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    Listening Like a Gifted Human Being

    Like any young person who's starting to converse with grownups, gifted kids tend to believe the first things they hear, and judge things they hear later as “wrong.” They also tend to view certain kinds of conversational patterns as “correct” and others as “combative.” To describe what I mean, here's an example from a recent family gathering.


    Girls Discussion

    Don't let a person's conversational style make you jump to wrong conclusions about the intelligence of an individual, nor about the value of the things they say. (photo - edvin-johansson - unsplash)


    On a warm fall evening, supper was just finishing up on the back deck. There was a mother and daughter (home from college), the mother's cousin (a soil engineer, one of the world's experts on why buildings fall down), and the mother's brother-in-law (an aerospace engineer, one of the world's experts on landing things on other planets). Soil Guy and Rocket Scientist are having a loud and lively discussion about everything. They always do. College Kid joins in when the Old Guys start talking about current news. The Old Guys treat the College Kid like one of the guys, something neither the College Kid nor the Mom was used to. Mom ended up calling the discussion to a halt.


    College Kid thought that the Old Guys were fighting. The clean name for this is an Alpha Contest. College Kid thought they were trying to prove who was smarter. Nothing could have been further from the truth. They were having fun playing with big ideas, and enjoying the other guy's view on things. There were many topics on which they disagreed, for sure. But it was never about any of the ideas being “dumb.” After all, Soil Guy and Rocket Scientist are both really, really smart guys. No need for a contest because neither had anything to prove.


    If you're a gifted or talented person, you already know how often your interests give you strong feelings about things. It's easy to get excited about things that interest you. It's also easy to get your feelings hurt when someone seems to be giving you a hard time about things that are important to you. But, what if the person giving you a hard time is actually super interested in what you're doing, but has a rough way of talking to people?


    Listening to people “like a gifted person” means keeping your mind open to two things, often at the same time. First, be ready and open to different talking styles, and speaking styles, and conversation styles. I say “first” because the way people speak is what you hear first. Just because a person is pushy when they talk doesn't mean they actually want you to shut up. They often really want to know what you have to say. Then, second, be ready, even excited, to hear new ideas, even if they don't fit in with ideas that you think are the best. Being gifted usually means having an ability to learn and grow faster than most people. Learning comes in accepting new ideas long enough to give them a good and fair evaluation.


    So, whenever you feel put off by the way someone speaks, or put off by new ideas, remind yourself that most new things deserve the time you need to give them a good going over. Don't just reject uncomfortable people or ideas automatically. Evaluate them all carefully and honestly. You'll be surprised what you learn when you keep your mind open.


    Put open-minded listening skills into your gifted tool box. Turn them into habits that you can alway use to learn. Be the Boss by 12, Building Habits to Win can guide you through the ins and outs of building great, new listening habits as you grow into your junior high and high school years.


    Order and Download Building Habits to Win Now


    Thomas Meylan, Ph.D.
    CEO
    Digital Clones, Inc.


    If you wish to respond to this post, please email gntblog at digitalclones dot biz and be sure to include the code G111419 in the subject line. Constructive input will be reposted under this blog post.



    Understand Life by 16
    Volume One:
    How Will We Look At Life?



    Get Newsletter Above



    Volume Two:
    Building Habits to Win


    Featured Volume!

    The Truth about “The Truth”

    A few weeks back I wrote a blog for adult leaders about “thinking for yourself.” It was aimed at two ideas. One, you need to be able to do your own thinking because good thinking is so rare. Two, you need to surround yourself with lots of people who can also think for themselves. That begs the question, “Tom, what do you mean by 'thinking?'”, but we'll save that for another time.


    Emperor's New Clothes

    As a rule, most people prefer the intellectual ease of sucking up opinions. Gifted leaders, like you're going to be, can make powerful use of facts and data to form ideas that sound like opinions, but are grounded in the world as it actually is!


    For us today, we can think of getting ready to grow up into a world where no one thinks. We might be the only ones who can sort out what's going on. There's an old story that makes this point better than I could. It's called “The Emperor's New Clothes,” by Hans Christian Andersen. Here's Wikipedia's shortened version:


    “Two weavers promise an emperor a new suit of clothes that they say is invisible to those who are unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent — while in reality, they make no clothes at all, making everyone believe the clothes are invisible to them. When the emperor parades before his subjects in his new “clothes”, no one dares to say that they do not see any suit of clothes on him for fear that they will be seen as stupid. Finally a child cries out, 'But he isn't wearing anything at all!'”


    There are a lot of slants a person can take to build meaning from this story. One slant is to look at this like it's about “Fake News,” and how so many people will believe it even when the real news is right in front of them. Since “Fake News” is such a big part of how the country works these days, let's work on this slant and see where the naked emperor leads us!


    The first thing we can say is that someone had to make the fake news. In this case, the weavers created the fake news. Why did they create the fake news? They wanted to create a specific way of looking at the emperor's new clothes.


    The second thing we can say is that all of the grownups believed the fake news. We could, maybe, fault them for being so gullible about something so obvious. The thing of it is, though, is that even today many, many people just believe what they're told without thinking for themselves.


    The third thing we can say is that the kid in the story was simply being honest about the facts in front of him. He had no need to spin the facts. He saw for himself that the emperor was naked.


    The fourth thing we can say might be the most important. The kid reported the facts even though everyone around him had already proclaimed how awesome the emperor's new clothes were. That took real guts! This was a situation where real power could have come down hard on that kid.


    So, let's put our little "Fake News Response Plan" together:


    1. When a piece of news comes out, look for the source and try to figure out how they want people to think, and maybe even why they want to do that.

    2. Since many people around you are going to believe what they want to believe, think about two things:

      • most people aren't going to be reliable sources of information, either, and

      • you might have to be the person who shows others what the real news is.


    3. Look for the real facts behind the news, and be honest with yourself about what these facts say.

    4. If you need to speak out to set the story straight, use your facts, and speak up bravely and politely.


    Some people will be glad you set them straight, and some people won't. It's a very tough job bucking the common beliefs around you. It's tough to tell powerful people they're naked.


    Somebody's gotta do it.


    These ideas will be new to many readers. Be the Boss by 12, Building Habits to Win can guide you through the ins and outs of building great, new habits for confidence and success as you grow into your junior high and high school years.


    Order and Download Building Habits to Win Now


    Thomas Meylan, Ph.D.
    CEO
    Digital Clones, Inc.


    If you wish to respond to this post, please email gntblog at digitalclones dot biz and be sure to include the code G110719 in the subject line. Constructive input will be reposted under this blog post.



    Understand Life by 16
    Volume One:
    How Will We Look At Life?



    Get Newsletter Above



    Volume Two:
    Building Habits to Win


    Featured Volume!

    The Power of Asking for What You Want

    As you all know, I don't usually bring the ideas of older people into these blogs, but this was too close to the Be the Boss by 12 mission to pass up. This international action movie star, Michelle Yeoh, says it great in the picture below: “Women are steppng up and saying, 'I'm not going to wait around for someone to hand it to me.'”


    Michelle Yeoh

    Michelle Yeoh has a great career, but she senses that she has more power than she has used. There's no reason to wait until your fifties to come to the same conclusion. Learn to “go get it” while you're young! (photo - aarp-magazine)


    Why is this such a huge and important statement? OK, well, maybe I have to concede that it's only big to me. I was explicitly taught that it was rude to ask for anything. And even though I now know that it is not rude to ask, it's still a really tough habit for me to overcome.


    But, look, even if you weren't taught not to ask for anything, for many kids (and grownups) it is hard to ask important people for things. We worry about being liked. We worry about being rejected. It seems like talking to important people and asking them for things is a big, big risk...


    ...until you get used to it. Until you figure out that important people got where they are by asking for what they wanted! Until you figure out that it is absolutely the fastest way to achieve success with your gifts and talents.


    I think the big problem here comes, like many things, from our animal roots. We all tend to think of important people as an alpha person, someone who is powerful enough to hurt us if we bother them. It's like we feel that we first have to earn earn the right to talk to an important person. And if we earn the right, then many of us are afraid of losing that right by asking for something dumb. More fear of risk.


    Well, none of that matters, and you know why? It's because there are probably thousands of important people involved in things that could make great use of your gifts and talents. If the first person you talk to isn't interested in what you have to say, or what you can do, you find another person to ask. You keep looking for more and more people to talk to. And even after you find a few who will listen, you keep looking for more people to talk to.


    Here's another trick. Suppose you get to someone who's polite enough to give you a few minutes, but they still say, “No”. You know what you do next? You ask the person who just said no if they know anyone who would be interested in helping you out. You'll probably get more than one name to pursue.


    And just one more trick. If you keep careful and complete track of all of the people you've talked to, whether they helped you or not, you will have the core of a great network of important people. So, you always get something important from everyone you get to know, no matter how briefly. Keep talking to people, keep asking for what you want!


    These ideas will be new to many readers. Be the Boss by 12, Building Habits to Win can guide you through the ins and outs of building great, new habits for success as you grow into your junior high and high school years.


    Order and Download Building Habits to Win Now


    Thomas Meylan, Ph.D.
    CEO
    Digital Clones, Inc.


    If you wish to respond to this post, please email gntblog at digitalclones dot biz and be sure to include the code G102919 in the subject line. Constructive input will be reposted under this blog post.



    Understand Life by 16
    Volume One:
    How Will We Look At Life?



    Get Newsletter Above



    Volume Two:
    Building Habits to Win


    Featured Volume!

    Connect to the World —
    Break Out of the “Gifted” Box

    It is human nature to squeeze people into “boxes.” It comes from a time when we didn't have language to label people. The “boxes” are all made out of the unspoken ideas that we carry around in our heads about where people should fit in our worlds. People have big, strong boxes about gifted kids in particular, and we have to watch for them so that we don't get stuck in boxes we don't want.


    Head In Box

    You are vastly more than the “gifted kid box” people use to understand you. Explore your vastness to find your best place in the world! (photo - ante-hamersmit - unsplash)


    The thing about these boxes is that they are so strong and so commonly used by adults that as kids we believe that these boxes help us out as we grow up. Now, nobody is intentionally trying to keep us from achieving our best when these boxes “kick in,” but because these boxes are based on the most obvious of our gifts, none of our other great capabilities gets any attention at all. It fact, it is commonly believed that you only get one gift, and you really can't do anything else very well.


    Of course, that's just plain incorrect. Just take my mom, for example. She baked the best desserts. She sewed the prettiest clothes. And she ran the best executive cafeteria at Dow Chemical Headquarters. By some accounts, she's just a simple farm girl. By others, there's a lot of evidence that she could figure out how to do whatever she wanted. Must be where I got it from!


    There are two specific parts of life that Be the Boss by 12 helps with when it comes to busting out of unhelpful boxes:


    • Practicing and enjoying making lots of good friends, and

    • Practicing and enjoying making great teams that help you express your giftedness for all to enjoy.


    Most of the time, the “gifted kid box” convinces gifted kids that they don't know how to relate to people, or that they couldn't possibly build and lead a good team. Why should it be that any gifted kid with any gift couldn't connect with people?


    I just betcha that almost all gifted kids can relate to the whole world just fine. I further bet that it's the box that teaches them that they can't relate, and so they don't usually try. Be the Boss by 12, Building Habits to Win can be your box crusher. Recycle it, kid!


    Order and Download Building Habits to Win Now


    Thomas Meylan, Ph.D.
    CEO
    Digital Clones, Inc.


    If you wish to respond to this post, please email gntblog at digitalclones dot biz and be sure to include the code G102419 in the subject line. Constructive input will be reposted under this blog post.



    Understand Life by 16
    Volume One:
    How Will We Look At Life?



    Get Newsletter Above



    Volume Two:
    Building Habits to Win


    Featured Volume!

    Your Team for World Class Achievement

    Simone Biles is a household name. She will have long life as a major figure in sports history. Simone is where she is, and you are where you are. What levels of accomplishment have you set for yourself? Regardless of your gifted or talented space, what can you learn from Ms. Biles's experience?


    Simone Biles

    It's not cheating to build yourself a massive and talented support team to become Number One! (photo - sbnation.com)


    I'm a classic, Michigan farmboy do-it-yourselfer. Too cheap to buy helpful services; to proud to be seen needing help of any kind. I am the embodiment of a very old notion of American self-reliance. Some folks have a sense of the romantic over the Great American Hero of Solitude, but let me tell you, that approach to gifted living has some serious drawbacks.


    For starters, regardless of your interests, you really don't know anything about them until you start learning from people who have a head start on you. The bigger the head start, the better. Sure, you can read stuff and watch these or those videos. But until you spend time with someone who can assess where you're at with respect to the larger community where you belong, you really don't know what you're missing.


    So, Simone probably got started in a school gym and showed extreme talent at a very early age. Her extraordinary capabilities probably landed her in a gym that specialized in gymnastics training, right? What happens there? You meet other people who understand the sport at a more mature level than young Simone just starting out. Those initial contacts probably changed her whole future by bringing people of higher and higher professionalism into her life.


    One supposes that her parents were committed to her success, which made them important supporters in her growth as an athlete. They committed time and money for Simone's success. They sought out higher calibre trainers,


    So without any thinking at all, we know Simone's team was composed of parental figures and who knows how many trainers. If you throw in supportive friends and teammates, you're looking at 20 or more key people contributing to this young woman's awesome success. 20 people!


    Perhaps at this point in life you like being a lone wolf doing your own gifted and talented thing. But you won't be able to compete at the professional level until you start building your team. Team leadership draws out the collaborative strengths of the people you bring together. That's not usually a natural skill for anyone. You have to learn it. Be the Boss by 12 was written explicitly for all gifted people of any age who need to learn how to build the team that can perform on the world stage. Get started with Volume One: Time to Be the Boss!


    Order and Download Time to Be the Boss! Now


    Thomas Meylan, Ph.D.
    CEO
    Digital Clones, Inc.


    If you wish to respond to this post, please email gntblog at digitalclones dot biz and be sure to include the code G101619 in the subject line. Constructive input will be reposted under this blog post.



    Understand Life by 16
    Volume One:
    How Will We Look At Life?



    Get Newsletter Above



    Volume Two:
    Building Habits to Win



    Volume One:
    Time to Be the Boss!


    Featured Volume!

    Three Barriers that Giftedness Can Break

    Look, there isn't any single, one-size-fits-all path for gifted people to grow from childhood to adulthood. But, it appears that there is a small number of principles that suit the development of the gifted person, and they appear to cluster around the skill of breaking barriers.


    Graffiti

    My family culture created huge barriers between me and the world. Much better it would have been to teach me at an early age how to apply my gifts to some of the world's simpler needs. (photo - adi-goldstein - unsplash)


    Now, of course, in addition to what ever gifts or talents we received from nature, we all still also obtain the personality traits that anyone else gets. Some of those traits are barriers, and some of them are launching pads for greatness. So, the first barrier we can start breaking is the one built up by our own perceptions of our personal limitations. Doesn't matter whether we were born with this sense of limiting barrier, or whether our families installed it into us. The point is that we all can work through these barriers and get them out of our path to growth, happiness, and success. We'll discuss how below.


    The next barrier we can work on is the barrier between us and what we need from the world. Breaking these kinds of barriers down gives us the means to train in our gifts and talents. It gives us access to markets where we can sell our creative works, or obtain jobs that allow us well-paid use of our gifts. Just like we think our way through breaking mental barriers of self-lmitation, we can figure out how to get past people or situations that keep us from our objectives in the real world.


    Lastly, just like we have our internal barriers to personal success, the world at large is bound by barriers that keep us all from feeling safe, and being secure. Some barriers are built by dictators, and are very obvious. More subtle barriers, but no less oppresive, come about by a population's uncritical assent that bad ecomonic ideas are actually just what the country needs. There are times when people with special gifts and talents need to show up and straighten some of those things out.


    Now, the big question: How can gifted people, young or old, figure out how to break barriers and make rapid progress toward a happy and successful life? I'm glad you asked. The operative idea here is the need to figure it out. A person needs to study the barrier to find its weaknesses. Once the weaknesses are found, then you build the strategy take it apart, or knock it down, whatever works best in the situation.


    The simplest way to start is to think of these life barriers as basically the same kind of barrier as what you sometimes hit when you practice your gift or talent. There's some problem that's keeping you from getting better at it. The whole rest of the world works basically the same way when it comes to barriers: It's just a problem waiting for a bright person to solve it.


    So we've written a manual explicitly designed to help you uncover the problem, then uncover the solution, then train yourself to make the solution work. It's called Build Your Own System of Rules. By that we don't mean you can operate ethically any way you want. We mean that you can learn how discover the rules that create the barriers, which we call the S-rules. And usually once you know the S-rules, you can figure out some I-rules, that is, instructional rules that will help you break those nasty barriers down.


    Order and Download Build Your Own System of Rules Now


    Thomas Meylan, Ph.D.
    CEO
    Digital Clones, Inc.


    If you wish to respond to this post, please email gntblog at digitalclones dot biz and be sure to include the code G100919 in the subject line. Constructive input will be reposted under this blog post.



    Understand Life by 16
    Volume One:
    How Will We Look At Life?



    Get Newsletter Above



    Volume Two:
    Building Habits to Win



    Volume Three:
    Build Your Own System of Rules


    Featured Volume!

    The Roots of Bullying, and Gifted Responses

    Nasty, emotion-laden, harm-threatening bullying comes directly out of the status-building tactics of our animal cousins. Most of us try our hand at dishing it out a time or two, and most of us have to suffer at least a few incidents of it over the course of our lives. That's just natural, animal wiring being expressed in all of us as human beings. Being “natural” doesn't make it right; it's just a perspective that helps us find clues for managing it.


    But then there are chronic bullies and their long-term victims. This is the problem we're going to work to stop!


    Cyberbullied Girl

    This morning on the NBC Today Show it was pointed out that before social media, a kid being bullied at school could at least find some refuge at home. Now you can carry your tormentor with you where ever you go. (photo - metroparent.com)


    Let's look back at this natural, animal wiring we all have when it comes to status-driven conflicts. The bully is looking for some kind of form of submission. The bully is trying to exert social power. Bullies use pain to do this. This pain usually is fear of some kind. They threaten physical harm or some kind of social harm, like a dreadful form of embarrassment.


    The reason this works for the bully is because for all animals, including humans, avoiding (or eliminating) pain is a person's strongest drive. Now, of course, that's bad enough from the victim's experience. But what's really ugly about so many bullies is that they aren't actually behaving badly for the sake of real social status. If they were, they'd quit once they got the status they sought. No, the problem is that regardless of how much bullying they do, there is something inside them that tells them that they just don't measure up.


    This tells us that there is an internal standard of an unknown “something” that the bully cannot achieve. Even if a person achieved the highest possible social status, like being President of the United States, they would continue to operate as a bully in any social situation.


    ...and even if we submitted to the bully, the bullying would not stop. So we truly need to find a way to take the power away from the bully. Let's think about some possibilities, and using them as starting patterns, you can invent your own ways of building personal power that automatically deflects the threats from bullies.


    • We can refuse to be a victim, but then, in our own minds, we need to make that refusal stick. After all, until we learn to control the fear that comes from being bullied, we'll be tempted to act like a deserving victim.

    • We can aim our own sense of status and self-worth at any weak spot that the bully has, and generate fear in the bully based on our status. This is putting the use of natural status struggles in our favor by generating the needed level of fear in the bully. This doesn't have to be mean or evil, but it does have to be psychologically overpowering. If this is done well, bullying stops without further danger.

    • An extremely strong, and extremely difficult tactic is to attempt to make a friend out of the bully. Not that's it's your job to fix a bully, but once in a while a good friend changes everything. Perhaps a good friendship helps the bully fulfill the status gap in their inner life.

    • We can attempt to avoid the bully, but that brings us back to the realities of the day: Unless you aren't on social media, it's hard to avoid contact.


    Ask youself what these options can offer you. Figure out if these option suggest other ideas, or even specific tactics, you can use to deal with any bullying you presently suffer with. There are no automatic switches you can throw. There aren't any easy-bake recipes. Bullying is an extremely difficult problem with very deep animal roots. Solutions for specific cases will take study and careful execution.


    One last thought: Bullying in many forms will continue throughout your life. Tactics to defuse bullying in your life now will likely be needed as you grow old. If you don't need them for your own defense, you may need them for the defense of others, perhaps even your own children someday.


    Bullying isn't explicitly covered in our ebook How Will We Look at Life?, but it does cover many other aspects of relationships. Just read little bits at a time and practice the ideas. This will help you not only do well in school, but help you figure out how to handle the crazy things that happen in your whole life. And we'll roll out more ideas as fast as we can put them together.


    Order and Download How Will We Look at Life? Now


    Thomas Meylan, Ph.D.
    CEO
    Digital Clones, Inc.


    If you wish to respond to this post, please email gntblog at digitalclones dot biz and be sure to include the code G100219 in the subject line. Constructive input will be reposted under this blog post.

    Yeah, 16 Year Olds Can Change the World!

    Alexander the Great won his first battles at the age of 16. He was King of Macedonia by age 20. In a time when people rarely lived past 40, he did pretty well. Or, you could say, if you intended to be a big player back then, you had to start in your early teen years. Those ancient rights of passage at age 12 weren't happy little family events. You officially became an adult member of the community.


    Woman Boxer

    A 16 year old lady from Sweden with Asperger syndrome is changing the world using English as her medium. We all need to learn from her example of social action for a vital cause.


    Most of us aren't privileged royalty like Alexander. We don't have an abundance of family resources to support the use of our gifts and talents in service of an important cause. Still, we do have our gifts: How can we use them to build both the needed resources and the program to move an important cause forward?


    Our new ebook series, Understand Life by 16, launched this week. When completed the series will provide an end-to-end guide for building your life plan by the end of your sophomore year in high school. The kick-off volume How Will We Look at Life? introduces the six main themes that will be explored:


    • The Search for Life's Hidden Rules
    • Adaptability
    • Mental Life as Trainable and Adaptable
    • Relationships
    • Money
    • Bringing Gifts and Talents to Political Life


    As you see from this plan, we have a strong ambition to help you figure out your path to happiness and success in a general, “have a happy and successful life” kind of way. But we also want to give you some ideas about empowering your life in a way that gives you resources to participate in the world's issues.


    Greta Thunberg was lucky enough to start out with a supportive family. Her broader support is grass roots, all non-corporate. Her message has been captured in books; whether they make enough to support her activities I do not know.


    Whatever her sustaining support base, one thing is clear: Ms. Thunberg is taking action. In her case, she's fighting for environmental recovery. You might be aiming your efforts at artistic creativity. Maybe you think you have a future in some form of technology. The field you enter doesn't matter so much as your taking real steps to make things happen in your life.


    What we hope to do is show you the big pieces that make up a life, and some of the ways you can work with them to make life easier, and your gift a more rewarding part of your life. If you get those two aspects of life working well, we further hope to inspire to make your difference in the world, too.


    Our ebook How Will We Look at Life? will help you get started. Just read little bits at a time and practice the ideas. This will help you not only do well in school, but help you figure out how to handle the crazy things that happen in your whole life. And we'll roll out more ideas as fast as we can put them together.


    Order and Download How Will We Look at Life? Now


    Thomas Meylan, Ph.D.
    CEO
    Digital Clones, Inc.


    If you wish to respond to this post, please email gntblog at digitalclones dot biz and be sure to include the code G092519 in the subject line. Constructive input will be reposted under this blog post.

    The Secret Superpower within Every Gift and Talent

    I have advanced education and training in two fields of study that have the objective of understanding “life, the universe, and everything.” Those fields are theology and astrophysics. So when I say that every gift or talent contains the same superpower, I am not kidding. It's not that this superpower works the same way in every gift, or for every person. It's that every person has this superpower, and it's part of what makes the gift work. What makes it super is that once you spot it in your gift, you can figure out how to use it in all other parts of your life!


    Woman Boxer

    If challenges don't stop you, figure out what it is that keeps you going! There's a superpower there! (photo - diao-darius - unsplash)


    So let's try spotting it in some gifts. Have you been working on something your reall enjoy, but then hit a brick wall in your work? Maybe it was the first time you tried something that turned out to be hard to do. Was it a piece of music you couldn't quite get right? Was it a painting or digital image you just couldn't get quite right? Was it a robotic machine that just wouldn't obey an instruction?


    What did you do to break through that first, tough thing you encountered?


    What my music mentor does is he picks out four or five bars of something that's messing with him, and he plays it slower and slower and slower until he gets it right. Then he sets the metronome up at that tempo and plays it endlessly until he can play it without even thinking about it. Then he speeds up the metronome, and relearns it at that speed. He slowly keeps cranking up the metronome until he's finally playing it at the tempo where it belongs. If he really wants to overpower those bars, he keeps speeding up the metronome until he can play it at rediculous speeds, and completely masters that musical phrase.


    If your gift is in the visible arts, have you heard of the idea of a study? That's where you draw, or paint, or sculpt dozens of different versions of your subject using different techniques just to see what happens. Each version of your study teaches you a little bit more about visualizing your subject, doesn't it? Eventually, you overcome that artistic barrier.


    You know what the superpower is in both of those examples? It's the superpower of problem solving!


    As you grow up, you can expect to run into problems in every part of your life. The problems you solve while working with your gift or talent are very similar in many ways to life's problems. The tricks you use to solve problems in art, or music, or STEM might not work in exactly the same way, but they'll be close enough to help you get started on a life problem. The trick that does work the same way is this: just refuse to quit trying until you really do solve it!


    Those of you who read these blogs regularly, or who use Be the Boss by 12 to guide your work, what am I going to say now? Yes, you can take this habit from your gift or talent, and make it a habit for everything in your life. Yes, it takes practice, practice, practice...that's how you build a winning habit into a great life skill! But, look, you're already doing it...just do it every time you need it.


    To help you out with making these ideas habits, get our ebook Building Habits to Win. Just read little bits at a time and practice the ideas. This will help you not only do well in school, but help you figure out how to handle the crazy things that happen in your whole life.


    Order and Download Building Habits to Win Now


    Thomas Meylan, Ph.D.
    CEO
    Digital Clones, Inc.


    If you wish to respond to this post, please email gntblog at digitalclones dot biz and be sure to include the code G092019 in the subject line. Constructive input will be reposted under this blog post.

    The Key to Standing Out while Being Yourself

    Most people are kind of shy, especially around big groups of people. It's natural. Big groups of people often seem a little bit scary. But for some, unknown reason, most people seem to believe that gifted and talented kids are usually more shy than others. It's not true, but sometimes we gifted people start to believe it, too. And if we believe it too much, we try to be invisible to the rest of the people in school, or in other places where there are lots of people. That would be bad, because we have a lot to offer to all of the people around us.


    Pink Guitarist

    We all, even as grade school kids, can do our special things just to make people around us feel good. (photo - felix-koutchinski - unsplash)


    Even if we are a little bit shy, the sooner we learn to less shy, the better it is for us and the people around us. It's OK to feel shy, but it's a little bit better if we can still talk to any one we want any time we want regardless of how shy we feel.


    Many, many people in the world allow their feelings to keep them from doing good things, and fun things. Gifted and talented kids shouldn't let their feelings “tell them what to do.” We should always just decide what we want to do, and then do it as long as it's safe for us or not harmful to others.


    So, what do I mean by “standing out”? Well, it's a step or two more than just not being shy. Now, kids in school stand out for all kinds of things. Some just because they are tall. Some because they can be mean sometime. Some because they are nice and friendly people. Some because they come from a rich family.


    You can stand out by becoming known for your gift or talent. I mean, if you have some musical talent you can make ring tones for your friend's phone, just for the fun of it. Or if you know how to paint pictures with a computer you could make phone screen wallpapers for your friends, just for fun.


    Some gifted people also have a gift for helping people organize, you know, form groups that can do bigger things than just one person could do alone. I know a few gifted kids who have organized cleanup days for creeks near where they live. The funny thing is, once the kids get a group with a great idea, then they have to teach their parents how to be organized so that they can help the kids better. I think that's pretty cool. And if you're the kid leading the charge to clean up the creek, you stand out.


    You just do special, little things for people where your gift can make a difference. It could be that you help one or two people just by yourself, or you help a part of your neighborhood be a little better. If it comes from your heart, it will feel nice and normal to you...you can feel comfortable instead of shy.


    But you know what I always end up saying: “You have to practice.” So you have to practice getting over being shy. You have to get into the habit of being yourself in a way that makes you just a little bit important to the people around you. The thing that can make this easier is if you and your gifts “just be yourselves!”


    To help you out with making these ideas habits, get our ebook Building Habits to Win. Just read little bits at a time and practice the ideas. This will help you not only do well in school, but help you become a more visible part of your class during this new school year.


    Order and Download Building Habits to Win Now


    Thomas Meylan, Ph.D.
    CEO
    Digital Clones, Inc.


    If you wish to respond to this post, please email gntblog at digitalclones dot biz and be sure to include the code G091119 in the subject line. Constructive input will be reposted under this blog post.

    Three Steps to Become a Class Leader This New School Year

    So you're gifted. So you're talented. So what? Ask yourself, “In what ways can I stand out in my class this year?” Perhaps you already stand out because of your capabilities. Perhaps you stand out for some of the more obvious reasons, like being tall. But you know, you can also choose to take a larger role in your class at school this year.


    New Group

    Things change for everyone over the summer. If the idea of being a class leader wasn't good for last year, maybe it's good for this year. (photo - mario-purisic - unsplash)


    It's not like you have to be the class president or the most popular kid in class. It's about learning now how to build respect with a great reputation. It's about learning how to be visible for positive reasons.


    So, how do you get started? The first step in learning just about anything from real life is to watch carefully what you're interested in understanding. In this case you watch how your classmates interact. You watch for who they all think is important. You watch for what they all think is important. You pay attention to these things to find the big patterns that seem to make the whole class do what it does. In the Be the Boss by 12 ebooks, we call this activity “Looking for the hidden rules” that make your class tick.


    You might ask, “What does the good doctor mean when he says, 'pattern'?” A simple pattern would be to watch for how many people talk about the latest show, or song, to drop. Does your class like some shows or songs more than others? Those could be interesting patterns. Is there a bully in your class? How many classmates are afraid of this person's actions, and what do they do? These are just easy patterns caused by obvious events or people I'm using to describe what I mean. What other patterns have you already spotted as you've been going to school these last few years?


    Now, the second step might take a little time to do, because you have to keep watching your classmates until some of the patterns start to become easier for you to spot. But once you do start spotting what you think are patterns, you have to write out what you think the hidden rule is that makes that pattern a part of your class's time together. Since this is kind of hard to do right the first time, don't be discouraged if some of your ideas don't work the first time. Just keep practicing your gifts to help you turn the patterns you see into rules that you can use.


    What comes next? The third step is to look at the patterns you see, and pick out one or two that you can relate to. Maybe you're just interested in the pattern, or maybe it relates to your giftedness. You are going to use this pattern to make yourself a little more visible within your class, like build a little bit of a good reputation as part of this pattern.


    If you are shy, you start simply by learning how to become part of a small group. Just add a little bit of your thought about the topic. If your classmates like what they hear, you can offer a little bit more. Learn how to feel for the “give and take” in simple conversations with friends.


    If you already have a pretty good group of friends at school, then practice building your reputation in that group. Learn a little more about the things that interest your group, and share them in a fun way. Get a reputation of being both fun and interesting to be around.


    One of the big boosts you can give yourself when it comes to the way your classmates see you is to make use of your giftedness to be helpful in some small way. If you're a STEM kid, sometimes some of your friends might appreciate a little help with those kinds of projects. If you have a knack for understanding other classes you can sometimes help other students with those. It's not about pushing to be helpful. You just listen for questions that pop up now and then, and offer help on the question. If your classmate wants it, they'll take it.


    When possible, turn these attempts to become more noticeable into habits that you practice everyday. Not pushy habits. Just practice being part of several small groups at school. And keep practicing, too, to notice patterns in the way groups of classmates behave in school. These patterns can be used to learn about what's important to your friends at school. If you learn more about what's important to them, you can learn how you can become more important to them, too


    To help you out with making these ideas habits, get our ebook Building Habits to Win. Just read little bits at a time and practice the ideas. This will help you not only do well in school, but help you become a more visible part of your class during this new school year.


    Order and Download Building Habits to Win Now


    Thomas Meylan, Ph.D.
    CEO
    Digital Clones, Inc.


    If you wish to respond to this post, please email gntblog at digitalclones dot biz and be sure to include the code G090419 in the subject line. Constructive input will be reposted under this blog post.

    How Can a Gifted Kid Pick Good Role Models?

    I want my gifted readers to change the world. Good role models are in short supply. Some of my readers should become elected officials, but I can't recommend anyone in government as a role model. Some of my readers should get into big business, but then they'd have to know how to sort good business skills from greedy motivations. I'd love my readers to revolutionize the arts, so they'd have to pick role models that have made the transition from artist or performer to business tychoon...and I'm not too sure about a lot of those guys, either.


    Soccer

    A kid's first role models are usually parents. Helping a gifted kid pick out role models that expand on those gifts is a big parenting job. (photo - jose-moreno - unsplash)


    Many parents are uncomfortable with the title Be the Boss by 12. “Boss” implies someone who is mean, ignorant, and self-centered to the point that they don't care at all about the people who work for them. They don't want their kids to turn into one of those kind of people.


    Well, I don't want their kids to turn into a rotten person, either. I want my readers to grow up happy, healthy, and ready to change the world for the better. To do that most efficiently, the people of the world are just, plain, going to have to see those great kids as The Boss.


    And those great kids are going to need to project that kind of authority to the people of the world. That's how it works! But there are a few obstacles between here and there. Let's talk some of these out.


    For example, a lot of gifted kids aren't aware of the idea of a role model, especially one that could help them really build power from their gift or talent. Many parents aren't familiar with this idea either. In fact, there are parents who don't want third party interference when it comes to raising their kids. OK, a role model doesn't have to interact directly with anyone. They can often serve just as effectively as a role model from a distance.


    Moving on, it's also often the case that many gifted kids feel that they're simply smart enough to figure it all out on their own. While in principle they might be correct, what they're often not aware of is how big “it all” actually is. A role model could save them a lot of learning time because the role model can demonstrate the habits needed to succeed and point the shorter way.


    In addition, there really aren't many solo geniuses in the world who gained world-wide acclaim without becoming part of a very progressive community of like-minded people. Real scientists learn from each other daily, continuously. Great musicians start out with great teachers, and when they learn all they can with a teacher, musicians learn from each other, peer-to-peer.


    As a gifted person grows and develops their skill sets, here's the progression of people one might naturally grow with over time:


    1. A role model — a famous person with the right characteristics that a kid should copy
    2. A teacher, mentor, advisor, or other person to help direct the development of advanced talents
    3. Professional peers.


    So, in the young years, it's a role model. How should a gifted kid pick a couple of them out? Chances are, your gifted child has already picked a few out. They have favorite famous people. If they read they probably have favorite historical figures. They have people that they want to be like.


    OK, parent, do a judicious, light handed job of vetting these figures. Remember, no one is perfect; all these role models will have flaws. How can you turn the flaws into teaching points? How can you make flaws that disqualify a kid's choice into a larger life lesson?


    The Be the Boss by 12 ebook series starts with a volume just for parents: Volume Zero: Parents' Prep. It will help you become familiar with the whole Be the Boss by 12 concept.


    Order and Download Parents' Prep Now


    Thomas Meylan, Ph.D.
    CEO
    Digital Clones, Inc.


    If you wish to respond to this post, please email gntblog at digitalclones dot biz and be sure to include the code G072719 in the subject line. Constructive input will be reposted under this blog post.

    How it works — Prepare a Genius for Adult Life

    Boss by 12 Cover
    1

    RELAX!
    The gifts will mostly take care of themselves.

    2

    Build emotional toughness
    into the child's inner dialog.

    3

    Teach the child to project
    the social cues of "The Boss."


    Be the Boss by 12, Volume Zero: Parents' Prep
    Available Now!