LONDON — There are strange stories, there are really strange stories, and then there are stories like the one about English actor Brian Blessed helping to deliver a baby in Richmond Park by gnawing through an umbilical cord, which, frankly, defies all classification.
You either have it or you don’t. New neuroscience reveals that 20% of the population has what is best described as a innate marijuana-making machine in their brains, resulting in – among other things – a low probability of becoming addicted to opiates and the like. It’s a gene mutation, the good kind.
Beyond the ability to “just say no,” to substances, what does this so-called bliss gene really deliver?
Relaxation under pressure
Calm, steady judgment
Perspective when things goes awry
Immense self-control and patience
A cheery, congenial, and agreeable dispositions
So, if you’ve been aggravated about the literature on why tall men earn more than 10X their average heighted peeps, and why naturally thin people are viewed as superior in their ability to get work done on time and on budget?
You now have another fact of biology to disdain. Unless of course, you have that gene mutation. In which case, celebrate for: #whatyourmamagaveyou.
This mutant gene gives you a leg up on the ability to self-regulate, potentially the greatest skill you can have now in business. Yes, it is a skill; although, it’s clear today that’s it’s also a natural inclination for some of us.
Self-regulation is the ability to act gracefully or elegantly in even truly awful circumstances. No matter what’s off, you cause the least friction. Your interactions are streamlined. You use what you take and you take what you need, not a whit more and with no waste of time, talent or other people’s patience.
You can see why bliss gene blessed people are among the most likely to succeed.
What about the rest of us? What about the bipolar, ADD, hysterical, narcissistic, and dependent personalities among us? Are we DOOMED?
No. We are just special.
You may recall a time when parents were advised that not every child was going to be great at everything. No matter how much helicoptering Mum or Dad would do: there really would be failure. And that failure really would direct us to success.
Why is failure good for success? For the same reason that a “no” is as good as a “yes” in selling. A “no” allows you to move on.
What if you are easily irritated, fractious, with little patience for anyone other than your cat? You can move on to something much more self-centered than a large company or a one room office with everybody from the start-up eating onion sandwiches and playing basketball in the hoop over your desk.
Strengthfinders was supposed to give you a path to your bliss, by identifying your innate traits that would be fulfilled by the type of work you do. It was supposed to lead you to the right seat on the right bus. There’s been dozens of books and theories and self-assessments like this. And, there’s been books by folks like Daniel Pink that companies adopt in hopes that a set of core values, vetted by an expert, and written on a wall would be an organization’s salvation from bad bossing, sexism, racism, tribalism, or any other mentally challenged acts or beliefs of the people in the organization.
The problem? Just us. We oftentimes don’t believe what is plainly true. Not everyone is a company man (or woman). Not everyone can put up with everything that goes on in the mayhem of organizational life.
Yet you do belong among the working and likely wealthy, when the corporate gig repels you or expels you. You just belong to the gaggle of amazing superheroes who make it on their own. That includes the genius inventor, the insightful consultant, the there-when-you’re-needed-most freelancer, the call-me-and-I’ll-come-in contract worker, imaginative artisan, or even the tyrant of your own domain (AKA your own blog address).
Bliss gene or not: you belong. It’s just a matter of finding where your real bliss is. It just might be all about finding you.