Five Insights to Thrive in the Brilliance Age

We have now entered into the Brilliance Age where a culture of invention is created by the individual imagination. In this transformative period in history, people across the planet are opting out of the stale pockets of conformity and transitioning to greener pastures of divergent thinking and living. Those with discerning eyes and sensitive ears are decoding and deciphering nanosecond bytes of information that are being communicated from “the capital” (Hunger Games) and choosing to either save it to their mind and heart drive or blaze a new path. The Brilliance Age is about the end of doing more of the same. The Brilliance Age is about “the whole you.” The Brilliance Age is intentionally hacking your way into the future while discovering your coding capability along the way.

According to Wikipedia, coding is a rule for “converting a piece of information (for example, example a letter, word, phrase, or gesture) into another form or representation (one sign into another sign), not necessarily of the same type.” In the Brilliance Age, you choose to uncode and recode. Uncode is a word I created, which means to identify and delete files of information being streamed to your mind and heart drive causing your operating system to slow down in the matrix of life. Recode is when you change and create your future instead of waiting for it to be created for you. For example, I had to personally uncode and recode my thinking by realizing that being a black man in America in the 21st century is a blessing and not a curse. I shifted my thinking by realizing that I am man in America who is a friend of God and just happens to be black. I had to uncode and recognize that everyone who looks like me doesn’t speak for me, feed my soul, or think for me. By the way, all lives matter. I repeat…all lives matter!!! Then, I had to recode my mind and heart drive with better information, such as the poem by English poet William Ernest Henley entitled “Invictus,” which says, “It matters not how strait the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” So, as you head into the Brilliance Age, here are five ways to thrive: 1 - Be a Hacker. According to wiseGEEK, computer hacking “is the practice of modifying computer hardware and software to accomplish a goal outside of the creator’s original purpose,” and those who engage in hacking activities are often called “hackers.” Many hackers are self-taught and have expert-level problem-solving skills. However, hacking, in my opinion, is unleashing your inner CSI (crime scene investigation) persona to ask the deeper questions, see what is not obvious to the natural eye, and analyze every piece of data until it makes sense. Then, and only then, will a hacker begin to write the narrative of what can happen. Be curious, be hungry, and be unreasonable in your quest to solve problems and find solutions. Read books and ask yourself what the implications are for your life and business and type your thoughts on electronic post-it notes (iBookstore readers, you know what I am talking about). Hacking your way into the future is moving beyond “why” to “how” you can positively influence your situation, even in what may seemingly be a “hot mess.” 2 - Reimagine Your Education. Today, we are witnesses to the rise of massive open online courses (MOOCs) that provide an academic appetizer for hungry learners to reimagine how they can complete a four-year education. Platform leaders in this category are and They are attracting venture fund investment dollars and looking to upset the apple cart of education. Instead of going into debt and contributing to the $1 trillion student loan deficit in America, some are opting out of the traditional four-year path to finishing a degree and opting for another path such as finishing high school and backpack through Europe for a year. In London, Sir Richard Branson supports change to the status quo and has lobbied the British Parliament to provide entrepreneurial loans instead of student loans. Not averse to higher education, he explains his reasoning at the DreamForce conference - It’s a brilliant idea that has a generational impact. The thinking is that, if one student starts a business that becomes successful, he or she creates jobs instead of looking for one. Because this is the Brilliance Age, anyone can hack their way into the future. For example, Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal and an early investor in Facebook, created the Thiel Fellowship, which grants creative and motivated young people $100,000 and two years to focus on their work, research, and self-education. Be sure to check out 3 - Embrace Micro Learning. Recently, I was invited by to create 25 five-minute video modules for a course called Building Business Relationships At first, I was apprehensive since they required me to read 25 scripts from a teleprompter. If you know anything about me, I don’t like to read from a script. I am like a jazz artist who likes to riff and flow. I said yes, and now, I love They taught me how to tell a story, make a point, and give simple “How Tos” in five minutes or less. Because of saying yes to them, my course has been viewed more than 13,000 times by people in more than 100 countries. They are one of the leaders in this new movement of what some might call microlearning or microcontent. 4 – Take a Digital Vacation. Time poverty is a crisis of epic portion in our hyperconnected world. Will you ever take a break and chill? I submit to you that within the next five years, you will see a rise in people taking digital vacations.

That’s right; don’t be surprised if your friends, family members, and work colleagues go off the digital grid to reconnect with nature and their time-starved soul. One of my friends has created a digital time-out in her home. Whenever any of her family members or friends come to her house, there is a basket by the door where everyone is invited to deposit their smartphone. She wants people to connect instead of having their heads buried in their devices. When will you plan for a digital vacation? 5 - Advance the thinking in your business. Read the top ten business books of the year.

These are great conversation starters and will expand your world view. You will grow your business lexicon and increase your self-confidence. You will get used to speaking up for yourself and sharing your insights on the most pressing business issues.

One of my favorite books are Crazy is a Compliment by Linda Rottenberg and Exponential Organizations by Salim Ismail.

O Brilliant One, I introduce these ideas to start a conversation. Welcome to the Brilliance Age. Make your mark and thrive.