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Man is most nearly himself, when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play - Heraclitus

July 12, 2017

 

One of the qualities that made Einstein such a great scientist was his insatiable curiosity. In episode 10 of the Genius series on National Geographic, he meets a little girl, Alice Edwards, who reminds him of this. She is terribly curious and has a lot of questions. 

 

The child in us, the child we always were and still are, has three important qualities: curiosity, excitement and innocence.

 

Curiosity is like thirst or hunger. It drives you forward. Excitement is like the fire in the belly. And innocence assumes nothing, is always open to something new or different.

 

If we allow ourselves to be led by our curiosity, excitement and innocence we find our passion. And that is a critical element of our purpose, our calling. If we target our passion with our unique capability (or superpower) and put this in service of the world, we have it. 

 

Since Einstein liked equations, we can put this principle in an equation:

 

Purpose = Superpower x Passion x Service

 

Now mind you, the nature of a mathematical equation like this one is that if one of the factors of multiplication is 0, the factor before the equal sign become 0.

 

For example, if you have passion and you want to be of service, but you do not know your superpower, there is no purpose. Let us say your Passion is a 10 and your Service is a 10, but Superpower is unknown and not used:

 

Purpose = 0 x10 x 10 = 0

 

I have worked with Olympic Gold winning athletes, and one of the things that made them excel was that they knew their superpower and developed it. They had passion for the game, just loved playing it. And they were able to play in service of something greater than themselves. With the seriousness of a child at play.

 

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