What Are Geniuses and How to Become One?

What Are Geniuses and How to Become One?

Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Socrates what is the first thing that comes to mind when you read these names, Genius perhaps? What is it that makes a brilliant mind? Is it just a number (IQ), or is it more than that? Is there more to genius than just intelligence? Creativity and inspiration are a couple of qualities that come to mind.

By age 26, without the use of computers, or any modern technology for that matter, Albert Einstein was able to accomplish more than most of us do throughout our entire lifetime. He started off by developing the theory of relativity. He then went on to prove the existence of atoms and he also proved that light behaves, both as a particle as well as a wave. Just before turning 26 years old he completed development on his famous evolutionary equation, E=mc2. Ask anyone to name the first genius who comes to mind, how many will say Albert Einstein.

Conventional wisdom tells us that geniuses are very different from everyday people. They are said to have the innate ability to think faster and better than the rest of us. Most people believe that being a genius leads them to live eccentric lives and quirky behavior. Explaining what makes a person a genius is hard enough, but then try to explain how they became a genius, even harder still.

So, what is it that makes a genius? Throughout the years there have existed many brilliant and intellectual minds. Each one of these people possesses their own unique qualities that makes us consider them a genius. There are many aspects to be considered before someone is labeled as a genius. For instance, contemporary writer Marilyn Savant has accomplished very little in the way of academic achievements although she has been thoroughly tested and possess a remarkably high IQ of 220. On the other hand there has been a number of Nobel Prize winners who are considered geniuses in their own right have IQs as low as 110 – 120. This just goes to show that there are additional factors to figuring out whether someone should be considered a genius other than IQ alone.

How do we measure genius? One way is to look at the quality of the recommendations that one receives , not necessarily at how much of a disruption or change is made in one’s field of work or expertise, but rather the amount of respect and admiration by other experts in this field. Take for example, Ludwig Van Beethoven, a disruptive genius in his own right, whereas Johann Sebastian Bach, a man of equal genius did not alter music as Beethoven did. In his lifetime Beethoven altered western music, leaving composers for decades to come with difficulties writing or composing anything, as they felt over shadowed by the musical genius of their brilliant predecessor. Relatively unknown in his time and without really changing music, by the time his music was truly appreciated worldwide Bach had been long gone. This type of measure is used every time we trust the opinion of an expert or attempt to justify our opinions as fact.

It has been said that the main difference between a genius and an ordinary man, is only that a genius knows how to think, rather than what to think. Often the word genius is accompanied by words like creativity. So, does that mean that to be a genius, you simply need to think creatively? What is it that really sets a genius apart from the rest of us, is it their level of creativity? Or maybe it is their IQ, or some combination of the two. Maybe there is more. Geniuses look for entirely new concepts and believe that anything is possible. It is this belief that leads them to approach problems in different ways the rest of us do. Often a genius will see connections and patterns where the majority of people don’t. For instance, Leonardo DaVinci compared a bell ringing to a stone hitting the water. In this comparison he devised that sound travels in waves, much the same way that water does. Aristotle made the distinction that geniuses, unlike the general population, think metaphorically. Aristotle said that if a person could find a relationship between two contrary areas of existence, that he was likely gifted.

There is an author who claims that genius can be learned, that it is merely a different way of thinking and that we have to train ourselves to think in this fashion if we are to obtain genius status. Michael Michalko claims that geniuses, such as Thomas Edison can invent such a great many things, due to the fact that they are always thinking, their thoughts are so fluent. Michalko also states that these exceptional abilities can be developed over time. We can develop these characteristics if we train our brains to think more fluently, as with a genius.

Another man, Buckminster Fuller claims that all people are born geniuses and that society gradually deprives us of this. There are yet others who believe that genius is an innate ability that appears spontaneously and is quashed by ”higher education” which teaches us a somewhat conditioned way of thinking that limits these innate abilities, eventually ridding us of them. Having a lot of knowledge does not make someone a genius. Consider, if you will the creativity and imagination of a young child. Is this not what we claim is genius. Over time as that same child progresses through the educational system, is it possible that, that childhood creativity and imagination is drained through the repetitive teaching of facts and statistics. Less and less is the use of imagination encouraged throughout the school career of that child until it is pretty much completely gone by early adulthood. It was Charles Baudelaire who stated that genius is “no more than childhood recaptured at will.”

Becoming a genius is simply a matter of retraining yourself to think like one. You can start by seeing the everyday world in a new light. Thinking metaphorically, in opposites and simply thinking more, (something that not enough of us do anyway). If you have an idea and it has a different than expected outcome, do not ask yourself why it has failed, but rather what was accomplished by it. Thinking like an inventor is a matter of looking at existing ideas and inventions and imagining how they can be changed to benefit people. The father of quantum theory, Max Planck said that scientists need to have “a vivid intuitive imagination” because new ideas are generated by an artistically creative imagination rather than by deduction. Albert Einstein was very clear in stating that his ideas and theories came from the “free invention of his imagination” as well.

Something to consider for a moment. As a society we usually give more credit to the first person to use a new invention in a way that changes history rather than giving the credit where it is actually due, to the inventor of the item the was used to change history. Is it possible that we are all born with a certain level of genius? Is genius an innate characteristic?

This article is written by Edward Micknius for Mind Power World: http://www.MindPowerWorld.com