Calling Forth Brilliance & Genius: Be An Uplifter, Not A Downer

A Reputation to Live Up To

A number of years ago I went on an intense lecture tour that left me feeling exhausted. The last event of the trip was a full-day workshop in Atlanta, and as I pulled myself out of bed that morning to get ready for the seminar, I wondered how I would gather the energy to present a decent program. When I arrived at the venue, I found a young man at the door, waiting to greet me. He shook my hand vigorously and told me, “I read your book and it changed my life. I drove four hours to get here today, and I can’t wait for the seminar. I came to meet the man who wrote the book.”

Well, that sure put a different spin on the program for me. When I saw the eagerness in that fellow’s eyes and I felt the sincerity in his voice, I was moved to present the seminar he came to receive. I couldn’t let my tiredness or resistance stand between him and his intention. I felt a burst of energy and enthusiasm, and went on to offer a program at the level of excellence he expected. That fellow literally called forth the man who wrote the book.

Calling Forth Brilliance & Genius

You, too, have the power to call forth the brilliance and genius in those around you, as well as yourself. You just need to give more attention to what is working and what you want to happen, than to what is not working and what you do not want to happen.

The Spiritual Cinema Circle ( has distributed a potent short film, Validation, which you can find on YouTube. The film tells the story of Hugh Newman, who validates tickets in a public parking garage. Yet Hugh’s validation goes far beyond stamping parking tickets. When each customer arrives at Hugh’s station, he gives them a sincere compliment like, “Wow, what a great smile!” or “You are an amazing, wonderful person!” One by one, tired business people light up and step away with joy, confidence, and spryness absent just a few moments earlier.

Be An Uplifter, Not A Downer

Hugh’s reputation as an uplifter spreads far and wide, so people come to park in his garage and stand in long lines just to receive the validation from him that they are missing in the rest of their lives. Hugh is a true healer, using his occupation as a venue to feed the soul of the world.

Not long after seeing Validation, I met the real Hugh Newman. He is a TSA security officer in the Honolulu airport. After flying all night overseas, Dee and I arrived at the airport early in the morning, tired and eager to get home. When we asked the agent for the airline operating our connecting flight to put us on an earlier flight than we had scheduled, she refused. So we decided to go to the gate and ask the boarding agent for that courtesy. On our way through security screening, a handsome older agent checked our I.D. “Now there’s that smile we love!” he commented as he studied my driver’s license. “And don’t you look lovely this morning!” he told Dee, although that’s not how she felt.

You can imagine what a surge the fellow initiated in us after a long flight and the airline’s denial. Suddenly I felt there might be hope for us and humanity. When we arrived at the gate we asked the agent if she would put us on the next flight, and she was happy to do so. That TSA agent called us to be the people we wanted to be, which set in motion a train of positive events.

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Give Them A Reputation to Live Up To

A Reputation to Live Up To, written by Alan Cohen

As we move into the holiday season, we might do well to remember Dale Carnegie’s suggestion: “Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to!” People will become as magnificent or inept as you label them, so be careful what you call them. At every moment you are scripting the actors in your life movie, for better or worse, by the way you see them and the words you speak about them.

During the next month or two you will have plenty of people to practice giving a reputation to! At your Thanksgiving family gathering, you can keep Aunt Sally stuck as a frumpy old gossip, or acknowledge her for the way she’s been there for her kids. At your company office party, your boss can be a stingy souse, or a source of financial support for you during a lean economy. After waiting in a long line to pay for your Christmas present purchase, you can complain to the salesperson about how few cashiers there are, or compliment her on how effectively she is handling her customers in a crowd.

You've Got a High I.Q.

Education annals tell of a young schoolteacher who arrived at her classroom on the first day of school and, perusing her class register, saw high I.Q. numbers next to the student’s names. “Thank goodness, an intelligent group!” she exclaimed. Consequently she gave the class challenging assignments and freedom to be creative.

At the end of the marking period, all the students received high grades. The next day the principal called the teacher into his office and asked her, “How did you take a group of underachieving students and turn them into geniuses?” The befuddled teacher showed the principal the high I.Q.’s in her register. The principal laughed as he told her, “Those are not the students’ I.Q.’s. They are their locker numbers!”

Thank goodness the teacher did not know the class was not bright. The students lived up to the reputation she gave them. And so are we all assigning numbers to everyone we meet. Let’s make them high ones.

Book by this Author:

A Daily Dose of Sanity by Alan CohenA Daily Dose of Sanity: A Five-Minute Soul Recharge for Every Day of the Year [Paperback]
by Alan Cohen.

Click here for more info and/or to order this book.

About The Author

Alan CohenAlan Cohen is the author of many inspirational books including A Course in Miracles Made Easy and of the newly-released Spirit Means Business. Join Alan for his life-changing Holistic Life Coach Training beginning September 1, 2020. For information on this program and Alan’s books, videos, audios, online courses, retreats, and other inspirational events and materials, visit


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