The Goal: Google, a company with a reputation for innovation, gives its engineers one day a week to work on a passion project. That’s right—20% of their billing time is spent pursuing ideas and interests that may only loosely tie back to their workflow. What would happen if we gave students the same flexibility? What if we gave them the time to pursue their own genius?


Note: This exercise is a commitment. It requires time and a willing to engage in serious exploration and growth over the course of months.

Part 1: Brainstorm on what your “Genius Project” could be. Your ideas should be specific to you as an individual. Your passion project must be tied to your top 1-2 Motivators so start brainstorming for ideas by looking at your top 1-2 Motivators on your Indigo Summary Page. Examples of ideas: starting and growing a new club at school for people interested in coding or investing, building a business, planning a school-wide volunteering day, writing and producing a one-act show for students, leading a full-fledged fundraiser for an initiative that you care about, managing your school’s social media initiatives, learning to build a website from scratch, working on a massive art project or performance, etc.

Step 2: Write a one-page proposal. The proposal should explain the overall project scope and also how it fits your top 1-2 Indigo Motivators. You should also talk about how you plan to utilize your top 5 skills from your Indigo Summary Page to execute your project. Hold yourself accountable to picking a project that fits and is sufficiently challenging.

Step 3: Spend one or two hours a week pursuing your project. This project can be as long or as short as you would like it to be, but the sweet spot is at least 15-20 hours—enough time for you to develop serious projects with a large scope of work.

Step 4: Create a presentation of the end results of your project. This can be in any form you choose—presentation, essay, collage, video, website, et cetera—so long as it is made clear that the results should reflect your true genius and genuine effort. In your final presentation of the project, you should demonstrate how the project tied in to your top 1-2 Motivators and how you used your top 5 skills to successfully carry out the project.

Optional Add-On: To develop “Time and Priority Management” and “Planning and Organizing” skills, write a proposal that includes how you plan to manage your time over the course of this project and define the different tasks you must complete before the project is considered complete. Essentially, you will submit a detailed plan of how you will carry your project out and manage your own time over the planned timeframe of the project.

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