Geniuses are made, not born. This is the phrase we use to inspire those who are ready to give up on their goals. But honestly, do you believe in this statement? Are geniuses simply personalities with changes in the genome or ordinary people who have worked a lot? Let’s figure it out.
Take this example. Paco was five years old when his father first gave him a guitar. Paco’s father forced him to play 12 hours a day. He wanted to be sure that his son would become a professional musician. And eventually, he was. Paco de Lucia is now considered one of the best flamenco guitar players in the world. Was Paco de Lucia a genius? Definitely. Was he born that way? He answered this question in one of the interviews: “If I had not been born in my father’s house, I would have been nobody. I do not believe in spontaneous genius.” Paco was not subject to divine intervention, nor was he born knowing to play the guitar, but rather it was his father’s desire to make him as such.
Genius is just another habit
The opinion that genius is inherent from birth is incorrect. As written in Wikipedia, genius is the highest level of intellectual or creative functioning of an individual, which is manifested in outstanding scientific discoveries or philosophical concepts, technological inventions, social transformations, and the creation of artistic works. That is, genius is the skill to create something new and outstanding, which means that it can be conventionally called the creativity of the highest level.
The author of the inGenius book, Tina Seelig, devoted several years to the study of genius. She believes that it is never too late to start learning creativity. According to her, all genius people are united by several sample habits. Most often, brilliant people have two skills:
- The ability to combine unrelated fantasy.
- Ability to go beyond the usual thoughts.
A good example of combining unrelated ideas is Wake’s Bacon device. This is a mixture of an alarm clock and fryer for bacon. 10 minutes before the waking time, the fryer automatically turns on, and you wake up from the smell of freshly fried bacon. Most often, such devices are more like an idiot’s fiction. However, they can be useful for people who need to get up early, but who cannot force themselves to do it with the help of the usual alarm clock. But they get up with the help of positive emotions and pleasant sensations. Or bacon.
The second skill is determined by how well you can think outside the box and look at things from an unusual point of view. Here a good example would be the company Bespoke, which is engaged in the creation of artificial limbs. Before Bespoke, dentures were viewed only as an opportunity to replace a remote limb. The company first decided to combine medicine and beauty and create fashionable prostheses. Together with fashion houses, the first batch of prostheses was developed, which was subsequently expected success. Buyers have repeatedly said that Bespoke prostheses are much more comfortable to wear. By combining two, at first glance, completely different areas, the company was able to make a new successful product. Can you say that they changed the world? They changed the lives of dozens of people who could wear dentures and not be ashamed of it. Therefore, yes.
Brainstorm and the process of inventing ideas
Brainstorming is ambiguous. Some consider it a good tool for solving problems, some think otherwise. Nevertheless, many geniuses used this technique in its various manifestations. Tina Seelig identified several similar features:
- The place is important. Best of all is a spacious room with lots of surfaces for recording ideas.
- No more than eight people. So everyone has enough time to express their thoughts.
- Inviting people who are remotely connected with the discussion is a good idea. They see the problem from other sides.
How not to surrender on the way to genius
You can be mistaken dozens of times in a row. You can be wrong for five years. You can make mistakes all your life and only at the end come to the right decision. These are the most pessimistic outcomes, but they can also become a reality.
Neurosurgeon John Adler devoted 12 years of his life to the development of a radiotherapy system capable of removing tumors not only in the brain but also in other parts of the body. In the 1980s, the medical community, who did not believe in the success of the venture, laughed at him. In 1992, Adler, together with the brothers Schönberg, developed a cyber-knife. Has Adler changed the world? Sure. But for this, it took him 12 years. It is not always an easy task to achieve your goals.
It is difficult to advise something that will keep you motivated on the way to your goal. Tina Seelig offers several techniques:
- Turn the process of creativity into the game.
- Find accomplices.
- To believe that the decision will come sooner or later.
British scientist Hans Eysenck conducted a lot of research and was able to prove that creativity is associated with biological changes in only 15% of cases. This means, first of all, that the banal phrase “Geniuses are made, not born” is true.
Anyone can potentially become creative and ingenious. Developing and improving skills, working a lot and overcoming the threshold that 90% of people cannot overcome, you can become special. After all, this is what distinguishes geniuses from the rest – the ability to overcome oneself when the others surrender.