BY TONY VELOCCI
For centuries people with extraordinary intellect have demonstrated an amazing ability to invent, to explain the seemingly inexplicable, and to conceptualize ideas that have had a profound impact on society. Meanwhile the rest of us have looked on in awe, wondering. How did he or she do that? What does it take to be a genius?
Consider this : You may possess some of the same traits that distinguish history’s most famous thinkers.
All you need to know is how to reach your potential.
1. THINK IN MOVING PICTURES.
Genius is an African who dreams up snow–Vladimir Nabokov, Russian born American writer, 1899-1977.
Visualization is a kind of mental movie. In their mind’s eye, geniuses see concepts as theatre, rather than still photography. Einstein wrote, "My particuilar ability does not lie in mathematical calculation, but rather in visualizing effects, possibilities, and consequences."
2. COMBINE THE NEW WITH THE OLD.
In every work of genius, we recognize our own rejected thoughts: They come back to us with a certain alienated majesty—Ralph Waldo Emerson, American writer, 1803-1882.
By describing an unfamiliar object or idea using a familiar concept or thing, deep thinkers have found that they can break out of a stale perspective. To help formulate his theory of relativity, Einstein imagined himself riding on a beam of light,while holding a mirror in front of him, or standing on a platform while a train passed by.
Genius in one respect is like gold–numbers of persons are constantly writing about both, who have neither—Charles Caleb Colton, English writer 1780-1832.
The ability to make juxtapositions has inspired great intellects to see things that remain hidden to others—an outcome known as the "Ah-ha!" moment. For instance, Leonardo da Vinci drew a connection between a stone hitting water and the sound of a bell, leading him to conclude that sound travels in waves.
4. TRUST YOUR HUNCHES.
True genius is a mind of large general powers, accidentally determined in some particular direction—-Samuel Johnson, English writer, 1709-1784.
Geniuses commonly know without being able to say how they know. Claude Bernard, the founder of modern physiology, wrote that everything purposeful in scientific thinking begins with feeling.
5. DON’T GIVE UP.
Genius is nothing but a great aptitude for patience—Georges-Louis de Buffon, French naturalist, 1707-1788.
Einstein was once asked what the difference was between him and the average person. He said that if you asked the average person to find a needle in a haystack, the person would stop when he found a needle. Einstein said that he, on the other hand, would comb through the entire haystack, looking for all possible needles. "It’s not that I’m smart, it’s just that I stay with the problem longer," he said.
6. JUST DO IT–AGAIN—–AND AGAIN.
Genius is an infinite love of taking pains—–Sir James Matthew Barrie, Scottish writer, 1860 -1937.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote more than 600 pieces of music, and Johaan Sebastian Bach produced a cantata every week. Thomas Edison gave himself and his assistant patent quotas(His personal tally was a record of 1,093 which has yet to be beaten). Einstein published nearly 250 scientific papers; the third one earned him a doctorate from the University of Zurich and the fourth brought him the 1921 Nobel Prize for physics.
7. BREAK THE RULES.
Rules and models destroy genius and art—William Hazlitt, English writer, 1778-1830.
Problems stump the average person because he or she gets stuck in a "rule rut." That’s when ingrained patterns of thinking, erroneous assumptions, half-truths, personal experience, misplaced generalities are mistaken for truth and all conflicting ideas are ignored. The great new ideas are just outside the prevailing thought.
It takes a lot to be a genius, you have to sit around so much doing nothing, really doing nothing—Getrude Stein, American writer, 1874-1946.
Einstein said, "When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge." He used his imagination to push beyond what is familiar and look at problems from many different perspectives.
9. HOLD THAT THOUGHT.
A good memory is an essential ingredient of genius—John Ferguson, Scottish writer, 1851-1899.
Anders Ericsson, a psychologist at Florida State University believes that a talent for storing information about particular topics is the ingredient essential for expert performance in any field. He also believes that such a skill can be developed at will. Exceptionally bright people place important pieces of information into their long-term memories in such a way that makes the information accessible to working memory processes.
10. HAVE FUN.
Genius is the capacity to evade hard work—Elbert Green Hubbard, American writer, 1856-1915.
Arthur Molella, director of the Smithsonian Institution’s Lemelson Centre for the Study of Invention and Innovation, has observed: "The sense of play is the essence of inventive activity. Invention begins in the joyful, free association of the mind."