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Where’s A Brilliant Visionary and Manifesto When You Need One?
Meet Russell C. Smith
Gifted professionals have an unusual sense that human potential is much greater than we imagine. Charles Einstein describes it as a “heart knowledge” of our “native radiance” in his article Naivete and the Light in Their Eyes. Einstein’s readers assumed that he could not know the magnitude of the present environmental crisis and still be optimistic. As it turned out he was a visionary who tuned in to something that the cynics could not see and that’s how he held a positive view of future possibilities.
The minute you meet or discover Russell C. Smith in person or through his writing, you can tell he may not use the G word or know he was born gifted; still, he has all of the innate qualities of a brilliant visionary and shows his mastery in writing manifestos. You might need to back up to July 2023 and read A Manifesto on Manifestos to get a grip on how to navigate the gravity of the world today, along with the awe and universal humanity of it all.
In the 2000s, Russell blogged on The Huffington Post, with co-author Michael Foster on the topic of reinvention. This summer the co-authors published the revised and updated version of the book first published in July 2020 while we were all deep in a global pandemic lockdown: Manifestos, Reinventions & Declarations, Notes on Living through History in the Making. The latest version has a new title: The New Now / Manifestos, Reinventions & Declarations / Updated & Expanded.
Both Russell and Michael come from backgrounds of new media content creation for Internet websites. Before that, they learned their craft and formed professional identities and skills with pens, paper, brushes, typewriters, and many tools invented in the early 19th century.
Russell’s Substack newsletter, The New Now, features chapters from his book, short stories, prose poems, flash fiction, art, life, and freedom of thought. Perhaps Russell has more than 50 of the innate qualities of a gifted human who became a professional and communicator.
Here are four innate qualities that Russell shows:
1) Too muchness. That’s a combination of awareness and sensitivity that can be both breathtaking and crushing. He perceives things others do not and has insights that are obvious to him but not apparent to everyone else.
2) A deep desire for precision, ethics, and multilayered excellence.
3) A high level of moral responsibility, self-reflection, and autonomy, which goes with feelings of existential anxiety and despair, which looks like idealism to most observers.
4) A heightened capacity to appreciate abundant beauty and wonderment in our universe.
How Do You Know You Are Gifted?
When Paula Prober, creator of The Rainforest Mind, writes about her decades of experience with gifted adults, she emphasizes this: “Before talking with others about your giftedness, you first ought to acknowledge for yourself that you are intellectually more advanced, more complex, than the average human. That you think more, feel more, and know more. You have high levels of sensitivity and empathy. This does not mean you are extremely capable of all things, all the time. But, it is likely you love learning and are curious about most things and are quite capable, often, if you are interested.”
Q: Is this true for you? Because you are a deep thinker, highly intuitive, creative, analytical, and curious, you bring a particularly complex dimension to professional relationships.
Russell: Yes, I’d say I do bring these qualities to professional relationships. Sometimes one or two in combination and other times all combined at once. Especially when a project is accomplished more intuitively – and my mind is in the flow state. Crafting messages meant to be useful, digitally portable, and timely is a good use of writing skills.
Q: Did you become a professional on purpose or did your career path open a door into the profession you identify with today?
Russell: Knowing how to structure thoughts, language, words – and reframing ideas in many forms, along with adding a sense of clarity through writing is something I’ve been guided to do, from my teenage years onwards. For decades, I separated my creative writing from my professional life. In the late 1990s, this shifted, and I became a combination contract/freelance copywriter – specifically a marketing copywriter for tech companies. In the past few years, my professional life has shifted again – and I’m a Content Designer/UX Writer (who’s created AI chatbot copy and customer-facing UX product copy).
Q: Which of your communication skills do you seem to work on constantly, always learning, always evolving?
Russell: My personal writing projects have dramatically shifted in the past four years – by working intently on writing/revising novels, essays, prose poems, a memoir, and short stories. Continuing to become a better writer comes through daily practice, and to always be reading.
Words to Live and Laugh By
The power of quotes and rhetoric is part of the gifted person’s thinking. Here are the quotes Russell Smith often uses:
“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” ~ Albert Einstein
“Be here now.” ~ Ram Dass
“You are a function of what the whole universe is doing in the same way that a wave is a function of what the whole ocean is doing.” ~ Alan Watts
But wait! There’s more for Substack subscribers.
Often, if not weekly, we feature professionals who are initiating meaningful conversations with other gifted minds and storytellers–and who they serve. They connect regularly through our blog and their own emails to nurture and support the network that enriches them. See if their words and actions work for you. Better yet, engage directly by sharing your insights in the comments.
If you are curious about how sensitive, creative, intense, multipotential, professional, ethical, expressive, and clear you are about your intentions, wants, and needs, go here to check your GPC Score.