Mastery and Genius Cycles Part 1
Money, Mission and Meaning
Mark Michael Lewis

Episode 29 - Mastery and Genius Cycles Part 1

In this episode Mark Michael Lewis of describes how you can learn to get good and getting good at things. He explores the power of distinctions and describes a six step process you can use to become a master of any part of life.



Welcome to Money Mission and Meaning, Passion at Work, Purpose at Play: I’m your host, Mark Michael Lewis from, author, entrepreneur, and life coach, and you're listening to another edition of Seven Minutes To Success And Satisfaction, a series of short, to the point and practical ideas to help you Create Pleasure and Profit in the Business of life.

Previously, we discussed the 3 fundamental principles of Doing What Matters, Well,
1) you're going to get good as something.
2) you get to choose what you get good at.
3) When you get good at something that positively increases the quality of your life, you win

Now, let’s focus on the single most important thing that we can get good at in our lives: namely getting good at getting good at something, because when you know how to get good at anything that you want to get good at, when you get good at getting good at something, then you get to tap directly into your true potential as a human being.

Fortunately, although there are an nearly infinite number of different activities in life that you can get good at, each of them involve the same basic six step process of learning that we call a “genius cycle.” In this and the next episode, I want to teach you the process of genius cylces so you can learn to get good at anything that you want to get good at, especially the things that matter, so you can tap in power of knowledge through the power of making distinctions. We will begin with something simple, like making healthier eating choices.

Francis bacon, one of the fathers of modern science, is famous for two interrelated quotes: 1) knowledge is power, and 2) nature, in order to be commanded, must be obeyed. Specifically the more you understand or obey the nature of something, or how it actually works, the more that knowledge gives you power to control or influence its future, and use it as a tool to fulfill your desires.

One quick and classic story to illustrate this involves the old steam powered boiler rooms of the early 20th century, that used to provide feet for large buildings, and involved myriads of pipes and chambers to distribute the heat. It said that in one particular large boiler room, a boilers inexplicably clogged up and came to a halt. After the mechanics who worked on the boilers tried everything they knew to fix it but could not, they hired an expert on boilers to come in and fix the problem. After asking a series of questions and examining a variety of pipes and fittings over the course of a couple hours, the expert finally a reached into a stool bag pulled out a small hammer and tapped on a particular pipe three times been being being at which point the entire system began to rumble and came back into motion and worked fine after that. The managers of the building and of the boiler room were incredibly happy and thanked the expert profusely for its help. A couple days later however they were not nearly as happy when they received the expert’s bill for $10,000. Which was a lot of money in those days. In frustration, they asked for an itemized bill to explain how he could charge so much money for so little time and effort. A few days later they received a bill which stated the charges on line number one it said: $5.00 for tapping on a pipe three times. On line number two it said $9995 for knowing where to tap.

In an age of globalization in which a labor is both increasingly inexpensive and increasingly competitive, the game of success and satisfaction is all about knowing where to tap. The game of the 21st century is all about learning how to make powerful and appropriate distinctions in the areas that matter to your happiness. It’s about learning distinctions and empower you to get good at getting good at something, so you can do what matters, well.

So let’s explore the six steps of the genius cycle so that you can learn how to create the distinctions you need to create the results you want in any area of life.

The six steps of a genius cycle describe the stages that your mind must go through in order for you to get truly good at something. Since we each have skills that we are already good at, each of these steps will be familiar to us. Like most fundamentals, the power is in bringing our unconscious and haphazard patterns into conscious, intentional action so that we can master it. As you learn to recognize each step and understand how they work together, you can learn to apply them at will to master any skill you desire.

I will describe each of the steps in turn, and then summarize them at the end.

Step # 1) Focus Your Attention

The first step in the Genius Cycle is to place your focused attention on one thing. While this might seem simple it is not easy. In fact, it is the most challenging step in the Genius Cycle.

First, there are an infinite # of distractions that can attract your attention away from your chosen object of focus, especially other people with accidental/intentional agendas, but also email, hunger, television, habits, etc.

Second, out attention spans have been trained to be extremely short. Our brains are genetically programmed to respond to movement and changes in our environment, and Television producers and advertisers have learned to leverage this by changing the camera angle, brightness, sound, and dramatic/emotional content every 3-10 seconds to keep capturing our attention.

To direct our attention to something maintain our focus on something thus requires either discipline or a natural interest in the subject, and typically both.

Fortunately, the better you become at focusing your attention on something, the easier the rest of the Genius Cycle becomes. That brings us to step #2

2) Distinguish Patterns

Fortunately, because reality is consistent through time, if you focus your attention on some part of reality, that consistency will become evident through patterns you distinguish in how it acts or reacts under your attention. The more you focus your attention on them, the more patterns you will be able to distinguish. It is that simple.

For example, many people have concerns or goals around their diet and eating choices, and would like to “get good at” making healthier choices.
In order to tap into the power of genius cycles around this issue, one simple but powerful place to focus your attention is how you feel AFTER you eat a particular food, or a meal, to notice how your body feels.

Three time periods that people often find useful around this are about 2-3 minutes after swallowing some food, 20-30 minutes after eating a meal, and 2-3 hours after eating a meal. Let’s use 20-30 minutes as an example.

To run some genius cycles on this issue, all you have to do is eat a meal of your choice, and then check in 20-30 minutes later and notice how your body reacts to it. The easiest way to do this is with a timer on your cell phone or alarm clock.

When the reminder alarm goes off, begin the Genius cycle with Step #1 and focus your attention on how your stomach feels, and your overall comfort and energy level.

As you stop and focus your attention, Step #2 in the Genius Cycle is to study your experience and distinguish any patterns that might occur. For example, if you do this exercise, you will predictably discover that you feel different types of body sensations when you eat meals high in carbohydrates (starchy, sugary, processed foods), vs. meals high in proteins (meats, nuts, dairy), vs. salads and vegetables.

As a suggestion, if you write down the patterns you distinguish in step #2 of any genius cycle, such as what you eat and how you feel, you can use this information to be more precise and powerful in your genius cycles.
Now that you have Focused your Attention and Distinguished Patterns, it is time for step #3

3) Re-Cognize the Pattern - Make it Distinct

And, we are out of time, so we will explore the 3 remaining steps of the genius cycle, including how to use their learning to get good at easily choosing healthy foods in our next episode.

I’m Mark Michael Lewis, host of Money Mission and Meaning, Passion at Work, Purpose at Play, on and this was Seven Minutes To Success And Satisfaction, providing you practical tools to Create Pleasure and Profit in the Business of life.

To learn about my books are audio programs on relationships in spirituality go to mark Michael

For text and transcripts of this show, or to get archives of previous shows, goto, or sign up to get our show on iTunes or at And check out all the great shows on our network. Talk to you next week.