this group to be incredibly insightful, passionate, engaged, and sincerely committed – not just to having a job, but to making a real difference. It was inspiring and reaffirming that humans are indeed very cool beings.

How about you? What do you think of the talk?

By |2021-05-18T06:41:14-07:00May 14th, 2013|Articles|2 Comments


  1. Kiyan Rajabi May 16, 2013 at 6:17 am

    Lex, this was a very memorable talk. It was refreshing to hear a contrarian that provided a perspective so different than the one we’ve been taught in school over the years. I know many of my friends were inspired and moved by the insights you shared.

    • Lex Sisney May 16, 2013 at 10:37 am

      Thanks Kiyan! Btw, based on what I saw at the event, you seem to be in your genius zone when you’re using your talents of coordinatiing experiences and events to inspire others to reach their potential. 🙂

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