You want to be like Steve Jobs right?
Well, get in line dear readers.
Seriously though, a lot of people want to emulate the persona of Steve Jobs because he will always be remembered as a genius. That’s the way it is with great people; those visionaries and leaders who appeared at the right time and the right place and made it happen for themselves and conveniently for the world as well.
But what if I told you there is a theory floating around that geniuses don’t just appear?
That geniuses are a culmination of several factors? For instance, they are made up of things like genes, personality, ambition, environment, and effort.
Well you’d probably laugh at me.
Haha, you’re too funny timotheories, you think you know so much about theories and now you’ve finally proven that you don’t know jack!
Well hold up there aggressive little buddy, I’m still in the process of making a point, and you are just being rude. So please keep your comments until the end of the lecture.
Let’s address the problem of effort first. There have been studies done which indicate that major breakthroughs, whether in the arts or sciences, only appear that way to the casual observer, when in reality it takes time, effort, and energy to produce mastery of skill(s). In other words, when you can understand the rules intimately, then you are capable of bending or breaking them.
Also consider that specialization totally kills creativity because you are operating within a limited palette while looking at nothing other than the subject in front of you.
Ambition and a healthy desire to discover need to be present.
Which leads us into my next point.
Whatever your conviction, you need to ask a ton of questions: which is another way of saying, keep your mind sharp. Go to the library and take out books on a variety of topics, then grab some audio books on language, and sign up for a course or a program. It doesn’t matter if you are getting a diploma, certification, accreditation or doctorate. Exercise your mind.
That also includes physical exploration by spending time in nature or on a retreat.
But what about your genetics/personality? If those are fixed then genius is limited to those born with certain traits. Yes, those details definitely make up a part – but if you are open to experiences, driven, aggressive and can learn to look inwardly, you have just found some qualities that will help get you there, and can be learned. Interestingly enough, environment can play a role too in that progression.
Educational institutions that teach us to learn something from whatever we focus on can aid in this process, which can often be uncovered in post-secondary. This article very briefly touches upon it, but essentially the idea proposed is that cultures which encourage new forms of teaching and education foster risk-taking and that is where genius can appear, when individuals or groups can focus their vision into expression.
But truthfully, no matter what your stage or status, we all have the basic blueprint needed to accomplish these steps. Environment is just one piece. Look at what Malcolm Cowley said about the subject,
Genius is vision, often involving the gift of finding patterns where others see nothing but a chance collection of objects.
Children naturally do pattern seeking that from the time they are born until it is slowly weeded out of them in adulthood. But if we can cultivate that curiosity as already mentioned and focus our efforts on the importance of openness to experiences, i.e. look objectivity, then we’ll be in a way stronger position to see things as they are, rather than how we have been conditioned to do so.
That is what genius is, focusing on your passion, applying knowledge and experience, and continuous and never-ending improvement of self as you live your life’s purpose. You’ll make a contribution to your area of purpose which no one else can, because of your unique perspective.
It just takes some re-training.
Which is why ultimately, attitude is everything. People think there is a secret to genius, it really comes down to attitude. If you are willing to put forth the right effort and combine it with the attitude that life is a process, not a goal, you’ll experience genius.
But what do you think? Please leave some comments and subscribe to support these posts! I’m out of theories for now.