Living in Your Zone of Genius


Are you doing your best in your day-to-day life, but still feeling unsatisfied? Sometimes when we try and take on too much at a time or get stuck in a routine, we lose sight of our passions and the ideas that make life truly rewarding.

In his 2010 book, “The Big Leap,” Dr. Gay Hendricks, Ph.D., discusses taking the jump from your comfort zone into your area of genius that’s waiting for its full expression. He urges you to “go beyond your internal limits, release outdated fears and learn a whole new set of powerful skills and habits to liberate your authentic greatness.” 

Once you learn how to function in your Zone of Genius, you can find more happiness in your everyday life.

“The Big Leap”

Hendricks’s best-selling book “The Big Leap” discusses our self-built barriers that prevent us from reaching our full potential, and in turn prevent us from being truly happy and satisfied. Hendricks lays out a comprehensive plan to overcome these barriers and achieve success and fulfillment in your career, finances, and relationships.

Four Zones of Function

In “The Big Leap,” Hendricks outlines what he calls the “four different zones of function”: 

  • The Zone of Incompetence is a zone of function where you are engaging in something you have no skills for, or do not understand. 
  • The Zone of Competence is where you function with the same efficiency as almost everyone else, meaning your capabilities are not particularly unique or special.
  • The Zone of Excellence is the zone that most people aim to achieve and then stay static at. This zone allows you to perform extremely skillfully at something you are particularly efficient at, that you have practiced and cultivated over time.
  • The Zone of Genius is where you can capitalize and function at the highest level using your innate abilities, rather than the ones you develop over time..

[Related: What to Know About Mental Load]

The Zone of Excellence vs. the Zone of Genius

The Zone of Excellence is good but not ground-breaking. A lot of individuals functioning in the Zone of Excellence feel stuck in autopilot, delivering quality work but not feeling as though they are fulfilling their highest purpose. Hendricks believes that we each have a unique perspective and gift that only we can give to the world, and that can happen only when we fully express our genius and commit to bringing it forth.

The Zone of Genius is where every highly successful person should aim to function at, according to Hendricks. Most intelligent individuals function in the Zone of Excellence, but ultimately don’t feel as fulfilled with their lives because they aren’t pushing further. 

When you function in the Zone of Genius, you find inspiration and produce work that is innovative, creative, and completely unique, excelling in your area much more than others around you. Yet pushing yourself to find your Zone of Genius is a lot easier said than done.

The “Upper Limit Problem”

In “The Big Leap,” Hendricks brings up something he calls the “Upper Limit Problem.” This issue suggests that we create our own internal glass ceiling that limits our fullest expression of self. We do the best we can but stop ourselves from pushing forward for fear of consequence or failure. 

In order to enter your Zone of Genius, you have to take risks and make the leap from your familiar life into working with your unknown realm of genius. You will not only be more successful, but entering into your Zone of Genius will also make you happier, more creatively energized, and more socially magnetic.

How to Enter Your Zone of Genius

Turn the hours of the day into chances to express your best, creative, and most energizing self. Hendricks recommends meditating or journaling starting at only 10 minutes a day to brainstorm where your Zone of Genius lies. He suggests asking yourself these few questions that can help you begin your journey towards your zone:

  • What work do you do that doesn’t seem like work?
  • In your work, what produces the highest ratio of abundance and satisfaction to the amount of time spent?
  • What is your unique ability?


Think about your answers to these questions and how you can push internal boundaries and release your anxieties. Once you master your Zone of Excellence, you can then go further into your Zone of Genius, living your most passionate and engaged life.

Although you may be functioning in a Zone of Competence (or even Zone of Excellence!) doing activities like laundry and grocery shopping, we think your time is valuable, and could be better spent in your unique Zone of Genius. 

Let Pepper’s Personal Assistants help you start your journey toward your Zone of Genius by giving you the gift of time. We can assist you with tasks such as spring cleaning and running errands so you can begin meditating on what you’re innately gifted at. Make every hour count, and contact Pepper’s Personal Assistants today!