When we think of geniuses most of us automatically think of Albert Einstein or Thomas Edison. Interestingly, neither was particularly gifted intellectually as a child. So how did they become geniuses so late in life? Numerous research studies on intelligence have identified certain common traits among adult geniuses:
- They all pursued a major purpose or specific big goals in life.
- They all had a strong motivation in pursing their purpose or goals – pursuing their purpose or goals created passion.
- They all had an obsessive, consistent patient focus on their major purpose or goals.
- They all had a strong emotional response to and intense recollection of mistakes and failures.
- They all practiced something until it became second nature, a habit (unconscious behavior).
- They all practiced visualization – visualizing an activity, skill, task as if actually performing it.
- They all engaged in creative, out of box thinking or doing, when faced with an obstacle.
- They never quit. They persisted even after mistakes or failures or in the face of insurmountable obstacles.
- They all made a habit of making quick decisions or snap judgements.
Genius is made not born. We all have the capacity for genius. What unleashes genius is the pursuit of some major purpose or goal. 80% of the wealthy in my study focused on achieving some major goal. 88% of the poor did not have any major goal they pursued. Pursuing a purpose or goal comes first and passion comes second. Passion follows the decision to pursue a major purpose or goal. Passion does not come first. You cannot wait to become passionate about something in order to act. You must act first by pursuing a major purpose or setting a big goal.