No one is born perfect.
Yet, there would be someone who would shine above the rest of us. Someone who will go down in history as the greatest. Someone we will look up to, and wish we had half of his/her brain and talent. Someone we could almost say “perfect.”
And these people live amongst us, yet we will never know until we have come full term on their contribution to humanity. These geniuses have breathed the same air that we breathe, walked on the same road, on the same path that we did. And we will never know.
Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, Stephen Hawking, Van Gogh, Leonardo da Vinci… these people have inspired us for countless ways, but if you think about it, they were once walking among the people of their childhood, of their time. Laughing, arguing over something, falling in love over someone…
Right now, you look around and wonder, “Am I walking among geniuses?”
GENIUS TRACKER: GATHERING THE CLUES
Are geniuses born smart? Or was their gift developed over time?
But most importantly, how do you know a genius when you meet one?
It’s really hard to spot a genius, even if you are living with one. But one sure way to find one is by identifying the traits of a natural genius.
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” – Albert Einstein
How many times have you heard of tall stories from your childhood friends? And how many times have you laughed at a child’s innocent dream?
A genius mind is a very imaginative one. It moves from the real to the surreal, without even knowing the line separating those. They talk about something which is not familiar to us. They insist on an idea that seems preposterous.
Or maybe, it is just us, not grasping the whole concept about it.
That’s why most of the time, a genius is tagged by society as someone who has gone cuckoo. No one can understand what he is talking about. Or maybe, he’s just ahead of his time.
“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, the just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while” – Steve Jobs
A genius mind sees something from the ordinary, something better and grander. A normal person would only see a line, a wall. A genius would see a canvas of all things that could branch from a simple line and an empty wall.
Something is there already, up for the taking. An average person can take that for what it is. A genius will keep it for what it will become.
“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” – Oprah Winfrey
For an average person, a criticism could be a personal attack. He could react either by being defensive and try to explain what they have to do, or they simply lose hope. Eventually, that high level of enthusiasm wanes.
A genius feels the same way, but at a higher level. He would stand by it, fight for it, and never lose focus on what he believes in, and on what needs to be done. A genius might skip meals, lose sleep, get sick. But he never loses the drive on what he is doing, and what he truly believes in .
“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” – Vince Lombardi
One sometimes quit, because one gets tired of either the criticism or the roadblocks. But for a genius, no roadblock or criticism can stop him.
When a simple fellow would just dream of something reachable; a genius would aim for what is unattainable. And if a simple folk would be content with how a dress is being sewn, a genius would look at every stitch, every fold, to ensure that it perfectly hugs the body the person wearing it.
For a genius, he is not contented with what there is. It has to be according to what he has in mind, polished brightly, something that will become highly prized someday. It is not about the profit, it is all about the quality of work that will withstand the test of time.
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” - Winston Churchill
What fans the flames of passion in a genius?
It has to be optimism.
When most would say that the glass is half full, the genius would say it would still quench a thirst. This is the reason why for most people, their enthusiasm wanes at roadblocks or trying times. But for a genius, despite all the stones hurled their way, they still believe because they see something good in what they do, and they trudge on.
“You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.” – Aristotle
It takes courage to be different, especially if others do not believe in you.
A man may simply lose heart over obstacles, or doubt himself and lose faith in what he does, but to a genius, he sees obstacles as opportunities, and looks for other resources if he ever doubts himself, while holding on to his faith. Most of us would rather blend in the crowd rather than stick out like a sore thumb, but to a genius, it does not bother him if he is different. Or if it does bother him, he just retreats without letting go of his ideals.
When most people would keep mum and not speak at all for fear of life or sanity, a genius will find a way to have his ideas out in the open without literally opening his mouth.
“Honesty is the first chapter of the book wisdom.” - Thomas Jefferson
An average person will find it hard to accept that he is wrong. He will always deny it, or make excuses. But what he fails to recognize is that it is actually the missing link to what he could become.
But for a genius, he is quick to admit his mistakes. He would even be the one to announce it to the world. He will not be shy about it, for he knows, he is one step closer to bridging his dream to reality.
“It’s not a silly question if you can’t answer it.” - Jostein Gaarder, Sophie’s World
For a common person, it is better to be silent rather than to appear stupid with so many questions. But to a genius, it is the door of opportunity!
A common person would be content with a simple explanation, with a simple statement. But the mind of a genius is insatiable. It would continually ask, and ask, as it tries to unravel the mysteries. And it will not stop at just finding one answer. It would continue to look for other paths, other ventures, that may eventually lead to another wonder, another adventure, another life-altering experience.
For the mind of a genius can hold a series of questions and answers, and still have some for more questions and answers.
“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” - Daniel J. Boorstin, The Discoverers: A History of Man’s Search to Know His World and Himself
A genius does not stop with what he knows. He is on a perpetual voyage of learning something.
If for an average man, it is enough that he knows, for a genius, he must know, and know more, and understand. He does not stop at knowing one thing, he has to understand fully and in depth, and add more to what could help enhance his knowledge. And he continues to look for more answers, and tries to connect the pieces, and finds some more on the other facets of the concept.
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
- Robert Frost
For a genius, it is not his intention to aim for being different. He is being different for trying out what was not tried, and for challenging the norm.
When an ordinary man would just follow the trend, a genius would try other things differently. For it is not in his nature to be stuck with one idea. His mind is always working, and he will not let it rest. He will always try to squeeze his creative juices, until he finds the perfect idea.
OF FINDING A GENIUS
We have the potential to be a genius, but it really takes having special traits to be one. But what makes this article interesting is not in the satisfaction of identifying a genius, but enhancing and making them bloom in the process of becoming a better human being.
In our ignorance, we might fail to find a genius in our midst. It could still be a good thing, for a genius loves challenges. But if we can be bit more understanding, and not scar a budding genius, we can have more geniuses in this world, whether they were born as one, or was inspired to be one.