Try Win Wenger's Borrowed Genius technique if your creativity is suffering from a dry spell—or you dream of developing a special skill or talent.
The key to this technique is that you describe what you see and experience OUT LOUD, either to a partner or into a tape recorder. The more you describe, the more details you will see.
If you are working with a partner, have him or her guide you through the different steps. If you are working alone, you might like to pre-record the steps for yourself, leaving plenty of time in which to explore.
Now choose the genius you would like to meet, the person who is a master in the skill or subject you would like to develop. The master may be someone you know or someone you don't know; may come from the past, present or future; or may be imaginary.
You could also just let yourself be surprised by who or what your larger mind chooses to play the role of genius.
Borrowed Genius Step One
Close your eyes and breathe deeply for a few minutes. Now imagine that you are standing in the middle of an exquisitely beautiful garden. Make this garden more beautiful than any you've ever seen. What colors and shapes do you see? What do you smell? Hear? Feel?
Borrowed Genius Step Two
Now invite your genius to join you in the garden. Whoever or whatever this genius is, begin describing them in the same rich detail you previously used to describe the garden. Make this genius completely real to your listener through the richness of your description, especially the feeling of their warm, welcoming presence.
Borrowed Genius Step Three
Imagine yourself moving forward and greeting your genius. Notice that your genius smiles at you and then turns so that their back is facing you. This is an invitation for you to step forward and move INTO the body of your genius.
Now start looking through their eyes, hearing with their ears, feeling with their feelings, and perceiving with their perceptions.
Observe the garden around you once again. How do "you" (as the genius) see it? Is anything different from how you saw it before? Whatever the differences are, make them utterly real to your listener as you describe them in all their richness.
Borrowed Genius Step Four
Now start doing whatever it is that your master is a genius AT. This may take you to another space where this skill is actually practiced, such as a concert hall where you are singing on stage or a laboratory where you are developing a scientific breakthrough. It might also take you back in time or into the future.
How do you feel when you're practicing your skill? What do you perceive? How does your body feel? What are your characteristic postures, gestures, patterns of movement?
Describe every sensory detail you can to your listener about HOW you (as your chosen genius) experience your abilities.
Borrowed Genius Step Five
Now begin to move freely through "your" memories. Go to the moment of greatest understanding or illumination, to your highest point or greatest aha! experience. This is the time when, more than any other, everything came together and suddenly made wonderful sense to you.
Describe out loud to your listener as much as you can of that moment and experience, particularly the perceptions and understandings you received.
Borrowed Genius Step Six
Now notice that you, the genius, are standing in front of a big, full-length mirror. Clap your hands once. The mirror has suddenly disappeared, and you and your genius have separated and are standing there facing each other.
Project a warm feeling of thanks to them and realize they, in turn, are thanking you for the opportunity to share with you some of the experiences that mean so much to them. Listen closely while your genius points out a key point in this experience or tells you something important about it that you've yet to realize.
Report your impressions to your listener regardless of whether they seem to make sense to you or not.
Borrowed Genius Step Seven
Finally, observe that your genius is handing you a cell phone, as you are handing one to them. With this exchange of gifts, you understand that you can access your genius' special knowledge, skills and abilities at any time, as he or she can access yours.
Now return with full awareness to the present, feeling refreshed, relaxed and confident. Spend some time writing down your experiences in your journal.
This exercise comes from Win Wenger, who is a bonafide genius himself and one of the leaders in the Creativity and Accelerated Learning movements.Return to Learning Strategies