Blueprint >> Zone of Genius

Disclaimer: This document is in raw form as I process and distill 4 years-worth of my personal development notes. Expect some typos and cryptic language for now. I will be updating frequently and polishing up.

Prescription: Live your zone of genius.
Related Concepts: Life Purpose, Top 5 Strengths, Be World Class, Mission Statement

What is the Zone of Genius?

The idea that you have a hidden zone of genius that you could be operating from, but that you forego it, keeping yourself stuck in a lower zone of competence or excellence.

Why is it Important?

Most of us go the things we're merely good at, not the things we're outstanding at. By aligning your life wit h that 1 or 2 things you are a genius at, you will get deeper satisfaction out of work that will slip over into all parts of life.

Zone of Genius Videos

[coming soon...]

Coach Leo Gura
Hire me as your coach. Super-charge your life. Email me now!
  • Redesign your life to align with your purpose
  • Mindsets and tools for exceptional success

Zone of Genius: Key Points

What are the things you're a genius at? What are the things you're merely good at and paid well for? What are the things you're average at? What are the things you suck at? Be very careful not to get stuck on the stuff you're merely good at. Very few of us are working in our Zones of Genius. Instead we settle for excellence or worse. Learn to say No! Pursue the things you're a genius at.


  • Zone of Incompetence
  • Zone of Competence
  • Zone of Excellence
  • Zone of Genius

It's very easy to get stuck in the Zone of Excellence because you're comfortable there — you're getting paid well, you're getting social recognition, and you feel successful. But you're not making the kind of impact you want, and you live in a sea of tolerance. You are on the brink of breaking through into genius, but you have to take that leap of faith and venture out of comfort.

Going into your Zone of Genius often requires a bold decision. Your friends and family will question you because you are leaving behind what to them seems like success to pursue something speculative. You will require courage and faith to make this transition. Friends and family will come along later.

Finding your Zone of Genius takes some work and introspection. Chances are that you've already been given suble or not so subtle clues throughout your life, but sweeped them under the rug. Your Zone of Genius is going to be something idealistic that you're hesitant to admit to for various reasons: 1) it's a bit out there and risky, 2) it would mean you've been wasting your time, 3) it might require making drastic, painful changes to your life, 4) it might be embarrassing to admit and share with friends and family, 5) it's against social conventions, etc.

4 questions for finding your Zone of Genius:1

  • "What do you love to do most? (You love it so much you can do it for long stretches of time without getting tired or bored)."
  • "What work do you do that doesn't seem like work?"
  • "In your work, what produces the highest ratio of abundance and satisfaction to the amount of time spent?"
  • "What is your unique ability? What unique ability of yours, fully realized and put to work, can provide enormous value to you and/or your company?"
  • "I'm the best when I'm…"
  • "When I'm at my best the exact thing I'm doing is…"
  • "When I'm doing that, the thing I love most about it is…"

Staying in your Zone of Genius is going to require that you say "No" a lot. Get good at saying No to opportunities that take you out of your Zone of Genius.1

Most people will concoct perfectly good stories for why they can't be in their Zone of Genius. They Upper Limit themselves with sabotaging behavior whenever they start feeling too good because their beliefs and self-image hold them back.1


  1. The Big Leap, Gay Hendricks
Coach Leo Gura
Hire me as your coach. Super-charge your life. Email me now!
  • Redesign your life to align with your purpose
  • Mindsets and tools for exceptional success