Releasing the Genius Releasing the Genius Magazine - Issue 2 - Page 10

FINDING THE RIGHT A HISTORY OF GENIUS AND PRIVILEGE I Happy FORMULA FOR A SUCCESSFUL LIFE BY DR. ROGER HALL n 1921, a professor of psychology and author of the Stanford-Binet intelligence test, Lewis Terman, decided he would study extremely gifted children. At the time, there were the same stereotypes about intellectually gifted children as there are today—socially and physically awkward, sickly, and unhappy. Terman had higher hopes for the young children he studied over the course of decades. He met with each of these young people regularly, called them “Terman’s Termites.” As they grew into adulthood, he was pleased to see that his “Termites” were, in fact, well-adjusted, socially skilled, physically capable adults. He had likely nursed higher hopes that, in contrast to the stereotypes, his Termites would soar to the highest levels of success, be presidents of companies, political leaders, or great thinkers. In this, he was disappointed. His Termites rose to levels of middle management, raised families, were happy, but largely lived undistinguished lives. The Termite of highest prominence became a judge, but no one won a Nobel Prize, or started a world-changing company, or became fabulously wealth. IQ and school success alone were not great predictors of life success. LOPSIDED WHEEL A bicycle wheel needs lots of spokes to roll smoothly. If one spoke is broken, the wheel still turns, but becomes weaker. The more spokes that are missing or broken, the more lopsided and bumpier the ride becomes. A focus only on academic success is a lopsided wheel—it doesn’t make for success in life. Let’s look at athletes. For most sports, careers end by their mid-30s. Some go on to have success in other areas for the remainder of their lives, but only because they have put effort to practicing in other areas of their lives. One of the saddest stories I’ve ever heard is about a man working at a car wash drying cars. He did a good job, but one day his boss brought him into the office and told him that he needed to remove the big ring he always wore. It seems that ring was scratching the finish of the cars while he was drying them. With tears in his eyes, the man said he wouldn’t. Being able to show others his NBA championship ring meant too much to him. He was fired. A single exceptional skill isn’t enough to live a successful life. THE LOVE OF PRACTICE " "NOTHING IN THIS WORLD CAN TAKE THE PLACE OF PERSISTENCE. TALENT WILL NOT; NOTHING IS MORE COMMON THAN UNSUCCESSFUL PEOPLE WITH TALENT. GENIUS WILL NOT; UNREWARDED GENIUS IS ALMOST A PROVERB. EDUCATION WILL NOT; THE WORLD IS FULL OF EDUCATED DERELICTS. PERSISTENCE AND DETERMINATION ALONE ARE OMNIPOTENT." – CALVIN COOLIDGE " People who are truly great in life are often not the most talented, but they love, love, LOVE to practice. Practice is what makes people successful, not raw talent. The real superstars like practicing more than the dilettantes. Talented people who don’t like to put in the hours eventually reach a limit, because that extra level of performance depends on practice. In football, Jerry Rice is arguably the best wide