THE BLOG
06/14/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Genius and "The Zone"

In Roman Mythology Genius was a "guardian deity or spirit which watches over each person from birth." To unleash your Genius would mean to stop resisting your spirit's advice and collaborate with the Genius that has been given to you.

Genius is, as I define it, collaboration with the natural flow that extends from the present, and from the knowledge, intention and consciousness of an individual or group. It is achieved through integrative presence, which allows you to integrate all the realities of the moment simultaneously while combining them with your intention.

A story from William F. Russell, who was a star player with the Boston Celtics, who won 11 championships in 13 years:

"Every so often, a Celtics game would heat up so that it became more than a physical or even mental game, and would be magical. That feeling is difficult to describe, and I certainly never talked about it when I was playing. When it happened, I could feel my play rise to a new level. It came rarely, and would last anywhere from five minutes to a whole quarter, or more. Three or four plays were not enough to get it going. It would surround not only me and the other Celtics, but also the players on the other team, and even the referees.

At that special level, all sorts of odd things happened: The game would be in the white heat of competition, and yet somehow I wouldn't feel competitive, which is a miracle in itself. I'd be putting out the maximum effort, straining, coughing up parts of my lungs as we ran, and yet I never felt the pain. The game would move so quickly that every fake, cut, and pass would be surprising, and yet nothing could surprise me. It was almost as if we were playing in slow motion. During those spells, I could almost sense how the next play would develop and where the next shot would be taken. Even before the other team brought the ball in bounds, I could feel it so keenly that I'd want to shout to my teammates, "it's coming there!"--except that I knew everything would change if I did. My premonitions would be consistently correct, and I always felt then that I not only knew all the Celtics by heart, but also all the opposing players, and that they all knew me. There have been many times in my career when I felt moved or joyful, but these were the moments when I had chills pulsing up and down my spine.

Sometimes the feeling would last all the way to the end of the game, and when that happened I never cared who won. I can honestly say that those few times were the only ones when I did not care... On the five or ten occasions when the game ended at that special level, I literally did not care who had won. If we lost, I'd still be as free and high as a sky hawk" (William F. Russell, Second Wind: The Memoirs of an Opinionated Man, 1979).