How To Be A Genius

Albert Einstein during a lecture in Vienna in 1921
Public Domain

I’m inclined to believe that everybody has a modicum of genius within them. It does not have to be mathematics, say. It could be cooking or good parenting. I like to cook but would not consider myself a genius at it! To quote Albert Einstein:

“We’re all a genius, but If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” ― Albert Einstein

For some people finding what they are good at can be difficult. Passion is a key. I knew from an early age that my passion (or obsession) lay with electronics. I got into plenty of trouble as a youngster taking apart electronic Christmas presents, not just mine but of friends. I just had to know how the damn things worked.

If passion is a key to genius then history is equally important. To quote good old Sir Isaac:

“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.” – Sir Isaac Newton

Modifying history is a very bad idea. As future generations will learn the hard way, at the rate they’re going. Think about it. Imagine you were plonked down on Earth with no knowledge as to what plants were safe to eat or where to find clean drinking water, you’d be in trouble. An accurate knowledge of history allows us to progress and evolve.

Our forebears, with the genius of the written word, help to keep us on the narrow path that is civilisation and progression.

“Constant effort and frequent mistakes are the stepping stones to genius.” ― Elbert Hubbard

I like this quote. We learn by our mistakes. Hard work and errors most definitely teach us more than straight forward success. I always wonder who was the first person to eat wild mushrooms or berries? There’s a lesson learnt the hard way! Speaking of education:

“Colleges hate geniuses, just as convents hate saints.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Emerson is spot on. I hated formal education. I pissed off many a teacher from primary school through to university. I loathed sitting in a classroom with a bunch of tossers. Give me a book and solitude, that way I’ll learn. If school/academia worked for you – fair enough. Not for me. Speaking of books:

“Everyone is born a genius, but the process of living de-geniuses them.” ― Richard Buckminster Fuller

And this is the problem. We have to earn money, eat, pay bills and look after family. Finding the time to become a genius is hard work. Trying to find the time to read a book and think about its subject matter is getting harder in an increasingly chaotic world.

“People who boast about their I.Q. are losers.” ― Stephen Hawking

I’ve never taken an IQ test. I’ve had a go at a few of the questions, like rotating a triangle in your head to mach an image of A,B,C or D. What’s the point? It proves nothing. A lot of students ‘learn’ by rote. Memorising information without fully understanding the subject and then regurgitating it to pass so called grade A exams. Useless. No creativity. No imagination.

I remember reading about the great composer Franz Liszt. He had a piano taken to a lunatic asylum! There he played his Hungarian Rhapsody no.2. A fantastic piece of music. The inmates started to sing and dance as Liszt played. Wonderful. Which leads me onto my final quote about genius:

“You’re mad, bonkers, completely off your head. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.” ― Lewis Carroll

That’s why I like Going Postal. People thinking for themselves. Perhaps that’s the art of true genius.

Adam Gyorgy playing Liszt’s Hungarian rhapsody no.2. Enjoy:


© Doc Mike Finnley 2023