Sunday, April 8, 2007

What is Genius?

There has been a quote I have been thinking about for some time now. The one from Thomas Edisson where he said "Genius is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration". Its not one of those quotes that just hits you as immediate truth or as i like to say "Shows you the light". Its one that makes you think, it gives a different perspective on a topic in our society that many of us think is inborn, rare and special, but this quote nudges you to think otherwise. It says we can all attain this rare staus by just working hard.

Yes I know you have met people with extra ordinary skills, people that could multiply 325 by 672 in their head in a minute or even seconds and then you ask, how are these people not born like this, how can you say they are not talented or given a gift from God. But from observation I have seen those such people are those who have worked the hardest. They are the people while you party they are writing computer code, while you sleep they are reading. Definitely at the end of the day it is going to show. No I am not saying that people are not gifted differently in intelligence, what I am saying is that the skill or the ability we call Genius (Which is defined as: someone who has exceptional intellectual ability and originality ) is attained through hard work and is not just randomly assigned. In order to confirm my thoughts on this i did a little digging and I came up with this article (From New Scientist).

Basically What it says is that if we look at all the people we call geniuses in different fields, from Mozart to Einstein, what brought them fame was not the inborn intelligence but the work they put in. That hard work broke ground and led them to come up with things that no one thought about. According to the article IQ does not assure greatness. There was an elementary school in New York where the requirement to get in was an IQ score above 130 (Which only 1 percent of the world is on that level of intelligence) but when these students were watched although they had satisfactory/successful lives, none of them came out with a Pulitzer prize or a Nobel prize, very few of them are even recognizable by name today.

If you look today at who is making the news and actively changing our world, Bill Gates, Micheal Dell, Steve Jobs and co, these are all college dropouts. That leaves me asking, what about those kids that get 4.0 in MIT and Harvard? where are they? what companies do they lead? I personally believe the brain is a muscle, the more you task it and test it, the more powerful t would be, and the closer to genius you will be (If that is your desire).

1 comment: said...

hello and cheers to your website and to your great thinking....i believe genius can be both born and/or nurtured, depending on the person....we know there are some born with a certain genius which propels them through their life's aim at great speed.....there are others who strive for fulfillment and become geniuses....these latter people might also be called, i will post this quote to go with that thought...keep up the good work, it's the only way up....!

"Heroism, the Caucasian mountaineers say, is endurance for one moment more."
- George F. Kennan