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I'd be happy to chat about The Activated Genius Method, my research, our individual and organizational coaching programs designed to maximize your performance, or Tailored Output in general.

No question it too silly, or too profound. This is my life's work. Let's chat!

- julie


Arlington, VA
United States

Tailored Output is a professional development coaching company with an emphasis on goal-setting, career-planning, and team-building within the context of creating whole and fulfilling lives. 



Individuals working with Tailored Output will uncover their unique genius to identify career opportunities that will contribute to a whole and fulfilled life.

Organizations working with Tailored Output will learn how to assemble multi-disciplinary teams--staffed with engaged and motivated members--to accomplish seemingly impossible tasks in alignment with the corporate mission and values.

 

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The Tailored Output Blog

 

What do You Love

Julie Slanker

What captures your attention? What lights you up? What are you curious to learn? 

What do you wonder about about most-often in the shower or on long runs? What are you a big nerd about? What topic do you keep coming back to, from every possible angle?

That thing? That is your Inclination. Your deep interest. 

The idea that we all hold within us a deep Inclination comes from Robert Greene's Mastery. In his research, Greene discovered that every notable master - from Mozart to Einstein to modern-day examples - began first with a love for their topic. There was something that captured them in childhood and they never let it go.

Masters follow their curiosity into research and apprenticeship, then experimentation and innovation. They learn everything there is to learn until they have the capacity to make connections that no one else can make. This study, this lifelong pursuit is what leads them to generate the world-changing insight or astounding accomplishment that made each of them a household name.

Their example - this methodology - is what you must now recreate in your own way.

You have a complex problem that you want to help solve, a difference that only you can make. You have a status quo you can no longer stand, a new reality to construct in its place. This will require deep knowledge about how things work - and don't work - about what has been done and what is yet to be. 

"to master a field, you must love the subject and feel a profound connection to it." - Robert Greene, Mastery

"to master a field, you must love the subject and feel a profound connection to it." - Robert Greene, Mastery

This will require mastery.

That is why Inclination is the fourth pillar of your unique Genius.

It is the substantive piece of the puzzle that pulls the full picture of your Genius together. Your Inclination gives your Values, Strengths, and Motivation a focus and direction. Following your Inclination is how you make your wildly-applicable Genius practical and actionable, a service to your purpose.

So you must uncover your Inclination.

And just like with the other pillars of your Genius, that may be easier said than done. Your Inclination can become deeply-buried, covered up by more-traditionally-rewarded things. As attention turns to getting good grades, or getting a good job, or climbing the corporate ladder, the thing that sparked wonder and enthusiasm in your childhood might be a distant memory, now.

Yet, that is exactly the thing you must work to find within yourself, again.

Photo of baby Bella and Uncle Cory reading a book. What books did you love as a child?

Photo of baby Bella and Uncle Cory reading a book. What books did you love as a child?

Start with your childhood curiosities. The things you were scolded to put aside for homework. The books you loved to read - when you still had time to choose. The games you loved to play - when your imagination set all the rules.

Then follow the thread forward in time. What do you gravitate to, still, when you find yourself with open stretches of time. What are you curious to learn more about - not because it will help you get ahead, but because you are genuinely interested? 

If what you love now bears no resemblance to the loves of your childhood, don't fear. Depending on your upbringing, your affluence, and your educational experience you may not have had the opportunity to sense that first spark of deep curiosity until later in life. 

No matter when you first felt the tug, you must connect, again, to your genuine and lasting interest.

Uncover your Inclination and begin - right now - on the path to mastery. Apply your Genius in the direction of the topic that you love so that you can generate new and necessary insight about the problem you want to help solve. Engage the full force of you Genius so that you can begin to truly make the difference that only you can make.

 

Want to go deeper? Sign up to receive my weekly Rise & Shine! Monday morning email. Over the next two weeks, we'll work to turn this piece of The Activated Genius Method into practical, actionable steps to access and engage your Genius so that you can improve your life, your work, and our world.
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References:

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

Choose Yourself: Be Happy, Make Millions, Live the Dream by James Altucher

The Desire Map (affiliate link): A Guide to Creating Goals With Soul by Danielle LaPorte

Mastery by Robert Greene

What Are Your Strengths?

Julie Slanker

Strengths are…

"…specific areas where we can do things, see things, understand things, and learn things better and faster than 10,000 other people…" - StandOut 2.0: Assess Your Strengths, Find Your Edge, Win at Work by Marcus Buckingham

Strengths are…

Areas where we have the greatest potential for success. - StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath

Strengths are…

Traits we might see "as disabilities and try to work around them to fit in."  - Mastery by Robert Greene

Strengths are…

"Your most valuable currency [because they are] what comes most naturally to you." - The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide to Creating Success on Your Own Terms by Danielle LaPorte

Human performance in complex environments can be modeled using an exponential curve. That means a large proportion of any output is created by a small percentage of the people working, and the rest is pretty-well evenly completed by everyone else.

[Photo of a squat rack with stacks of plates on the bar]

[Photo of a squat rack with stacks of plates on the bar]

In some industries as much as 25% of the output is generated by just 5% of the employees.

Flipped around the other way, that means that you have areas where your strengths completely outshine everyone else around you. It is undeniable.

Strengths are talents, traits, capabilities, or competencies that are far beyond average. They are the things you do better than everyone else, the things that come most naturally to you. And - this is important - they are things that you also enjoy doing. Put simply, your Strengths must also strengthen you.

Understanding and aligning your strengths to the achievement of your goal is how you create competitive advantage. It is how you stand out from the crowd. It is how you shine.

Strengths are also tricky, because your Strengths might actually be hard for you to see.

Our - US - education system measures cogitative performance and knowledge retention. And that's great. But it does not do much to help students understand where their deep talents lie. Many of the Strengths that you rely on may never have been tested in school. And because they come so naturally to you, you might not even notice you're actually doing anything.

That is actually the perfect place to start when you begin to uncover your Strengths.

[Quote: "The key to human development is building on who you already are." - Tom Rath, Strengthsfinder 2.0]

[Quote: "The key to human development is building on who you already are." - Tom Rath, Strengthsfinder 2.0]

What do people come to you for when they need help? Because they know that you're good at it, and they know you like it enough to tell them yes?

What annoys you about other people? Because they don't get it or don't even know to do it - even though it is so obvious?

In what areas of your life do people tell you that you're lucky? Because you did something and they can't quite figure out how you did it?

What about you annoys others or brings out their envy? These are clues to uncovering your Strengths.

But remember, your Strengths must also strengthen you. They may require hard work, or the full force of your attention and effort, and the often do! But if you hate it, it is not your Strength.

When you uncover your Strengths, if you realize you haven't had an opportunity to put them to good use because of how your time is structured, or how they align to your current objectives, you're not alone. Two-thirds of Gallup respondents said that they do not have an opportunity to use their Strengths every day.

What a waste.

If you want to make a real difference, if you want to overturn the status quo - that you can no longer stand - if you want to accomplish more than you ever thought possible, you must become part of the other 33%.

You must first access and then redesign your efforts to fully engage your Strengths.

 

Want to keep the conversation going? Sign up to receive my weekly Rise & Shine! Monday morning email. Over the next two weeks, we'll work to turn this piece of The Activated Genius Method into practical, actionable steps to access and engage your Genius so that you can improve your life, your work, and our world.
Name *
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What is Your Motivation?

Julie Slanker

When I consider that question - when I ask myself what is my Motivation? - I can't help but chuckle. It calls to mind the drama-club scene of a crappy actor on stage demanding the answer from his director. 

First, WHAT is my MOTIVATION?!

Over-acting aside, it's a good question! Because your Motivation compels your action. It gets you going and keeps you working long after the original excitement of your idea is overcome by the necessary hard work.

Motivation is a near-limitless energy source that sits at the core of every individual, attached to your deepest desires. It is a feeling. Or, more accurately, the desire for a feeling.

A page from my The Desire Map workbook. My Motivation - my Core Desired Feelings - are Vitality, Connection, Brilliance, and Wonder.

A page from my The Desire Map workbook. My Motivation - my Core Desired Feelings - are Vitality, Connection, Brilliance, and Wonder.

The Core Desired Feelings concept comes from Danielle LaPorte who says that our goals, our objectives, our every conscious desire come not from our wanting the tangible goods of an achievement. But actually derive from a deeper part of our brain, below our logical, conscious, verbal mind. Our goals come from our wanting to feel how we expect to feel once the thing is achieved. We are motivated by our desire to feel a certain way.

She developed her theory through experience and experiment. Through observation of her own actions and her business-leading clients'. 

Neurobiology backs her up.

Our primordial feelings - the perceptions of our bodily sensations and thoughts - are signals that let us know if we are in danger or if we are in an optimal state that will preserve our wellbeing. We are driven by our desire to feel safe and warm, for example. As our brains developed, they became more complex and adaptive. Our definitions of wellbeing expanded to include far more than well-fed and free-from-disease, but our bodily signaling system remained the same. 

We are literally motivated by our desire to feel the way we want to feel, to keep moving in the direction of our definition wellbeing. These feelings - their presence or absence - inform our decision-making, our goal-setting, and the way we show up in the world whether we realize it or not. 

This is why Motivation is the second pillar of your unique Genius.

It is ever-present within you. Hard coded into how your brain works. What could possibly influence your Genius more than that?

And the best part is: You are not a passive observer on this ride! Once you uncover your Motivation - your Core Desired Feelings - you can enlist them to work for you.

You will have the information you need to decide if the goals you've set are yours or externally imposed by a culture that doesn't know you. You will have a tool to help design, prioritize, delegate, and balance your work. You will know how to build back up after de-energizing (but mandatory) activities. You will have the words to articulate exactly why something doesn't feel right. And a methodology to decide what to do instead.

It is worth the work to uncover your Motivation.

And I believe so strongly in Danielle LaPorte's process that I licensed her material to use at Tailored Output. To uncover your own Motivation, you can buy her book (and workbook) here. Or skip right to the workbook itself. You can meditate on the question. Or reach out to your best friends - or a coach - for help. You can contact me, any time (this is literally my job). Or you can create you own way to find the answer. Whatever works for you... 

[Quote: "The most severe mistake in life is to mistake the unintelligible for the unintelligent." - Nassim Taleb, Antifragile]

[Quote: "The most severe mistake in life is to mistake the unintelligible for the unintelligent." - Nassim Taleb, Antifragile]

And remember: It won't be easy - it never is. So if it feels hard, keep going! You're doing it right! This is just not how we have been trained to talk about our work, our goals, and other serious things.

It's a shame. And an opportunity.

How much competitive advantage will you create by engaging the full measure of your Genius?

How much acceleration will you generate by harnessing all of your power - even the part that can sometimes be hard to put into words? Even the information that will never show up on your Excel assets sheet?

How much value will you create by knowing the answer to that dramatic question?

What is your Motivation?

 

Want to keep the conversation going? Sign up to receive my weekly Rise & Shine! Monday morning email. Over the next two weeks, we'll work to turn this piece of The Activated Genius Method into practical, actionable steps to access and engage your Genius so that you can improve your life, your work, and our world.
Name *
Name