Find Out The Five Common Characteristics That Genius People Have

What does a genius do to become a genius? Here's a question that has puzzled people throughout the ages. Find out the five common characteristics that brilliant people have.

Everyone aspires to reach perfection, but few succeed and, in most cases, we don't understand how a particular person got what he or she wanted.

How did Karlheinz Stockhausen (20th-century German composer) compose his 363 works? When did Einstein come up with the theory of relativity? Some say that geniuses are born this way, not made later. It's simple, there is a talent for a particular activity, which they develop to reach perfection.

But, according to The Epoch Times, this is a very simplistic view of reality and, as many studies have shown, it may be false. Excellence also means endless patience, and sometimes it also means that you may be unhappy, and misunderstood by contemporaries.

The Five Characteristics Of Geniuses

1. They are curious and determined. To write his book "Creativity" (2008), Professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi interviewed 91 geniuses from all disciplines, including 14 Nobel Prize winners.

One of his main conclusions is that people with great minds, who create exceptional works, have two major things: curiosity and determination.

"They are absolutely fascinated by their work, even if there are other more brilliant people, their immense desire to achieve what they set out to achieve is a decisive factor," says Csikszentmihalyi.

2. It's not your education that matters, it's the hours dedicated to your specialty. Professor Dean Keith Simonton of the University of California, Davis, conducted a study analyzing 300 geniuses born between 1450 and 1850, including Leonardo da Vinci, Ludwig van Beethoven and Rembrandt. Simonton studied what education each had and measured their level of excellence by their landmark works.

The results were surprising. The relationship between education and excellence, transformed into a graph, took the shape of a bell: the creators who stood out were those with an average education. Those with a high level of education, or less, were less creative. The creators who stood out were those who had worked very hard in their specialty, dedicating their lives to it. There is no doubt that geniuses studied, but they were self-taught and, more than that, they were dedicated to their work.

"Geniuses are all alike," explains literary critic V.S. Pritchett, adding that "they never give up work, never miss a minute, it's depressing."

The reality is that without effort, talent matters less. The best creators are always those who have worked hardest in their specialty, dedicated their lives to the work, learned all that could be learned, taking their passion beyond the limits.

3. They are very critical of their work. According to psychologist Howard Gardner, who received the Prince of Asturias Award for Social Sciences in 2011, great geniuses are masters of their work, which is based on trial and error: they analyze the problem, develop a solution, test it, and constantly focus their efforts on what they enjoy or want.

psychologist Howard Gardner

"Creative individuals," says Gardner, take time to reflect on where they want to go, whether or not they've been successful, and if they haven't achieved what they wanted, what needs to be done, and how. Creative minds are also very methodical.

4. They make sacrifices, are loners, and sometimes suffer from neurosis. Geniuses think about their work all the time and this has multiple disadvantages. Dedicating all their time to their work involves a huge sacrifice and they tend to reduce their social relationships.

According to Professor Csikszentmihalyi, most geniuses are marginalized in adolescence because their immense curiosity and interest seem strange to their friends because teenagers don't spend time alone to cultivate their talents. In general, geniuses are not happy people, and their work sometimes turns them into maniacs and egoists.

5. Geniuses work for passion, not money. "Artists who have developed a talent such as painting, sculpture, for the pleasure of it, have been able to make superior art," explained writer Daniel H. Pink in his book "Drive - what really motivates us".

Over the years there have been a lot of studies about brilliant people. According to a 1904 study regarding geniuses, the conclusions were simple coincidences: most intelligent people were born from "old fathers" and "young mothers". These brilliant people were sickly as children or experienced drama, they were often left without a parent. Another study shows that some of them were determined celibates: Descartes, Galileo, Newton.

Isaac newton

Isaac Newton Picture Credit:

The most brilliant people have produced not only the most numerous creations or discoveries but also the most irrelevant ones. Quality comes from quantity and exercise. From all the studies conducted during history, certain important landmarks about geniuses stand out, which we point out in order to understand them better.

Geniuses usually are known for their intelligence, intuition, global thinking, paranormal abilities, simple but eloquent language, visionary approaches, short sleep time, inclination towards the new and classical, accuracy and rigor in thinking, amazing capacity for abstract-analytical-synthetic thinking, harmless eccentricity, genuine spontaneous originality, fidelity, and excessive stubbornness.

If all these characteristics are not in harmony, health problems can occur. Geniuses also don't smoke, rarely drink alcohol, don't eat much, enjoy going for walks, have no interest in money or luxury, dress shabbily or unfashionably, consider partying a waste of time, politics a dirty game and don't understand violence. The Renaissance was fertile ground for the emergence of many geniuses: take for example Leonardo da Vinci, who excelled not only in science but also in art.

Some Examples Of The Present Day Geniuses

Among the smartest people in the world, we find a Korean, with an IQ of 210, named Kim Ung-Yong, born in 1962. At the age of 3, he attended Hanyang University's physics classes, and by 4 he was reading Japanese, Korean, German, and English. At 5 he was solving differential equations and calculus with integrals. In 1978 he turned to civil engineering, where he received his Ph.D.  

Another eloquent example is Akrit Jaswal, who became a surgeon at the age of 7. With an IQ of 146, he was named India's smartest child. He came to public attention in 2000 when he performed his first surgical operation: he was 7 years old and the patient was an 8-year-old girl who had suffered severe burns on her hand and had her fingers stuck together.

Marko Calasan is a computer systems genius. He has been reading since the age of 2 and installed his first computer programs at 5. According to Wikipedia, he is noted for being the youngest Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator at the age of eight and the youngest certified computer systems engineer at the age of nine.

Aelita André has been a painter since the age of two. Born in Australia, Aelita has been painting since she could hold a tube of paint. An exhibition curator saw the girl's work and chose to promote it, without having met Aelita. When he found out the girl was only 2 years old, he was shocked but continued to support her artistic endeavors. Now Aelita's work can be found in major galleries around the world.

We could go on and on with such examples, but the truth is that brilliant people represent a very small segment of the population. Geniuses are an exception to the rule, they are usually endlessly patient, unhappy, and misunderstood by their contemporaries. These exceptional creatures should be protected and even helped to perfect their talent, their work... to which they devote their entire lives.

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