Genius and Creativity.

Greatness, eminence and genius. What is meant by these words?


According to Webster's dictionary this word can mean a person of markedly superior character or quality, especially one who is noble or highly skilled in some activity. This site uses greatness to usually mean someone who has great ability in performing some skill, a person who can do things that more average people can not. You can talk about a great scientist, a great artist, a great lawyer, a great general or a great footballer.


According to Webster's dictionary this word can mean a person who is conspicuous, one who stands out as being readily perceived or noted or who holds a prominent position above others or who has qualities above others. This site uses eminence to mean a person who is well respected in a particular field of knowledge, a person who holds a position above others because he/she is respected for being knowledgeable. It is certainly not usual or correct to talk about an eminent footballer. The word eminent is normally reserved for those people who are respected because of their academic learning such as scientists, historians or artists.


According to Webster's dictionary this word can mean a person who has an extraordinary intellectual power especially as manifested in creative activity, or a person endowed with transcendent mental superiority, especially a person with a very high IQ. This site uses genius to mean a person who has made an important or great contribution to the knowledge of some field. Although we sometimes talk about a football genius this is not really correct because the footballer can have made no important contribution to man's intellectual knowledge however skilled he might be.

These words 'great', 'eminent' and 'genius' are often used interchangeably because they can usually be used to describe the same people. Any genius can rightly be called great or eminent. A genius is person highly skilled at creating in his field or fields of knowledge, he also has to hold in his mind a great deal of knowledge from those fields and he is made prominent both by his/her store of knowledge and by her/his creative activity. Indeed it is impossible to make an important contribution to knowledge without having masses of knowledge at ones disposal to make correlations within. On the other hand an eminent person may never make a great contribution despite his knowledge. So an eminent person is not necessarily a genius. Likewise being great in some field does not make a person a genius. Being highly skilled does not mean you are automatically classified as a genius. You have to first use your skills and knowledge to create something new, some new bit of knowledge that is held to be sufficiently important to enable your being classified as a genius.  

Genius knowledge and learning. 

Geniuses are prodigious learners of all three sorts of learning. First, they are superior at discovering flaws in their own model of previous experience. They are superior at accepting the truth of this, and modifying this model to create a more accurate model of the world. Second, they are superior at discovering, inventing and creating new knowledge from their existing knowledge. Finally, they are superior at assimilating and accommodating for, the knowledge held in common by humanity.

But there is a question. 

Are geniuses unique genetically superior beings, or are they people not so different from ourselves? There are some theories that geniuses are people born genetically superior, but the proof of such an idea is difficult to sustain in the face of evidence that geniuses appear to be very much shaped by their environments. As is usually the case with such arguments, the truth probably lies with both of these theories having some credence. Geniuses may have been born with great potential for intelligence or creativity, but there are suitably intelligent people who are never classified as geniuses because they never produce any recognized work worthy of them being called geniuses. Perhaps being hailed as a genius is partly luck of circumstances and partly creativity. It seems however, that geniuses have certain qualities or internal facilities in common. It appears that those facilities enable them to notice things that others do not. This in turn enables them to produce work of outstanding intellect and creativity; it enables them to use bizarrely unique ideas, and thus make discoveries of great significance to the human race. In the end it may not really matter to what extent hereditary or environment factors influence creative genius. What likely most matters, is that human beings are all born with a potential that most of us never actualize, and that geniuses for whatever reason do get close to actualizing their full potential.

"It is wise to learn; it is God-like to create." John Saxe

"Doing easily what others find difficult is talent; doing what is impossible for talent is genius." Henri Frederic Amiel

"He presents me with what is always an acceptable gift who brings me news of a great thought before unknown. He enriches me without impoverishing himself." Ralph Waldo Emmerson

"Universities are of course hostile to geniuses, which, seeing and using ways of their own, discredit the routine: as churches and monasteries persecute youthful saints." Ralph Waldo Emmerson

Genius and Creativity. 

What is creativity and who is able to generate creativity? Well firstly geniuses are always creative to some extent and usually very creative. Geniuses are extremely good at being creative. Creativity is about innovative ideas. Geniuses are the ones who produce the most really innovative ideas. For both creativity and genius, there is no real standard to judge them by, other than what is currently accepted in a society or culture. Genius and creativity then, are cultural conventions, and are easier to identify in retrospect than in the moment of their greatest work. What we understand to be genius is probably continually evolving. However, while both creativity and genius are dependent on the views held by others, creativity is about the qualities of a person while genius is not. As Michael J. A. Howe points out in his book "Genius Explained" genius is more of an accolade conferred on someone in acknowledgement of their achievements. 

The illusion of the muses.  

There are various notions about creativity and who is able to give it form. Some say that creativity is like a divine message and springs from nowhere much like what was thought by the ancient Greeks. Others say that creativity is something that can only be performed by a few special people, born genetically different, the people we often call geniuses. They suggest that creativity is limited to geniuses and that more average people cannot be really creative.

This site has weighed the evidence and is convinced that both of the above ideas are incorrect. While it is true that for most people, most ideas do seem to come from 'nowhere'. This 'nowhere' is simply our unconscious or subconscious mind. It is the culmination tinkering and thought processes often many many years in the making. If there is a eureka moment it is years and years of work suddenly coming together and percolating up from our unconscious to finally make sense. It will be shown that various things can be done to make our unconscious or subconscious minds more likely to produce these insights or intuitions. Also while it is clear that geniuses have an enormous capacity for creativity and that average or normal people seem to usually show little aptitude for creativity, there is little to show that geniuses are produced by genetics or a closed group of characteristics. Indeed this would provide a very different understanding of what it is to be a genius, and one it is difficult to find support for. This is because genius is bestowed on only a very few, and that those few are by no means sufficient to cover all those who are understood to be creative. 

"All of us, you, your children, your neighbors and their children are everyday geniuses, even though the fact is unnoticed and unremembered by everyone. That's probably because school hasn't encouraged us to notice what's hidden inside us waiting for the right environment to express itself." Peter Kline

"Genius is no more than childhood recaptured at will, childhood equipped now with man's physical means to express itself, and with the analytical mind that enables it to bring order into the sum of experience, involuntarily amassed." Charles Baudelaire

The making and unmaking of genius. 

What makes a genius is not how many IQ points he has, it is mostly a number of tendencies in his personality. These tendencies we are all born with to some extent, but most of us lose them because we stop using them. This site holds that almost any human can be a creative genius by learning the skills of some knowledge domain and by being exposed to role models of creativity. More to the point, individuals may, by retaining the use of many the mental facilities, that have in others become inactive since childhood, be better prepared to engage in such activities as are expected of a genius.

More importantly however, it will be shown that if children were not subjected to detrimental environments that cause these tendencies to atrophy, they could and would all be able to use most of these facilities. This would assist them both to be creative, and give them a good chance at becoming eminent in their field of work. In other words they would be ideally positioned to become a genius. We propose, contrary to traditional educational values, that such early tendencies, facilities, skills or tools should be encouraged or nurtured. This site holds that the world needs as many creative people as is possible, and certainly as many geniuses as possible for humanity to solve the many problems that plague the world. We further hold, that nearly all people are capable of being creative and that there are vast number of people who are potential geniuses, who could become geniuses given the right environment. This site holds that it is just a matter of parents, teachers and cultures nurturing tendencies (skills or tools) that we are all born with and as are exemplified in the 13 tools of geniuses referred to below. In this way, we may possibly produce many times the number of geniuses that are now produced.  

Hidden and unconscious Ideas.

In another section of this site we talk about intuition, insight, and hunches, as rapid cognition and thin slicing. Based on Malcolm Gladwell's book "Blink", the thrust of this section is that there are certain processes in the brain that are hidden from us, and go on behind locked doors. Creative people are usually good at this as are geniuses. For more information about these hidden processes and how they relate to genius please click here and go to the page on rapid cognition.

Conscious Creation in Geniuses.

This site would now like to propose that these hidden processes referred to above, can and are, in some people brought under some conscious control and at least partly processed consciously. The people who can do this are the very creative and the people who can do it best, are the geniuses. By studying these geniuses, by learning how they use there minds, perhaps we can all learn to be more creative and provide our children with an opportunity to all become highly creative, even geniuses. Thus, we can show that genius and creativity are not something just determined by genetics, but rather something that can be developed or nurtured if not completely then as well. Geniuses are currently determined by certain positive environments provided by luck or cultural factors, but we intend to show such environments can be engineered.

Nurture and Nature, the Evidence. 

First let us be clear. Nobody is born a genius. All the people that we call geniuses were once babies and children, where they had little in the way of abilities or understanding. They had to learn everything they needed, to be able to create the works they eventually did. Some like George Elliot (Mary Anne Evans) did not produce anything like a work of art till she had completed many years as a journalist at about the age of thirty five.

The evidence for environmental influence in the production of both genius and creativity is very substantial. Some of the most compelling of this evidence shows that geniuses are produced in groups, in eras, and in particular places. It is no surprise to us to learn that a considerable number of geniuses of the same field not only knew one another, were born near one another, and learnt and worked near one another. Not only that, but they were certainly familiar with one another's works and probably discussed them with one another. Very often a whole group will have had the same teacher who was himself one often great creators in that field.

Freud for instance not only had a great teacher John Charcot, but two of that teacher's other students Babinski and Dejerine, were important innovators in neurology. Not only that, but Freud himself was mentor to Jung and Adler and the other fathers of Psychology. Places such as Florence during the renascence, and Paris at the beginning of the 20th century, were not just places people went to become great artists, but they were also places where most of the great artists of that time were born. Why was Vienna the home of so many great musicians during the time of Mozart and Beethoven? Why was Karl Popper a member of the Vienna Circle which had for its members all the important philosophers of the Logical Positivists school such as Carnap and Alfred Tarski? Clearly the answers are, that a concentration of creative people produces an environment that results in genius.

The times when people are living is also important for producing geniuses. Some times in history seem to have produced little in the way of geniuses, while other times like the enlightenment or the renascence produced many great innovators and geniuses. The point is, that these geniuses needed great mentors to become great, they needed the stimulation of other great minds to spark off of to become great, they needed a creative environment to allow the development of their creative abilities and to bring out their genius.

Knowledge/creativity pockets. 

It could be said that genius tends to grow exponentially in pockets or areas containing groups of humans who are highly versed in specific types of knowledge. This growth seems to happen in a manner similar to a chain reaction in a in a nuclear reactor. This is not limited to geniuses but extends to any groups that acquire large amounts of specific knowledge in some field. It is indeed most evident in sports where people of a particular area become famous for producing many champions in a particular sport like China for ping pong, Kenya for middle and long distance runners, Jamaica for sprinters, South Korea for female golfers, Brazil for soccer players, The Dominican Republic for baseball players. This is so prevalent that commentators now speak about sports geography. It is unlikely that this all happens because people in particular places are significantly genetically better at a particular sport. They often have the same genes as people scattered elsewhere in the world who do not become champions in these sports. Then too why is Russia famous for ballet dancers? Do they have a dance gene? It too seems unlikely.

The knowledge chain reaction. 

These pockets of individuals with similar knowledge grow because people of similar skill sets and knowledge coming together tend to fuel and feed off of each other in numerous ways. They act as mentors and heroes for each other. They take from and build on each other's work. They steal from each other. They provide role models for each other. They challenge one another to learn or perform something that they feel is within their grasp. There is also social and emotional contagion where each new generation observes the pleasure that people eminent in their field of knowledge take in accumulating further knowledge in that field. There is also the enjoyment that their peers appear to also take in accumulation of knowledge in that field. This real and and sometimes apparent enjoyment is what draws more and more people to the field along with the obvious successes that start coming out of the area in large numbers. This exponential explosive growth of knowledge and creativity both attracts, and creates great teachers, who further fuel the knowledge/creative chain reaction. This gradually builds into a culture where it is normal to feel that skill, creativity and genius are within a person's grasp and that everybody is working toward them.

Sometimes these pocket do not grow very large and peter out as if some dampening rods have been inserted into the chain reaction. Perhaps the environment changes so that it no longer is conducive. Perhaps it no longer toggles those genetic switches. Perhaps the expression of knowledge hungry genes is turned down by environmental changes. Other times, like the enlightenment or the renascence, the exponential explosion of knowledge goes on for a long time, and encompasses a large section of the world.              

Gradual incremental improvement. 

Although the evidence, that nurture is significantly involved in the development of genius, does not in itself prove that nature is not involved, it at least shows that the nurture side has to be considered. Considerable evidence for nurture and gradual incremental improvement in the development of geniuses has been provided by Michael J. A. Howe in his book "Genius Explained". Howe shows through such biographical material as exists on geniuses that there is little to show that geniuses start out much more talented than the rest of us. At the same time time he provides ample evidence that geniuses gradually develop the skills and abilities they need and that their earliest attempts to produce work in their field is usually amateurish. This work draws heavily on the biographies of such iconic figures as Mozart who have long been erroneously presented as prime examples of nature at work and inborn genius. 

Nature via nurture. 

In his book "Nature Via Nurture" Matt Ridley gives us yet another way of understanding how genius and indeed any other attribute of a person might be brought into being. Ridley suggests that far from being two alternative ways of bringing human attributes into being nature and nurture are inextricably entwined and in fact are part of the same process. Ridley gives us the example of the causes of fatness. He says:

" do genes affect weight? Presumably through controlling appetite. In an affluent society, those who gain most weight are hungrier and so eat more. The difference between a genetically fat and a genetically thin Westerner lies in the fact that the first is more likely to buy an ice cream. Is it the gene or the ice cream that causes his fatness? Well, it is obviously both. The genes are causing the individual to go out and expose himself to an environmental factor, in this case ice cream. Surely it is bound to be the same in the case of intelligence. The genes are likely to be affecting appetite more than aptitude. They do not make you intelligent; they make you more likely to enjoy learning. Because you enjoy it, you spend more time doing it and you grow more clever. Nature can only act via nurture. It can only act by by nudging people to to seek out the environmental influences that will fulfill their appetites. The environment acts as a multiplier of small genetic differences, pushing sporty children towards the sports that reward them, and pushing bright children towards the books that reward them."

"Having a certain set of genes predisposes a person to experience a certain environment. Having sporty genes makes you want to practice at sport having intellectual genes makes you seek out intellectual activities. The genes are the agents of nurture."

It is unlikely however that the predisposition to enjoy learning would be the only genetic mechanism that might act to make use of environmental resources to increase the amount of knowledge a person might acquire. Let us look at a number of other possible predispositions that could be involved in the acquiring of knowledge.

  1. Enjoyment. Of course Ridley is correct that a predisposition to enjoy learning could be a genetic mechanism through which genes make use of environmental resources to increase the amount of knowledge a person might acquire. This could also manifest as a kind of hunger to learn.

  2. Reading. There could also be a genetic predisposition to read books that could improve the acquisition of knowledge. This genetic predisposition may take the form of a brain that is better structured to make reading easy or a more vital connection between the sections of the brain involved in reading and the pleasure centers of the brain.   

  3. Dialogue. There may also be a genetic predisposition to listen, converse or engage in dialogue that would cause knowledge to accumulate. This too may take the form of a brain that is better structured to make listening and conversing easy or a more vital connection between the sections of the brain involved in dialogue and the pleasure centers of the brain.

  4. Resiliency. Another possibility is that of a predisposition to be able to get up after being knocked down, to be be better able to experience failure and yet still persist in trying to understand or find answers. This would guarantee motivation to accumulate knowledge. It could be a kind of stubbornness or it could be a predisposition to believe that that humans or not limited in what they can learn, and that given the application of sufficient effort anyone can learn anything. No doubt Carol Dweck would be horrified to see her growth mindset considered as a genetic mechanism, yet this in no way invalidates this mindset as a volitional way for a person to reorient their life path for the better.

  5. Domination. A predisposition to be powerful or to have power over others could motivate a person to acquire large amounts of certain types of specialized knowledge. Military knowledge for instance or knowledge about fighting might be acquired because of a predisposed determination to dominate others or best ones enemies.

  6. Accomplishment. A predisposition to be accomplish great things could facilitate actions through which a person might acquire large amounts of knowledge. A need to accomplish could drive a lifelong seeking of new and important knowledge.

  7. Sex. Something as simple as a predisposition to mate or impress a member of the opposite sex could in certain circumstances, where the opposite sex was impressed by knowledge, also drive the acquisition of more and better knowledge.

  8. Fame. The need or desire for fame could also be a genetic predisposition that would also fuel an ever increasing seeking out of knowledge at the cutting edge of new ideas.

  9. Status. The need or desire for status could also be a genetic predisposition that would likewise fuel an ever increasing seeking out of knowledge.

Any need, any desire, requires knowledge to enable satisfaction and to improve the satisfaction of those needs and desires. In the end no other genetic mechanisms may be needed other than these inborn desires and needs which are satisfied through the use of environmental resources. The accumulation of knowledge may be simply environmental opportunities times the strength of those desires and needs and our ability to create those opportunities for ourselves.

However, while the predispositions for learning, presented above, could be fully or partly genetic, there is considerable evidence that they too the product of environmental circumstances. The belief that you will enjoy learning, reading or conversing; the belief that you can accomplish anything with sufficient hard work and can gain pleasure from this; the belief that by being smart you will dominate others, have high status over others or be held in high esteem by others and that this will be pleasurable; the belief that being smart will make you more sexually attractive to the opposite sex and that this will be pleasurable; have all been shown to be highly variable under different environmental circumatances. Indeed each of such tendencies can be shown to be greatly strengthened with the right environment.       

What is a genius? 

Intelligence may simply be an illusion people have created to avoid recognizing that a person, who has acquired a lot of knowledge (understood information), is the same as being intelligent. When people believe they are measuring intelligence they may simply be measuring the amount of knowledge a person has acquired, and the person's ability to recall it. A genius, may in the end, simply be a person who has acquired a lot of knowledge and who has gotten lucky or who has prepared him/herself to be lucky. If Ridley is correct, what enables a genius to come into existence is a set of genes that provide a predisposition to seek out certain environmental conditions, that enable learning. Those people who find the right conditions they need to learn to this extent, would have to be lucky in society as it exists at the moment. There is also the possibility of a volitional factor. People who work hard and persist in their learning, may well be more likely to become geniuses.

The ideas of nurture and nature may themselves both be unfortunate conceptual errors that have lead us to misunderstand how learning really works. Whether we learn or not may be a matter of genetic predisposition to do so, plus lucky random environmental opportunities, plus the volition to grasp those environmental opportunities and stick with them. What is called nature then would be just the tiniest spark that must be fed in order to grow into anything, and which, without that food, will come to nothing. Nurture on the other hand may not be an outside hand guiding children/people to acquire knowledge, but rather a matter of influencing children/people's desires so they will wish to acquire knowledge of their own volition. It may also be teachers/parents doing what they can to enable children/people to have as much opportunity to learn what they wish to learn, as is possible. Ridley says although children seem to reflect some indication that their intelligence is guided, adults do not reflect this:

"An adult, by contrast, generates his or her own intellectual challenges. The 'environment' is not some inflexible and real thing: it is a set of influences actively chosen by the actor himself."      


Genes the engines of self creation. 

In previous times genes were generally understood through the metaphor of a template. Genes were thought to be a template that could be used to create an exact replica of an animal or a person. Over time however, science changes how we understand how things work, and it is no longer possible to consider genes this way. Far from being templates from which it is possible to produce identical clones, genes are now thought of as rather unique sources of variable life paths that each produce very different beings. Not only is each set of genes unique, but from that unique set can issue an infinite variety of different beings. Every change in the external environment can send an animal or a human down a different life path which can produce a very different being. Every choice an organism makes is a choice between different external environments and is how an organism changes itself each time into something new.

Humans because of their superior brains have more choices and more control over the external environment, thus they have finer control over what they will become. Humans can steer themselves through an infinity of life paths, creating a new and unique selves as they go. The ultimate shape of any life is not predetermined, it is instead (at least in part) self created. Fate and destiny do not exist. They are a lie an illusion. Our final destination is in our own hands and we may become almost anything. Sure our genes have built in limits, but it is impossible to know what those limits are until we try to push past them, and even then we cannot be sure.

Although we do not have complete control over how we will turn out, it now seems most probable that we can have a very big say in it. So much say do we have in this, that it may well be that if we so desire, we may ourselves, be able to determine whether we become a geniuses or not. We may be able to provide for ourselves, the very circumstances in which we can become a genius. This being the case, we really have an obligation to try and do this in every aspect of our lives.

How genes work. 

In his book "The Genius in All of Us" David Shenk suggests that we need a new metaphor for genes. He suggest that rather than understanding genes as a kind of template, we should instead think of genes as knobs and switches on a control board which is reflected in every cell in our bodies. If our DNA is a control board and genes are the knobs and switches on it, then the force that guides those knobs and switches is the influence of the environment. Environmental influences can be divided into three quite different types or groups of influence. They may be the random occurrences of chance or luck. They may be the controlling influences of society, culture and others in general. They may be the autonomous self guiding influences of personal choices.

Randomness, chance and luck are beyond our ability to affect. Societies and cultures have a responsibility to produce better smarter people and they can do a lot toward this end. But each person has the most say in what he can become, and it would be best for him, best for society, and best for the world, if he was trying to guide himself toward becoming a genius.

The work of genes is complex. 

Nothing about genes is simple and straight forward. Genes are hardly ever switched on or turned up by a single environmental trigger. Usually certain genes have to be already switched on or turned up in advance so an environmental trigger can activate another gene by switching it on or turning it up. Sometimes whole constellations of genes have to be switched on and often as many have to be switched off so a particular gene can be switched on, switched off, turned up, or turned down by an environmental trigger. So complex can this process become, that whether a gene is on or off, up or down may depend on what all the other genes are doing. Whether those other genes are switched on or off, turned up or down, may all be critical in determining whether an environmental trigger can activate a single gene. Not only that, but it may require more than one environmental trigger to activate or deactivate a gene. It may require many many external triggers acting in concert to turn on, turn off, turn up, or turn down a single gene.

Despite all this difficulty, genes can be influenced intentionally by both society and our selves. We can use our knowledge of how this happens to make it happen the way we want it to happen. Societies can make themselves into societies of geniuses, and individuals can make themselves into smarter and smarter people (geniuses).               

Passionate dedicated work. 

A genius is a creator of high order. Ordinary people tend to think and say, that it must be great to be a genius and sit around doing nothing all day but coming up with great ideas. Gertrude Stein said, "It takes a lot of time to be a genius. You have to sit around so much doing nothing, really doing nothing." But this is misperception. Geniuses are the hardest working people in the world. They have a vast store of knowledge about their subject and they did not get it by sitting on their behinds. They got it by totally immersing themselves in their subjects. Geniuses do the work. They put their ideas down on paper. If it is a theory, they try to find evidence to disprove the theory. They ask all the questions that the theory generates. They outline how the theory could be proven wrong. If they are inventors they build or make the invention. Before Charles Darwin published his theory another naturalist, Alfred Russel Wallace came up with virtually the same idea of evolution independently. It is Darwin we remember however, because he documented his theory in a massive tome that minutely illustrated every aspect of his theory, "The Origin of Species". He was able to do this because he had been gathering evidence for 20 years.

The paradox of genius. 

There is a paradox involved in being a genius. While as suggested above, geniuses have to be totally immersed in their understanding of some field of of study, it is also true that having too much knowledge of some field of study can be confining to geniuses. The thing is this, geniuses while needing to be widely versed in understanding what is known in some field of study, at the same time need not to be bound by the conventions of that field of study. One way they can overcome this to some extent is by being knowledgeable in more than one field of study.  

"Men of lofty genius when they are doing the least work are most active." Leonardo da Vinci

Genius and Self-actualization. 

Geniuses have many of the qualities of self-actualized people, indeed, they are often the same people:

They are passionate and enthusiastic about their work to the point of seeming obsessive.

They work on projects that are important.

They are productive and get results, never just busy.

They are hard working, eager to start and unwilling to stop till they are finished.

They do not procrastinate or put off to tomorrow, they are committed to getting it done.

They are playful and humorous.

They continually seek to perform at the peak of there own potential.

But do not think genius is a drudge, it is not, because geniuses love their work, and obtain joy from their accomplishments as few other mortals are able.

"Geniuses are the luckiest of mortals because what they must do is the same as what they most want to do." W. H. Auden

Anomalies and preparation. 

If there is one thing that sets a genius apart from others, it is his unfailing interest, not in what works and fits in with what is known, but rather the anomalies. Geniuses are not only knowledgeable, but they are better prepared to recognize the incompatible, the flaws and errors. They are unable to discard failed experiments without asking why it went wrong and what that might mean. While not all of them make the big discoveries and in that they are not all recognized as geniuses by their societies, they are always well equipped to recognize the significance of an anomaly if it presents itself. Indeed they are well equipped to make the most of any such a discovery. Most scientists and other creatives who easily discard anomalous work as erroneous, cannot recognize its significance and thus are unable to make the big discoveries, even when an anomaly occurs right in front of them.

Expertise and genius. 

Part of being a genius as Gladwell and others point out is putting in the work necessary to develop great knowledge and skills in some domain. In other words they have to become experts. Okay, all geniuses have to be experts. However that does not mean that all experts are geniuses. Most experts will never become geniuses and indeed most of them are not even creative. Experts are people who have gradually accumulated vast domain knowledge and skills and they use this vast experience to solve problem in their domain. This makes them very different people from geniuses and in fact almost the opposite kind of person. 

The algorithmic solution versus the creative solution. 

Experts in general are best at solving problems on the fly. They do well under pressure and in emergency situations. They are good and quick decision makers, because they are not often wrong. This is very different to creative people who are often wrong and who come to decisions over long time periods. The type of problems that experts solve are what Teresa Amabile calls algorithmic problems because their solutions already exist. Indeed there may be many suitable solutions to these problems. So experts will usually not come up with anything new and thus their solutions are usually not creative. The expert's vast experience in a particular field, both his knowledge and ability skills, enable him to adapt a solution that works well in one situation to a slightly different or very different situation. Everybody is able sometimes to be creative and experts are no different. However, when they are creative they too tend to fail, just like any other person but not as often.

In his book "Sources of Power" Gary Klein points out that experts cope better with large amounts of incoming information in solving problems, making decisions or being creative. All this is despite the fact experts already have vastly more information in their minds. Klein explains it like this:

"One view of experts is that they have accumulated lots of knowledge. While this is undoubtedly true, it conveys an image of people who's brains are filled with facts, heavy with memories, weighed down with wisdom. In many fields, the time needed to develop this expertise is up to ten years. Thus, we see a relationship between expertise and age. This reinforces the image of experts as slow-moving creatures who may talk and think slowly because they must search through so much information.

This chapter presents a different image of experts, based on the highly skilled people we have observed, interviewed, and studied in different domains. The accumulation of experience does not weigh people down; it lightens them up."

Why should this be? Klein has his own views. He believes this knowledge enables experts to see things that are invisible to the rest of us. For instance they have very accurate internal models of how things work which allows them to perceive patterns invisible to the rest of us, or anomalies such as events that did not happen and other violations of expectancy. This site has a slightly different take on this. We suspect that experts use the information they have accumulated as a filter which flushes out unimportant incoming information, so that it is disregard, especially when tapping their unconscious mind for hunches. Maybe both these explanations are true simultainiously.

So how do people become experts? The answer is simple and straight forward, but not one people are happy to hear. Simply put, psychologists have estimated that a person needs to put in about 10,000 hours or 10 years of (practice, dedication, hard work) learning, to gain true eminence in any cognitively complex domain. Whether this is spent playing a musical instrument, playing a sport or simply becoming fully conversant with the subject matter of some field, the need for this 10,000 hours is the same. But it is not just a matter of practice. Sheena Iyengar explains it more fully in her book "The Art of Choosing" as follows:

"Achieving a world-class expert-level understanding of a single domain, it takes an average 10,000 hours of practice, or about three hours a day, every day, for ten years straight. And practice alone isn't enough. ...If you want to improve, you must continuously observe and critically analyze your performance: What did you do wrong? How can you do it better?"


Expertise then while being a precondition for genius generally produces people who, while they they use unconscious brain functions to come up with solutions as do creative people, do so in a very different way and geniuses probably need to be able to do both.


Some people say that geniuses are intelligent, creative and hard working experts that get lucky. Some of this is based on the idea that people can do fine, meticulous even eminent work in some fields of endeavor, without ever coming to the public's attention and being proclaimed a genius. This may be partly true, in that there may be a few geniuses that are never recognized by society. Now some people might tend to think that if luck is an important factor in whether a person becomes a genius or eminent in some field, that there is no point in making an effort, unless lady luck taps you on the shoulder. But here's the thing, luck does not appear to those unprepared. To some extent luck comes about because a creative person is working hard gaining knowledge and producing results. Its true some people who give their all never get the call from lady luck but the person who does nothing but wait for the call will never be called.


Luck may be greatly involved in whether a predisposition is activated or not. In his book "Outliers" Malcolm Gladwell points out that truly successful people, are usually, and maybe always, the recipients of what are normally called lucky breaks in life. That maybe, they get a leg up in life, an opportunity, that they do not earn nor deserve more than others. In order to develop the level of skill they need to do great work, they need an opportunity to develop that skill. People would normally call this luck, but Gladwell believes it is socially determined, and in many strange ways. It is not just long hard hours of work that make people great, it is also having the opportunity to do long hard hours of the right work. Many of these successful people are of course the people who we call geniuses. If being successful contributors to man's knowledge or art is a criteria for genius, such people may be potentially, quite numerous. Many people, perhaps even most people, may be born with sufficient genetic potential to become a genius. If this is the case then clearly only a few are provided with the kind of opportunities Gladwell is talking about.

In his book Gladwell talks about the successes of people in all kinds of circumstances in sport, in music, in business and lays out how each and every one was given an opportunity that none of them earned or deserved. He also mentions in passing four people, who some might consider geniuses. These people were Bill Gates, Bill Joy, Steve Jobs and Robert Oppenheimer. Gladwell documents the amazing opportunities all four of these people had just drop into their laps. Let us look at just one of these.

Bill Gates was born into a a highly educated well to do family. But that was just the beginning of his many opportunities in life. He is sent to Lakeside a School for the elite in Seattle. The school starts a computer club and gets installed a time sharing computer terminal with a direct link to a mainframe computer. This was the latest type of computer which had just replaced the old card readers. The first type of computer where information could be keyed in from a keyboard. This technology had only just been invented in 1965 and here is Gates an eight grader with an opportunity to do real time programming in 1968. But this is still just the beginning of Bill's opportunities. Along comes C-Cubed and asks if he and his fellow club members would like to test their software in exchange for free programming time. ISI also allows them free computer time in exchange for development of some payroll software. Gates just happened to live a short walk from the University of Washington. The University just happened to have free computer time between 3 and 6 in the morning. TWR asks Pembroke from ISI for programming help and he recommends Gates and Allen. Lakeside allows them to spend their spring term miles away writing code. The result is, that when Gates finally dropped out of Harvard to start his own business, the amount of hours he had spent writing code was already way past 10 thousand hours. He was probably the youngest person ever to have so much programming experience. 

A nurturing environment can also be considered to be a series of opportunities. The opportunity many geniuses clearly get is simply being born in the right place at the right time. Freud, Babinski and Dejerine were born in the right place at the right time and had the right teacher to get that kind of opportunity, as were Jung and Adler. Michelangelo, Raphael and Leonardo Da Vinci were born into the renascence and also had the right teachers and patrons like the pope and the king of France and of course the Medici family. They all had a leg up in life. Think of all the great painters of modern art who were either born in Paris at the beginning of the twentieth century, or were born elsewhere but were able to go and learn in Paris at that time. These artists too, were given a great opportunity. Think of the opportunity presented to Mozart and Beethoven just by being born in the time and place that they were. Would Karl Popper ever have become the great philosopher he did without the opportunity of sparing with the Logical Positivists? If all these geniuses became geniuses because of these social circumstances it is clear that it must be possible to mold geniuses out of anyone born with sufficient  capacity for talent.

Think about what Gladwell's words say about the likelihood of any one person becoming a genius. If lucky opportunities, and things as mundane as when your birthday happens to fall, can hugely effect whether you become a genius or not, what does this say about our ability to pick out future geniuses? Clearly any method we use to pick geniuses, such as IQ scores, are going to act like self fulfilling prophesies. When we mark children as being clever or gifted, we are at the same time, opening up a world of opportunity for that child. The more successful the child continues to be the more opportunities we then place at that child's disposal. We literally create the best in any field of learning, by picking out those we think are going to be the best, and giving them greater opportunity in that field. This is the Mathew effect at work, "for whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath." In an interview called "Why do some succeed where others fail." Gladwell points out, "If you want to know if someone is [to be] any good you have to let them practice for 10 years first."    

The skill code.

In his book "The Talent Code" Daniel Coyle delves into what it is, that sets a person on fire with interest and determination to cause them to commit to, and perform in their domains, for the necessary 10,000 hours. This is not just interest. It is the development of a passion. Only developing a real passion for some work will sustain a person working at something for that extraordinary amount of hours.

So what is it that sets people off? What sends them into a passion for learning some skill? What hooks a person to such an extent that they are willing to spend the time necessary to become a genius? The answers Daniel Coyle gives should seem familiar if you have read much of the material on this site. In his book "The Talent Code" Daniel Coyle suggests that this is partly something he calls ignition. This is all about motivation and as this site has stressed this means interest. But what we are talking about here is more than just interest is is about social dynamics and the realization that some incredible talent may be within your grasp. "If she can do it why can't I?"


Elsewhere on this site we have stressed the idea that it is important to learn about the history and circumstance of the lives of people that make great discoveries because of the meaningfulness and connectedness it brings. However this learning about the great people that made discoveries also has a motivational aspect. The mystery and magic of achievements is stripped away to leave the curiosity, determination and hard work. This stripping away of awe can bring a realization that some so called genius was not a god, but rather a person just like you. Part of this is seeing great people at work up close, growing up with them trying to copy what they are doing. Sometimes it can be aided by a social invention such as the rise of the guild system in the renascence. The guilds concentrated the old apprentice system making it the norm that quite young children were placed in the care of a master who would gradually impart his knowledge, not by explanation, but by demonstration and eventually trusting the apprentice to have a go and and start making mistakes.

Sometimes this realization that "I might be able to do this," can come as an event that galvanizes a whole group of people into a flurry of activity and determination. The soccer player from your home town who you have seen play poorly has gradually rocketed to international stardom. His actions determined the outcome of the soccer championship. The guy that was ahead of you in school and was not very good at science, has despite this made an important discovery in science. Or somebody from a family you know well and have visited becomes a renowned and sort after artist. What can you but think? "Well, if they can do it there is no reason why I can't." The genius you have seen develop, over the years and close up, is one you then think is not beyond your own grasp.


This original, setting of a person's spirit on fire with enthusiasm and determination, can of course burn out quickly, and needs fuel to keep it going. Some of the fuel comes from others doing the same thing. Seeing others work, learning from their mistakes and achievements, feeling their determination and enthusiasm can help keep you motivated. Mostly however it is being able to perceive the increase in you own competence that keeps you motivated. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi who has studied thousands of genius and near genius people gives us another clue as to what can fuel this spiritual fire. He suggest that there is a highly pleasurable state called flow, that if people achieve it,  will keep them motivated. This state is achieved by challenging yourself. Always working in an area just beyond where you are currently capable. Working in an area where mistakes are inevitable but also correctable.


Carol Dweck proposes that others can facilitate the fueling of this fire. It is possible to keep people motivated she states by making them aware of how much they are improving and praising their efforts. She believes the best parental advice is to notice what your children are fascinated by and praise them for their effort.


Deci and Ryan propose that others can facilitate the fueling of this fire in a different way. They suggest that giving criticism and praise that is high in information will be helpful in keeping people motivated. As Daniel Coyle points out the best kind of information is a demonstration of how it should be done, a demonstration of how it is being done poorly and zeroing in on when it is done right and drawing attention, all so the learner can remember better how it felt to do it right.

Building blocks. 

It should be understood that everything in the brain is built on, and can only be built on, what we have learned before. That is, the foundations come first then the supports, then the walls, then the roof, and gradually the rest of the structure is built. Piaget has endlessly pointed out that certain concepts can only be learned after we have learned the concepts we need to understand those concepts. Indeed, as George Kelly points out we can only perceive the world about us in terms of what we already know. But the thing is, we actually know far more than the any person can make conscious. The brain takes in information in six sensory modes. They are sight, sound, smell, taste, feel and balance or orientation. The fact is of course, that we only use one of these senses to communicate, that being sound. These are special sounds we call language. True we later developed a visual interpretation of language called writing or printing but that is just a complication. Modern western writing is pure translation of sound and is not pictorial. The Chinese and Japanese, who do use a graphic alphabet, use characters that are so stylized, that unlike hieroglyphics we could not begin to guess at what they might mean. The point is, what if other sensory modes are used to encode thought and our models of reality.

Codes of Thought. 

Language is built on concepts, and the concepts are made up of information from all these other sensory modes. Jean Piaget, developed the idea that infants begin to think i.e. form theories and then test them in a kind of abbreviated motor code. Piaget noticed that babies would often perform an abbreviated set of movements before actually making a proper attempt to do something. The idea was then, that this motor code would eventually be internalized to the point that the child would solve problems in his head before attempting anything. There would be no external movement but the movement would be experienced in the child's head. Thus the child could deduce, practice and anticipate before actual performance of an action. Jerome Brunner believed that many of the properties of images and visual code (iconic code) arise out of and are attributable to motor code or as it is often called enactive code. This, of course, is entirely in keeping with the idea that each thing learned is built on what was learned before.

This connection between actions, images and words has been verified to some extent by the discovery of mirror neurons in the brain. The study of mirror neurons has shown that images and words are inextricably linked to motor plans for actions in our brains. For instance, on observing an object, such as a cup, the same mirror neurons become active as those involved in the action of picking up the cup. Hearing, speaking or even thinking the word kick, will activate the mirror neurons involved in the action of kicking something.

It would therefore follow, that the concepts behind words would be composed of, or at least have a visual component, which in turn would have an enactive component. This is easy to understand in terms of objects, where say, the concept ball might have an aggregate or composite visual image component that is derived from the many images of balls we use for recognition. The word flower might contain as part of its concept something like a child's drawing of a flower. In fact flower is a fairly high level abstraction, as flowers are many and varied in their shapes an color. Such a concept may not be able to contain a visual element and yet it is derived from clearly visual concepts. Other high level abstract concepts clearly do have a visual element. Positional concepts such as between, beside, on top, under, in front, and behind can not be invoked without some brief visual accompaniment. If you examine fast, slow, up, down, running, walking or shouting you will probably find that their activation will produce a brief image of some sort.

All this might lead you to believe that these three codes are tightly bound together and do not operate independently. This is not the case. They often operate independently, and there has to be translation between the three codes which in ordinary humans is often grossly inaccurate. Take for instance the idea of knowing where something is. You may be able to describe to somebody else exactly how to get there. This is echoic code. Or you may not be able to tell someone where to go and yet be able to conjure a map up in your mind, which you can then draw for the person, to enable them to get there. This is iconic code. Or you may not be able to tell the person where to go or visualize a map that would show them, yet you may have been there many times. In this case the only way to help another get there would be to take them there. This is motor or enactive code. This is especially true for a blind person who would have no visual cues. Still, a blind person might be better able to translate it in to words, and thus tell someone where to go.

The fact is, that these three codes exist, and yet we tend to think in only one of them. We tend to think in echoic code, which comprises among other elements our native language. The other codes are there and still operate, but we are mostly unable to make them conscious. Thus they tend to operate behind locked doors. For more information about thought codes click Here.                 

 Sparks of Genius.

In their ground breaking book "Sparks of Genius" Robert and Michele Root-Bernstein have begun the process of finding out exactly what needs to be nurtured in order for people to become geniuses. They have done this by examining thousands of people generally accredited as being geniuses through studies conducted by others and through examining what these geniuses have said they do in coming up with ideas. This book is based on introspective accounts, which many empirical scientists hate, but there is no other way to obtain this information. What they have produced is not a manual for helping average adults become geniuses, although they may be able to help to some extent. What they have produced is a group of 13 tools or skills which, if children are able to keep or are encouraged to keep, will become highly creative and perhaps become classified as geniuses.

Unlocking the Mind.

The mind can be unlocked with these thirteen genius thinking or creating tools. With these tools you can force open the door to the hidden part of the mind where hunches, insight and Intuition come from and bring them under a little conscious control. "Sparks of Genius" is not a book for quick fix self improvement or self help. These tools are not simple tricks. To develop the use of these tools requires a huge investment of time and energy. To be used well, these tools must be maintained and nurtured early and practiced throughout life, for they are highly complex and require a great deal of time to hone into effectiveness. If in your later life you begin to practice using these facilities you may become a bit more creative, but you are unlikely to become a creative genius. Creative geniuses have one thing you do not have and another thing you probably do not have. You do not have a lifetime of practicing and using these facilities, and you probably do not have the intense driving force that obsesses creative geniuses in their thirst for knowledge and creativity.

The 13 Tools of Geniuses.

The beauty of these tools is that we all start off being able to use most of them a little as infants. These tools develop naturally in all children, but as we get older most of us tend to lose them. These tools are not specific information to be learned, but rather processes of learning. If we are to retain them, improve them, refine them, we need to continue to familiarize ourselves with them as we age. We need to practice them, exercise them, utilize them, cultivate them. The problem is, that with the advent and growth of language, the need for developing the use of many of these other processes may seem unnecessary, and thus, they tend to be used less and less as language is used more and more. Of course, what we do not use we start to lose. These tools are not essential to creativity, but they greatly improve the chances of being creative on a continuing basis, and having at least some of these abilities, seems to be a requirement of genius.

  1. Observing. Observing is not seeing. To see we need only keep our eyes open. It is not looking, for to look, we need something to look for. Observing is examining in detail, taking note of every bit of information. It is taking the time to stop and really examine with our eyes, ears, noses, taste buds and skin. Geniuses are constantly observing in this way, and they use every one of their senses in doing this, not just sight.

  2. Imaging. Just as we can make sound appear in thought form in our minds all the other senses can be made manifest in thought form as well. Indeed as Piaget, Brunner and others have suggested these other forms of thought were probably used by young children before they learned language fully. Geniuses usually manifest thought in at least one of these other modes of thought especially iconic code or visualization, sometimes they can manifest many of these modes of thought. 

  3. Abstracting Abstracting is the simplification of some object or concept by portraying it as a single element or aspect of itself. We take some aspect and highlight it and make it noticeable while the rest is pared away. We bring the element into the foreground where before it was hidden, lost in the complexity and allow it to hold or contain most of the meaning of the whole complex object or concept. We bring out what is essential and delete what is inessential or unnecessary. Geniuses can usually extract this essentiality of an idea at will.

  4. Recognizing Patterns. Patterns are all around us hidden in objects, actions and processes. Being able to find these patterns, see how they continue, see the flaws in them, is a prerequisite for creation. People of genius find these patterns everywhere. The finding of these patterns by geniuses is an exercise for the mind, a training of a facility that they can later use to recognize some important pattern that is the basis for some great discovery. Without this ability these patterns will go unnoticed as others will be blind to them.

  5. Forming Patterns. Forming patterns is an outgrowth of recognizing patterns. Children and creative people (especially geniuses) as they become familiar with patterns and perceive them everywhere around, become able to construct patterns themselves with or without external input. Creative art or science is always built on what has gone before. A new pattern is just an old pattern transformed. An old pattern can be reversed, compressed, turned upside down, turned inside out, added to, layered on top of, or interspersed with another pattern. Some people can see these possibilities in everything around them. Geniuses are spectacularly good at this. 

  6. Analogizing. Analogizing can be an inference that if two or more things agree with one another in some respects, they will probably agree in others. When we draw an analogy, we evoke some similarity or agreement between one concept and another, which obliges us to investigate if those concepts are similar or agree in other ways. In this way we may use the natural properties of one concept to improve the properties of another. Analogies often take the utility in one concept and transfer it to another field, context, state, that is completely unalike or unconnected in any way. Geniuses are adept at seeing and forming analogies which they use in generating ideas and being creative.

  7. Body Thinking. Body thinking is the manifesting of enactive code, which can be called kinesthetic, positional and tactile imaging. Just as we can create sound images and visual images in our minds we can also create very specific images involving the feel of our muscles moving, the touch on our skin and the sensations of position and balance. Certain kinds of geniuses are very adept at using this facility especially dancers, choreographers and even sports coaches.

  8. Empathizing. Empathizing is the ability or facility to put yourself into the mind and body of another being. It is to think as they would think, feel as they would feel, move as they would move, react to situations they way they would react to situations. For great actors this is the facility than enables the most truthful and remarkable performances that are the high points of their craft. Geniuses are often able to tap into this facility to produce amazing feats in the fields of acting, directing, psychology, sociology, archeology and even zoology, ecology and entomology.  

  9. Dimensional Thinking. Dimensional thinking is the facility that enables people to hold in their minds a shape in three or more dimensions. It is the ability to imagine the top, bottom, sides, front and back of something simultaneously. It is the ability to imagine something opened up, unfolded or sliced through. It is the ability to imagine something distorted by pressures of stretching, squashing and twisting or morphing into something else. It is an awareness of how things will change and how they will look when changed. It is the ability to understand how elements within an object or concept may interact with each other. Geniuses are often adept in using this facility in the worlds of science, invention and various kinds of three dimensional creativity such as sculpture.

  10. Modeling. Modeling is very much like dimensional thinking except it is done in the real world instead of in the mind. Models are used in all kinds of design work and in order to understand the workings of things that are not accessible in actuality. It is the ability to be able to try out something on a small scale before trying it on a large scale, or the ability to construct something on a large scale in order to understand that something on a small scale. Geniuses are often builders of models especially scientists, inventors and engineers.

  11. Playing. Playing is the simplest of these facilities. It is something that all children do naturally. It is fooling around, bringing together of elements that have no connection in a totally random manner. This random connectivity is the outward manifesting of a process that scientists believe to be going on while we are asleep especially in our dreams. It is the fooling around with things in a manner undirected even by ourselves. Geniuses often fool around with things for the sheer joy of it, and the fact that this often helps them in generating ideas and being creative seems to be hardly a factor in their doing it.

  12. Transforming. Transforming is the ability to take an experience in one sensory mode, and by translation re-experience it in another sensory mode. It is about something learned in one subject being able to illuminate something in another subject. It is finding application for art in mathematics or mathematics in music. Transforming is the facility that enables geniuses to navigate among the various facilities outlined above. It is to be able to take some insight or experience provided by one of the above facilities, and translate it into an insight or experience provided by one of the other facilities. Not all geniuses are highly adept at this, but almost all of them seem to manage some kind of transformation in accomplishing their greatest work. 

  13. Synthesizing. Deep knowing and understanding is only possible through a simultaneous synthesis of various different modes of experience and insight. Thinking, as the Root-Bernsteins put it, "...involves or should involve a synergistic interaction between all our all our sensations and abstract knowledge." Only some of us do this really well and they are the geniuses of the world. For this synthesis of knowing and understanding the Root-Bernsteins created an new word 'synosia'. They say, "Synosia is the natural and necessary result of imaging, analogizing, modeling, playing and transforming". There is a psychological or medical condition known as synesthesia, where sensation experienced in one sensory mode are overlaid by experience in another sensory mode. This experience, it is believed, occurs in about half of all young children and about 5-15 percent of the world's adults. While it can have very curious disadvantages for average adults, it could be and is, entirely beneficial for would be geniuses in increasing their synthesizing ability. While few geniuses are simultaneously able to use the other tools presented above, consider how much superior they might have been if they could have.

These tools do not make a genius.

None of these 13 tools will make you a genius. Many ordinary people are able to use many of these facilities and do so without becoming geniuses, and without even being creative. Many people are playful to varying degrees without getting hints and ideas for creativity or discovery. Many people are obsessive observers concerned with fine detail without being creative or doing anything important. Synesthesia is, as mentioned above, is a medical condition that some people make use of creatively, but for many others it is simply an anomaly that makes them freakishly different to their fellow humans. The above thirteen tools, if used in an effort to be creative, simply provide a greater likelihood that the resulting work will be, of such significance to humanity, that we are likely to term the person who created or uncovered it a genius. Also these 13 tools are no substitute for the long hours of practice needed to develop the skills that are essential in whatever domain one is to be judged a genius in.

Can we make a genius?

Here's the thing, while it seems likely that a certain degree of potential may be required in order to produce a genius, it simply not certain that this is so. Likewise, while a certain minimum level of IQ may be required to produce a genius, this too is uncertain. On the other hand, genius may be merely a series of lucky accidents, or the living in an environment comprised of other geniuses. However, what is known for sure, is that human beings can, if they so wish, be instrumental in facilitating the production of more geniuses, not the least by making sure that the 13 tools or gifts we nearly all have at birth are not lost. While it may seem unlikely that we all have the potential to become geniuses, the studies done so far on geniuses seem to indicate that given the right environment and the child's desire to achieve it, genius may be within reach of most of the healthy people on earth.    

Difficult to reestablish when lost.

The above 13 tools are abilities, qualities, and facilities we are born with potentially. Added to this most of the early in which human children find themselves are conducive to beginning the development of these tools. Unfortunately later environments that involve the development of language, especially when school begins are not so conducive. Unsurprisingly then, most of us lose those abilities over time. Once lost they are difficult to reestablish. Ideally we should never lose them. Ideally we should all be encouraged and nurtured from the beginning to retain and develop them. However, if we have lost them we should do our best to reestablish them. If you have lost the ability to be creative or you wish to be more creative, your best chance is to look at the information presented in the section on creativity. If, however, you wish to really try to regain some of the insightfulness of childhood then perhaps you could try to redevelop one of these 13 tools such as the use of analogy. This site holds, that if these tools are to be reclaimed even a little, it would be best to try and perfect them in accordance with your own personal preferences, in order to have greater chance of succeeding.

More important.

What has been talked about here though, has much more important implications than helping you to become more creative or more like a genius. This site holds that we have an obligation to our children, not to deter them from using these facilities, but to rather encourage them in their pursuit of genius. This site holds that we have an obligation to encourage the development of these facilities and any other skills they might need. It is, in the best interest of humanity, that children be able to reach their full potential and continue to develop these abilities into adulthood. Thus, it is in all our best interests, to encourage children in the retention and development of the 13 above tools of geniuses. In this way we may produce a society of great works in art, science and thought in general, and perhaps even a society of geniuses. If we do this, then perhaps we will become worthy of the survival of our species, and have forged the abilities needed to avert the many perils that await us in the future.

We are our own worst enemy.

In the end there is a choice human societies will have to make. They will have to decide whether to encourage their people to mostly become geniuses or not. Unfortunately there is a sad fallibility in humans that often prevents them from being able to learn in an optimal manner and which may also prevent them from ever achieving a society where almost every person is a genius. It is an indictment of human perverseness that we may wish to keep most of our children relatively stupid. We may wish to do this because the idea that, almost everybody is a potential genius, may be too bitter a pill to swallow.

Why is it a bitter pill? Well it would mean that if we had worked hard, if we had persisted, if we had been truly interested in something, if we had developed a passion for something, if we had really really strived to be the very best we could at something, well then, we might have become eminent in some field, we might have become a genius. Such a thing is too terrible for most of us to contemplate. We would have to admit that our life, poor, dull, boring and painful that it was, might instead have been wonderful, filled with greatness and marvelous achievement. How many of us could stand the idea that our pointless life was mostly our own fault, because we were lazy and had no faith in our ability to learn? We would have to admit that our opportunities were not missed, but rather simply thrown away. We would have to admit that we used genetics as an excuse for how poorly our life turned out. How many of us have said, "I didn't do well in life because I got a lousy set of genes"? Just as easily we might also have said, "I didn't do well in life because I never got the opportunity I needed, or because I was brought up in a poor non stimulating environment." Both nature and nurture can be used as excuses that can prevent us from accepting the possibility that we threw our life away. Thus we may be selfishly condemning our children to the same fate rather than lifting them up to become better than us.

But we should not feel this way. Why? Because we did not know we had this potential. When most of us were growing up, nobody even suspected that genius was a common potential in most of us. So its not our fault that we did not succeed. However, it will be our fault, if we do not make an effort to see that our children reach their potential eminence. 

Needs Interest Method Reality Keys How to Help Creative Genius Future What is Wrong Theories Plus
Prodigies Creativity Social Creativity Thin Slicing Observing Imaging Abstracting Recognizing Patterns
Forming Patterns Analogizing Enaction Empathizing Dimensional Modeling Playing Transforming Synthesizing