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Zone of Genius: How to ‘work’ less but earn more 

zone of genius work less earn more


Are you at the top of your game- but it still feels like something is missing?

You’ve earned everything you’ve ever dreamed of but there’s still a gnawing gut feeling that there’s something more for you out there.

I see this all the time with my clients. As the rewards, status, praise, and other goodies roll in, the recognition feels really, really good. 

But high highs make lows feel ever lower, so the cycle starts over and you work even harder, even faster, and even more intensely to get back to that high. It’s a super addictive cycle that actually tends to start when you’re young. 

Let’s think back to your high school days. Remember that one class where you were a total rockstar?

You didn’t need extra study time like everyone else. But then 4th period rolled around, and you were like a fish out of water. You had to study your ass off to pass. But you did it! And that A on your report card felt like pure gold.

The skills you’ve worked so hard to excel at tend to be in your “Zone of Excellence.”  Your Zone of Excellence is tied to the idea you learned back in school that if you work really hard you can earn gold stars. It’s the place where you get all the rewards, status, money, and praise. 

And let’s be real, who doesn’t love a good gold star?

The activities you’ve trained to become awesome at tend to be in your Zone of Excellence, one of the Four Ways of Being. High achievers, this Zone tends to be your favorite to play in. People give us praise for our Zone of Excellence- we get rewards, status, money, raises, and bonuses. 

A lot of the skills in your Zone of Excellence are things you honed while in school. You pushed yourself to get good at them and over time you became great and then suddenly you became excellent at them. 

These skills became “your thing” that people praise and recognize you for. 

And because it took time and sometimes a painstaking effort to learn how to be excellent at it, you get hooked. 

You eventually love the feeling of stress and the momentum of pushing and doubling down that leads to delicious success and rewards. It’s an extremely addictive cycle. 

The process of getting more successful through your Zone of Excellence looks like working harder, faster, and more.

I’m here to tell you there’s something even better than your Zone of Excellence. It’s your Zone of Genius. 

This is where you use your natural strengths to create value effortlessly. It’s the place where you lose track of time because you’re in a delicious state of flow where the minutes melt away. It’s the place where you feel energized, creative, and fulfilled.

I know, I know. It sounds too good to be true. 

But trust me, it’s possible to live in your Zone of Genius at least 70% of the time. 

And the best part? You don’t have to suffer to succeed. 

That’s right, baby. Success can come easy once you reconnect with your innate gifts that have always been within you.

These are the activities where you effortlessly create value. You contribute externally in a way that contributes to you internally. 

You would pay to do activities from your Zone of Genius. You can do them all day long and at the end of the day, you feel energized, creative, and fulfilled. 

It is the space where you nurture and enjoy your deepest, most organic talents and traits: your soul’s essence. This is different for everyone. 

So let’s shift your thinking. 

Money and accolades give you a yummy dopamine hit but it’s time to focus less on external rewards and more on what really improves your life. 

Instead, focus on internal rewards like satisfaction, creativity, and ease. This is where the real magic happens. 

And here’s the awesome part: creating that magic becomes a magnet for the external rewards because your feeling of internal reward– satisfaction, creativity, ease- propels your energy outward in a way that the world and those around you resonate with. 

There’s a myth in our society that hard work is more meaningful. I’m here to champion the opposite of that story. 

You don’t need to suffer to succeed. Success can actually come easier once you reconnect to your innate gifts that have always been within you. 

So go ahead, nurture your organic talents and traits that make you uniquely you. 

Lose track of time doing what you love and feel energized, creative, and fulfilled. 

And who knows, maybe the external rewards will come knocking on your door sooner than you think. 

Photography by Kelley Raye //

Dr. Caneel Joyce is a CEO Coach and social scientist who helps people break out of the invisible traps and make whole-life changes easily and naturally.

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