Stewart McAdams left a Fortune 100 company to go with a start-up technology company. The perks and the benefits package were unbelievable. In fact, if the company were to go public, he would’ve been able to exercise his lucrative stock options and make enough money to feed a small nation. 

But after a few months at this new job, Stewart was driving to work one day when he broke down. Now mind you, my friend is 50 years old, a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy, a man’s man, and he’s telling me that he was crying like a newborn baby on his way to this crème de la crème job. When I asked him why, he said, “It was that moment when I realized I was only going through the motions at work. I was just doing a job. I’d lost my passion.”

Here he was, enjoying a healthy marriage and brilliant children, living in a beautiful house with a second home to escape to on the weekends, and keeping plenty of money in the bank…you know, the ultimate dream. But yet, there was a “hole in his soul.” He’d gained weight, lost what little hair he had and was generally stressed out. Work had become nothing more than a place to show up and collect a check.

He had success but no significance. 

He had money but no meaning. 

He had power but no purpose. 

He had status but no satisfaction.

He was alive in body but dead in spirit.

Stewart paused as if he was reliving the moment when he decided to release his brilliance.

What is Brilliance?

Simply put, releasing your brilliance means releasing the genius within you. It’s living from the inside out – it’s finding your inner light and letting it shine for the whole world to see. It’s discovering and leveraging your unique talents and your pure, intuitive intelligence. 

Of the many characteristics that contribute to a diamond’s beauty, brilliance is the most important, bar none. Brilliance is the life of the diamond – it is the burst of white light, the flash and the sparkle, that captures our attention. Everyone notices a brilliant diamond – it seems to explode with light, eliciting “oohs” and “aahs” from those nearby.

And so it is when you release your brilliance. You have a certain vibrant energy that attracts the attention of those around you. You have “it” – a special, distinctive quality that’s difficult to describe. It’s more than presence or charisma or enthusiasm. It’s something much bigger and deeper. Brilliance has nothing to do with impressing people, but everything to do with allowing your light to shine and illuminating someone else’s darkness.

Why is Brilliance Important?

When you operate outside of your brilliance, you tend to be disengaged from life. You work and live to meet your needs rather than to maximize your potential. You go from day to day, just existing, without much passion or enthusiasm for life. Meanwhile, your talents remain untapped, buried somewhere deep inside. It’s an awful way to live. And it drags down those you care about – your family and friends.

What Happens When Brilliance is Released?

Today, Stewart is having a ball. He launched a new company with a group of partners and has absolutely found his niche. He’s passionate about what he does and feels alive again. In fact, he’s like a kid in a candy store. In addition, he’s lost weight, grown back his hair and, according to his doctor, has the heart of a 35 year old. He’s in the best shape of his life and happier than he’s ever been. 

As I reflected on Stewart’s story, I thought about you. That’s right, you! I wondered, are you releasing your brilliance or working hard enough to keep a job doing just enough to keep the board from firing you? Are you just biding your time? Is work a place of joy or a convenient distraction from life? 

I’m inviting you at this time to look yourself in the mirror and rededicate your mind, soul, body and spirit to your vocation. Why? Because if you don’t, you’re only robbing yourself of the opportunity to release your brilliance. Why? It’s now or never!