Momentum Podcast: 17

Cultivating Brilliance

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

Brilliant children are different, that is what makes them brilliant. If they were just like every other student or person, they would be average. Different is the very definition of brilliant. Brilliance is motivated differently than the rest of the world. Self-direction and self actualization are the goals of every brilliant child although they can't verbalize this or explain this to an adult. A child that may struggle or even look dysfunctional in school, may be able to focus for long periods of time on their own.

In this podcast I share a couple simple tactics on how to better relate to your brilliant child.

Full Audio Transcript

I'm Alex Charfen, and this is episode 17 of the Entrepreneurial Personality Type podcast, Cultivating Brilliance.

This podcast is for empire-builders, game-changers, shot-takers, world-makers, those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency to destroy apathy and obsess on creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure, we pay attention to the rules, but only so that we can bend, break, and rewrite them about what we want. We don't accept our destiny. We define it. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few, those willing to envision a better future and instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real.

We've all heard, "Sit down. Stop talking. Quit going so fast and making everyone else uncomfortable," but we know we are hardwired differently. We are the evolutionary hunters. The most important people in the world because entrepreneurs are the only consistent source of positive human evolution, and we always will be.

In this episode, I return to the subject of children, one that is very close to me because I have two daughters, and when [Reagan 00:01:31], my oldest, was born 10 years ago, and my younger daughter, Kennedy, was born eight years ago, eight years ago this weekend actually, my life changed entirely. I became a completely different human-being. I often share with people that becoming a parent doesn't change your perspective. It changes your perspective of perspective. I didn't understand what the word meant until I had my daughters and everything changed for me.

I started seeing them as these perfect beings that were undamaged and ready to take on the world and ready to go do what they wanted to do, and ever since they were young, I was fascinated by their ability to explore and to learn and to pick things up and to tell me things that often were so far beyond their age maturity level or ability to understand, it would blow me away.

Ever since they were born, I had one goal and still do today. To help them become the brilliant evolutionary personality ... Entrepreneurial personality types that they are, to help them step into their full role as evolutionary hunter and lead their tribe. I believe the future is revolutionary, so I'm committed to raising ... The future is a revolution, so I'm committed to raising revolutionaries, and if you look at the world today, the quick summary of how we look at children is that if a child has asynchronous development where they don't learn everything at the right time, and they have unique strengths and sensitivities, and what would appear as deficit, that that is a child that is broken and we must correct, but if we take the lessons from history, the children that didn't learn at the same time, the ones that had unique strengths and sensitivities, that appears to have deficit, were exactly the human-beings that went on to change the world.

Today, when I think of the small, evolutionary hunters locked in a room with 30 prisoners and one guard, being told to sit still, not move, don't wiggle, don't get up, don't even hydrate, just stay there, I feel their pain because I was the student who spent years in the hallway. I was the student who spent more time being disciplined than being taught. I was the student who, finally, in about second grade, figured out that if I crossed my legs as tight as I could under my chair, I could lock myself into the seat so I wouldn't bounce any longer and get in trouble.

I still have problems with my feet because I spent my entire school career sitting exactly like that. I remember when the bell would ring for recess, it would take five minutes before blood went back into the lower half of my body.

If you have a child who is brilliant, or you believe is, I want you to start ticking off in your head, or even on a sheet of paper, how many of these qualities your child has. Intense. They think deeply. They get wrapped up in things. Intelligent. You can tell that there's more there. Focused. They start something and they stay on it for long periods of time. They're aware. They point out things that other people, maybe even you, don't see. They're relentless. When they want something, they just won't stop. They're restless to show their brilliance and to be in the world. They don't like to sit still. They're confident. In fact, so confident, that they sometimes get in trouble with adults because they'll tell them things that most kids just won't say.

They're driven in a unique way where they are going to do what they want. They're curious and ask far more questions than most people around you. They're focused. They can become single-minded and want just one thing, and brilliant children are bold, much bolder than those around them. How many of these qualities does your brilliant child have? Did you think five, six, seven, eight? Maybe even all 10?

Well, I want to point something out to you. In a child, intensity can be seen as aggression. Intelligence can be seen as arrogance. Their ability to focus can be seen as obsessive. Their awareness of the world around them can cause them to be sensitive. Their relentlessness can make them look cut-throat, even mean. Their restlessness is labeled as hyperactivity. Their confidence can be seen as conceit or aloof or trying to pull apart from the tribe. Their drive can make them appear hyperactive. Their curiosity can make them seem even paranoid, and their single-mindedness can make them look antisocial, and a child's boldness can make them look dangerous.

I will ask you, how often in your life has your intensity been seen as aggression? Your focus been seen as obsessive? Your restlessness been looked at as hyperactive? Because it's the same for us as it is for our kids, only for them, it's different because brilliant children don't have the size, the awareness, the presence, the life experience, and the understanding of the world that you and I do, so they only feel the constraint of their unique skills and abilities because they make them stand out to the kids around them.

Brilliant children are unfortunately a target. Don't forget, in the last episode of this podcast, when we talked about that four-way tug of war for your child's mind and lifelong success, the standardization principles that are being put in place by administrators, politicians, bureaucrats, and educators that are all pulling in different directions with your child in the middle. They are put into a situation where in schools, they are a target to other students because brilliant children are threatening due to their intelligence and unique perceptions of the world. They are different because that is the very definition of brilliance, and they are awkward, because children who speak like adults, who understand more than those around them, who have unique perceptions, who have that intensity, who have innate motivation, who are driven to get things done, and who have that need to improve the world around them are seen as weird, and brilliant children are a target not just to other students, but to educators as well.

Not all, but many educators see the child who is different as threatening and different and awkward just like the students do, and today, the educators who care, the educators who want to help are working in a system where their hands are so tied behind their backs, and there's so much pressure around standardization and success, that whether they want to or not, they can't help but develop animosity towards the student that throws off the flow, makes things slow down, and changes the dynamic of the classroom.

The challenge is that for those very educators who want to help children, they are held to this standardized expectation where every child in the classroom will grow socially and emotionally, orally, through reading, written, math, and communication at the same time, and what we're literally saying in today's world is that all of those disciplines must be learned at the same pace as average to be considered normal.

See. Brilliant children are unique. They are different. They're not driven like the rest of the world. In fact, they're driven a lot like you and I. I'm willing to guess that if you have to do something that doesn't really matter to you for someone else that you don't really care about, that it's tortuous, that it's difficult, that it's something that's hard to continue doing, because people like us are driven by creating our own outcomes. We are evolutionary hunters and the one thing that we must do to unleash our full potential is to determine what the hunt is for us, and it's no different for your brilliant child.

They are a physiologically sensitive, momentum-based being that is highly reactive to constraint. You can watch a brilliant child go from perfectly fine to throwing things on the floor, including themselves on the floor, within moments just because they feel constrained. It can be minor. We'll judge that constraint and judge their reaction as being disproportionate to what we are observing, but if we were inside that child's head, we would recognize that they feel the pain of being held in place and that's the reaction we are seeing in the world, because here's what happens. If your child is allowed self-direction, here's what we know you can see, and I hear this from parents. They tell me things like, "I hear my daughter's a behavioral disorder in school, but she comes home and she focuses for hours at a time building things." "My son, I was told can't sit still in class, but last night, he built a thousand-piece Lego set by himself."

Why are we missing the situational condition that these children are in? Because when a brilliant child has supported self-direction, when they are allowed to choose what they want, they are physically, cognitively, and chemically boosted just like you and I are when we are in momentum. When a young, evolutionary hunter is allowed to do just that, determine their hunt and go, physically, they're able to work for long periods of time. They're able to concentrate with an intensity beyond their age, and they can maintain physiological momentum. Some may not even eat or drink or talk to anybody else. They may isolate completely and go on that hunt on their own. That is a sign of brilliance.

Cognitively, when brilliant children get to follow a path of their own, they're able to learn effortlessly because they are innately motivated to reach a destination and move forward. They quickly and instinctively learn what they need to do in order to maintain momentum. When a child is supported in pursuing their own outcomes, they learn at a rate much faster than when they are told to learn tactics, and chemically, when a child is driving towards what they want, when they are pursuing what they want to do, when they are seeing the outcomes they care about, chemically, they are balances. They can remain focused and motivated for long periods of time. They stay in momentum. They don't fall out of it.

See. Brilliant children are just like you and I. When they're in momentum, they are alive, and when they feel the resistance of constraint, they feel just like we do, only they don't have the maturity, the understanding, the perspective to be able to hold it in, stuff it down, not let the world see it like so many of us do, and we all know the consequences we pay for that. We spend 18 years telling brilliant children, "Sit down. Stop moving. Shut up. Hey, don't ask any more questions and quit making everyone else uncomfortable," and then we spend the rest of their lives hoping that they'll get motivated to do something.

If you are a parent of a brilliant, evolutionary hunter, I have a simple question for you. When does that young entrepreneurial personality type, that small, little evolutionary hunter, who wants so badly to create momentum, to move forward in the world, when do they have time to offload with you? When do they have time to check in with you, to tell you about what's going on, to figure out what's happening, to have their frustrations, their confusion cleaned up and answered? Here's the advice I share with my private clients with children who are being labeled and judged and told that they are less than. The children who are being seen as disciplinary problems or issues in school, although we know there's an intelligence there. There's a brilliance there. It's just not seen in those situations.

I tell every one of my clients to take that little child, and regardless of how old they are, and every morning, get them outside, and go for a walk. We are evolutionary hunters. We are physiologically activated. Get your child outside and allow them to talk to you, to reflect to you what's going on, to tell you what's really happening. Don't feel like you have to fix it all. Just listen and understand. Hear their perspective. Let them tell you what is happening for them, and where they are.

It's a gift that will change yours and more importantly, your child's life, and don't expect them to start talking on the first walk, but they might, but don't expect it, because it might take awhile for you to be in that physiological space with them, to be moving with them, to create consistency in the walk, and what will happen, and it's happened for every one of my clients who has done this, is there will be the day where the child, your child, turns to you and begins to share in a way that allows the two of you to create the connection between the experienced hunter and the one who's just learning how to hunt.

Be careful when you're on these walks, and be careful when you're communicating with children, especially those that are brilliant, because they often say or share things that we want to react to in a corrective way, and they're not trying to make us feel that way, so I have this policy with my children, and I share this with my clients, that whenever I feel like I need to correct them, I make sure that I ask at least three questions first, and I'm not perfect. Sometimes it's only two.

But I'll share with you just an anecdote of one time where I almost flew into correction with my older daughter, Reagan, and I'm so glad I didn't. We got up one morning, and we decided to go buy a soccer ball because the one that we had had was left outside, and it had completely deflated, and we found it as a family and realized we hadn't taken care of it, we learned a lesson, and we were going to go get a new one.

So we went to the sporting goods store that's only 10 or 15 minutes from my house, and we were walking down the aisle, and I was with both Reagan and Kennedy, and my daughter, Regan, was about eight years-old, and she said, "Dad, we should buy a new bike because mine has a flat tire, so while we're here, let's get that and not forget," and my immediate instinct was to say, "Reagan, what a waste of money. We're going to buy a bike because it has a flat tire? What are you crazy? You just replace the inner tube. We can't just go out and spend because something's just slightly broken. We could just fix it."

And then I remembered the advice I gave my clients, and I paused, and I said, "What do you mean, Reagan, buy a new bike?" And she said, "Well, dad, the tire on my bike is broken. It's deflated just like the soccer ball, and we're buying a new soccer ball, so shouldn't we buy a new bike?" It only took one question, and I realized that from a child's perspective, her argument made perfect sense. The two items were deflated. We were replacing one. Why wouldn't we replace the other? And instead of correcting, and pushing her away from me, and scaring her from asking me questions in the future, instead, I was able to connect with her and explain how we can fix the bike, but we couldn't fix the soccer ball, and buying a bike right now just because there was a flat tire didn't really make sense, at the end of which, she agreed with me and then explained it back and was enthusiastic about changing the bike.

I'm so grateful that in that moment, I had the presence of mind to ask a question because I know that my reaction would have pushed her away and stopped her from sharing her next thought with me, maybe stopped her from sharing a question with me, maybe stopped her from telling me what was really going on in her life, maybe stopped her from allowing me to be the father that I want to be that's there for my children, that can hear them and help them and support them.

And so if you have a brilliant child, try these two things. Get them out in the morning walking with you. If you can, take their shoes off. Let them feel the world. You should take yours off, too. Grounding and stimulation and multi-plane surfaces change how we walk. They activate our mind. They activate our body. Our mind and our body become connected when we're walking like that. And please, if you have a brilliant child, think question before correction. If you hear something from them that you feel you need to correct, ask at least one. It's even better if you ask two, and if you need to, ask a third question before you're sure there's a correction here, and what you will find is that the times you correct your child for what they say will go down to almost nothing, and the amount your child will be allowed to learn through their interaction with you will go through the roof and skyrocket.

I make content and products and frameworks and systems that help entrepreneurs build multi-million dollar companies and grow their lives, but the entrepreneurial personality type content is so much more important because it allows people like us to understand ourselves better, and if we can take that knowledge and understand our children better, we not only change our lives, we change the future of the world because if a generation of entrepreneurs is understood better, heard, has their confusion rectified, and knows that they are supported, we will enter an age of evolutionary time of entrepreneurial enlightenment that the world has never seen, and I want you, as a parent, to know you place a massive role in it because the brilliant child you're protecting and supporting on a daily basis, the brilliant child whose intelligence and abilities you are cultivating, not just can, but will go on to change the world.

If you want to understand more about yourself, your brilliant child, and gain tactics that work in real life to create massive momentum, go to and watch the brief video there about an opportunity we have for you to take your life to an entirely new level and support yourself and everyone around you, and come back for Entrepreneurial Personality Type episode 18, and this is a controversial one, Are You in an Abusive Coaching Relationship? Far too often, people like us tolerate far more than we should, and there's a reason. Thanks for being here, and thanks for supporting the Entrepreneurial Personality Type podcast.

Thank You For Listening!

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With gratitude,


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