My Philosophy on Genius
Updated: Nov 17
(For an earlier work on intelligence, click here)
A genius can be considered a person who is exceptionally good in one or more fields. A person who is exceptionally talented in many fields is considered a polymath. Regardless of the definition I just gave, there is no universal consensus on what a genius is.
Of course, I'm referring to the noun and not the adjective. The adjective is synonymous with brilliant (and in Hebrew as well).
Some may believe that a genius is someone with a high IQ. This is not necessarily true because one can be a genius in fields that are irrelevant to IQ tests. Thus, we can conclude that IQ tests are insufficient when it comes to testing our intelligence. I'm saying this as someone who scored around 130 as a kid. It doesn't really matter to me anymore.
There are several misconceptions about what it means to be a genius. For example, a genius is not necessarily someone who can't make dumb mistakes. Walter White from "Breaking Bad" can be seen as a genius scientist, but he made some unwise choices that could have cost him his life as a criminal. His mathematical mind couldn't stop him from making choices that were far more irrelevant to the fields he was an expert in.
Emotional and social intelligence are also important for those who want to achieve their goals in life. A genius is not necessarily exceptional in either of those categories. In my experience, many people prefer a nicer tone than an important message when communicating. And without sufficient emotional intelligence, you may find it difficult to understand others.
Being exceptional in a field does not guarantee you will live long and prosper. If that field has less demand in society, you might have to find a job you dislike that has greater demand. For example, since there is a decreasing demand for books in the world, I moved to blogging.
As I said before, there is no universal definition of genius. Even if you consider yourself a genius, it doesn't mean it will be wise for you to mention it, constantly or at all.
Some people are attracted to intellect. They are called sapiosexuals. However, some people might not even entertain the idea that someone in the same room is more intelligent than them. Therefore, it may be wise to not brag about your intelligence, if you seek to expand your connections.
In my experience, a display of intellect seems to make people feel threatened, even if they are not in danger. As a result, they might attempt to retaliate against you in order to "defend" themselves. In philosophy, that possibility might as well be inevitable, because philosophizing is impossible without intellect (or the ability to think in a complex way).
A genius might not be rich, just because he's a genius. In some cases, you might not even need to be a genius in order to be rich. If you are able to think like your customers think, then you may be better able to serve them. I would not say that being a genius is a necessity for that.
I don't believe that every genius is born with high intelligence. I think that we can achieve great things without being born with a high IQ. It takes time and practice. I started writing philosophical texts in 2013, and they were quite poor, I think. If I hadn't spent years practicing, I would be a much poorer philosophy writer today. My original book, which I call "Book Zero," will probably never be published. I see it as an early exercise in my craft.
Please note that I never called myself a genius in this article, nor did I imply that I am. Others may see me as one, but I see little reason to adopt this title. A title that is counter-intuitive and cannot be properly defined is probably unwise to claim. If I cannot find a proper way to confirm whether it is correct or not, then I prefer to avoid it. I prefer to avoid it because I dislike deceiving others (and myself).
In general, it is unwise to say that you are wise. Those who say they are are either naive or don't care about external reactions. Somehow, anything related to intellect is nowadays seen as arrogant. However, in some cases, like my own, it is nothing more than a stereotype.
If you want to achieve your goals in life, focus on the things that are functional to your cause. Genius or not, it does not matter for that end. Actors may need a lot of emotions in order to do their jobs well. In my job, I don't require much of it.
Some people may like being regarded as geniuses, and their followers may also like attributing this title to them. Mothers and fathers may be proud when they receive social validation regarding the intellect of their children.
I just philosophize because I want to contribute to the world and make philosophy more relevant.
Enjoy some sources: