Hello Genius


in Personal Growth

Winding through quiet country roads with blueberry fields shimmering in the distance, John Denver’s singularly sweet words floated through the car. The warm air practically pulsed with his goodness.

I tried to block out the sound.

I was on a road trip with a friend whose children insisted that John’s songs were the perfect accompaniment to our journey. My tastes in music are generally a little more rock-n-roll so I sat back and prepared to be enveloped in sugar.

Moments later, and much to my surprise, I found myself singing along with John and the kids. Although he had never been one of my favorite artists, it appeared that I knew the words to almost every song.

Go figure.

I wish I could remember the names of the people I meet at cocktail parties.


The charm, one might say the genius of memory, is that it is choosy, chancy, and temperamental: it rejects the edifying cathedral and indelibly photographs the small boy outside, chewing a hunk of melon in the dust. ~ Elizabeth Bowen

Memory and I have always had a strained relationship. It has never behaved in the way that I thought it should. For years, I have been fond of saying that I have a mind like a sieve. Information poured in, stayed just long enough to be used, and drained out. Random bits were retained – like feelings and impressions. The rest just disappeared into the crevices of oblivion.

I never understood how my brother could remember every detail of our childhood as if it were yesterday or how a friend was able to recite endless details about a particular dog breed including its history, approximate height, and propensity to bite.

I thought I was a memory moron.

Then I read the following:

The essential self that blocks memory when you’re headed away from your North Star [the ultimate manifestation of our potential for good and happiness] is capable of incredibly mnemonic feats when you correct course. I’ve found that every one of my clients has a passionate essential-self interest in at least one category of information. You may regularly forget your phone number, your mother’s birthday, and everything you learned in school, but in this one area, you’re a memory genius. ~ Martha Beck, Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live

Could it be true?

Trying to think of some area where I was a memory genius, I reread the sentence several times.

Just as I was about to give up and call BS on Martha, it occurred to me that I can recall the sales price of virtually every piece of real estate in the markets I follow.

Hello genius!

The beauty of this simple exercise – tapping into your memory genius – is that it not only gives you insight into your interests, tendencies, and attractions, it also shows you where your strengths reside.

Because everyone has a different genius, look at yours as an opportunity – something you could put to use in your life or your livelihood.

I’m not sure what to make of the whole John Denver thing but I’m sure it will come to me. For now, I will bask in the warmth of my genius – now that I’ve found her – and continue to look for other instances of her charming influence.

Where’s your memory genius? Do tell.

I'd love to pop into your inbox. Subscribe to get blog posts, an occasional newsletter, and other good things.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Sandi Amorim August 23, 2011 at

“…sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy”
Sandi Amorim recently posted..The Myth of the Reveal


Andrea Olson August 23, 2011 at

No wonder I like you… :)


Jackie Walker August 23, 2011 at

Hmm, think I must have been in the same Denver class as you Andrea, I had to look him up on YouTube and am now playing Take Me Home Country Roads as I write – all word perfect singing at the same time!! I wonder if it’s the song which would fit perfectly with the Martha Beck quote … ;)
Jackie Walker recently posted..Being interviewed for TV show


Andrea Olson August 23, 2011 at

Oh I love that!! Thanks, Jackie. :)


Ronna August 23, 2011 at

OK. Do NOT make me sing John Denver! I just can’t do it and am slightly irritated that the tunes are now stuck in my head! But oh, the idea of my genius? Who she is? What she inspires? And how my significant memories reveal her more profoundly to me? All. Over. That.

Hello Genius. Hello Andrea. And thanks for introducing me (yet again) to my own.
Ronna recently posted..The gift of disappointment


Andrea Olson August 23, 2011 at

LOL! Thanks, my friend. I am privileged to witness your genius on a daily basis – the ability to see truth in every story.


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: