‘Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.’
– Stephen King
We may think that genius is something very special and not everyone has it, and the people who do have it are extremely special individuals. Yes, a lot of it has to do with genetics, but a lot of it has to do with the way these geniuses work too.
And their ways, quite understandably are different.
1. They look for the road less travelled
Not all problems have a direct solution, and geniuses are experts in finding an indirect solution to problems. This approach is almost always met with skepticism, even among their scholarly peers.
It is one of the most important qualities in true innovators.
2. They are unafraid, however, uncomfortable the way ahead is
There is a reason many of the past geniuses were considered as madmen. It may have been because they are socially awkward, but it was also because they spoke the truth, however in-your-face it is.
And because these people think differently, their versions of truths seem much more bitter. But the truth they speak is the whitest you will ever hear.
They also are fearless and take risks with faith in their honesty.
3. They teach themselves and don’t rely on anyone to be taught
The brains of geniuses are in a constant state of flux, as they are constantly whirring. And on top of this, geniuses are extremely curious. To satisfy their curiosity, they learn as much as they can – every day. If there isn’t a person to teach them a topic, they will learn it themselves.
If you look through the history books, most of the geniuses taught themselves a lot of what they knew. They didn’t wait for the knowledge to come to them, they went and grabbed it themselves.
4. They borrow from others and build on their work to make breakthroughs
Not everything is a breakthrough. One cannot just sit in a room and come up with something that is pathbreaking, even if that one is a genius.
Most of the geniuses had people helping them. They integrate knowledge from different fields and different people and come up with a piece of work truly genius. Many of them end up creating a whole new field in their application of work.
5. They look far into the future
Geniuses have foresight. Most of them don’t live in the moment. Most of them are absentminded. Their minds wander beyond the oblivion and hence come up with solutions and inventions we think are”genius”.
Geniuses are daydreamers with a foresight.
6. They adapt quickly
Quick thinking and being mentally nimble is extremely important. They develop strategies on their feet when they encounter a problem.
On the other hand, they also know how to chill when the situation doesn’t demand it.
7. They are marathoners with an obsession to satisfy
Geniuses never have a point where they run out of energy for the work they are doing. They never give up what they start with. They obsess over things we find to be “trivial”, but this obsession leads to fruitful rewards. Their thirst to come up with a genius solution burns until they achieve their goal.
They never take a no for an answer.
8. They think radically which is unconventional to the boot
This is probably the reason they are thought to be different. But actually, they just think in a very abstract way, even after knowing the conventional solution. Some geniuses are so different, they think in opposites.
Take, for example, a mathematical solution to a simple equation. Most of us will solve it in a rote way, like they taught us in school. But geniuses will probably figure out the solution by drawing a graph in their doodle book.
9. They create
Geniuses also have this desire to create things. They think of creation ceaselessly. It can be seen in the works of Edison and Tesla, with numerous patents to their name. The thirst to discover and create is what makes them geniuses.
Yes, we all may not be geniuses, but if we just apply ourselves and work hard and think differently, we can create awesome things. And maybe, just maybe your work may be a work of genius in the future.
As Bill Watterson said,
Genius is never understood in its own time.