13 January, 2011


This is a great word.  It seems to shine off the page just as fluidly as it rolls off the tongue.  “Brilliance!”

A while back, I had a friend from Newcastle, England who would comment “That’s brilliant!” and mean it as something wonderfully spectacular.  I had forgotten about the word, or the way it shines and shimmers and lights up the room, until I read a post by Scott the other day called, 6 Ways to Give People a Front Row Seat to Their Own Brilliance.

And I stopped.

I read the post.

I noted his ideas.

And I sent it to a friend.

“Most people don’t realize how brilliant they are.” Scott states as he opens his essay.  The ideas he presents are wonderful and can be employed in the home, work place, or in social settings with everyone reaping the reward.  I love the idea of allowing others to shine  - allowing them the space and freedom to share themselves without fear or hesitation or doubt.  It is the way I strive to parent and manage my teams at work and enter act with others as everyone has something to give, a talent to share, experiences to express… lessons to learn and teach.  We are each brilliance in human form!

The opening statement caught my attention though, and it has stayed with me.  Do people not see their own brilliance?  Do I see my own brilliance… I mean really see it?  And if we don’t – why not?

Scott provides a brilliant list of practices that we can do to encourage others to shine and recognize their brilliance.  Reading through the list, I found myself wondering what would happen if such methods were used in a classroom?  How would the children respond – at any and all ages?

Or how about in Congress?  Can you imagine Senators and Representatives not only recognizing the brilliance of their colleagues but encouraging it and appreciating it?

And in the everyday work place?  What if we took the time to listen to our coworkers to find and recognize their brilliance, and then took the few seconds to point it out?

We are each brilliant – unique, rare, amazing people.  Sometimes we see a person’s brilliance where they are unable to see it for themselves.  Sometimes we don’t take the time to see it in others or ourselves.  And sometimes, I am sure, we see it in ourselves but not in others.  Yet that brilliance remains – that light that offers so much if we learn to take the time to see and appreciate it. 

The ideas are interesting – a potential social experiment in the making!


Brian Miller said...

nice. i need to go check this out...i think there is something brilliant in each of us that we can recognize in our selves and others...

Maryse said...

I love the British use of 'brilliant'! It's just brilliant.
Marianne Williamson is the one who says that what scares us the most in not our darkness but, actually, our brilliance. We're afraid to discover how powerful and wonderful we really are.
Great post!

Sara said...

TE -- As my older daughter lives in London, I get to hear the word "brilliant" many times:~) Yet, your post made me really think about what this word means. I liked how you shared Scott's post and talked about how we are brilliant in our ways.

I haven't visited his site yet to see the list, but I think what you suggested is a good idea, especially with children. It's a good idea to help people see their brilliance and appreciate the unique brilliance in others.

Good post and thanks:~)

Patty - Why Not Start Now said...

Hi M - I too, love the way the Brits toss off "brilliant" without a second thought. I have a British client and I'm just all smiles each week when we meet. Your post reminds me too of Robert Johnson's book, "Owing Your Own Shadow," and how he talks about the gold in the shadow and how hard it is to accept that within ourselves. I'm actually writing about it next week, so good timing. And I hope this isn't too corny, but have a brilliant weekend!

☼Illuminary☼ said...

Makes you wonder what we do look at, in ourselves and in other people.

BigLittleWolf said...

Hmmm. Interesting musing. I have always smiled at that "Brilliant!" proclamation from the Brits. And I've thought it a funny exaggeration akin to our tendency to say "great!" and yet... you make me ponder brilliance more along the lines of luminosity.

Aren't some people luminous? Lighting up rooms with their energy, their grace, their something?

So, beyond the spoken word (and the thought process behind it) is also a sort of interpersonal charge. I'm not sure what it is, but it's wonderful to be around.

Lovely, provocative post.