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.
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.
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.
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