We often think that genes are born. However, factors such as perseverance allow everyone to become geniuses if only desired.
Written and verified by the psychologist GetPersonalGrowth.
Last update: 15 November 2021
A person may come into the world with an innate talent, but perseverance shapes it and intensifies it; it is daily work and a stimulating context that make an exceptional child a brilliant adult. At the same time, dimensions such as tenacity, ambition and motivation can lead us to stand out if we commit ourselves.
Many of us think that genes are born, not made into them. Therefore, either we are born with an exceptional gift or we are almost "destined" to return to that average in which perhaps we will be lucky enough to shine in something. To take this concept for granted is a mistake. Experts in intelligence, talent and creativity such as Malcolm Gladwell have left us important food for thought.
For one thing, a person may have a very high IQ, but if it is not recognized or if the social and personal context are not suitable, that potential will remain unexpressed. On the other hand, no genius will achieve important goals if he is not persevering. Without passion, determination and resistance to frustration, a person does not achieve the goals he sets himself.
Figures such as Steve Jobs, Stephen Hawking or Leonardo Da Vinci are examples of a constant commitment to deepening knowledge. And the charisma that comes from overcoming oneself every day has certainly distinguished them. Perseverance is therefore the spark that illuminates the true genius.
Success is talent combined with preparation.
Perseverance, a key element in the creative genius
Practice makes you good in a discipline, understanding it projects us into the future in another way. We often think, for example, that figures like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart have been geniuses of music (or other disciplines) since birth.
We know that at 4 he played the violin and the harpsichord, that at 5 he composed small pieces and that at 6 the European society had already defined him as a miracle full of talent. Although his natural talent for music was evident, we forget that little Mozart trained between five and six hours a day. We often do not take into account the fact that his father, Leopold Mozart, he had given up most of his business to deal exclusively with his son's musical training.
Jonathan Plucker, an educational psychologist at John Hopkins University, reminds us in various studies and works that symphonies did not arise overnight in Mozart's mind. Analyzing his diaries, we discover that in reality that work took months, long hours of refining the scores to achieve that genius that we all admire.
Perseverance builds talent
Carol S. Dweck, professor of psychology at Stanford, argues that many of the most illustrious geniuses of our society, both today and in our past history, were ordinary people in childhood and even youth. In other words, they don't necessarily have extraordinary talents or a very high IQ.
It was therefore perseverance that made Monet or Cézanne two excellences, and it was the motivation that led Darwin or Freud to elaborate their theories and their approaches. Skill comes with practice and tireless daily work, what often goes unnoticed in the eyes of others, but which nonetheless shapes talent, ability and the ability to stand out in an area.
Talent and character
The writings of Confucius already indicated in his time that people can achieve perfection through practice and sacrifice. Now, succeeding also depends on the character, on the personality.
In his lyrics, such as The Hypomanic Edge, psychiatrist John Gartner tells us that genes that emerge through exceptional talent honed with perseverance typically also have some well-defined traits:
- They accept challenges.
- They are persistent and are not afraid of failure. They learn from their mistakes.
- They are cold blooded.
- They leverage intrinsic motivation. They are able to fuel their perseverance even though the context is sometimes not favorable.
To conclude, there is another aspect to consider. To achieve success or to stand out in a discipline, natural talent helps. Perseverance is crucial and plays a key role. But in addition to taking into account the personality, we must also evaluate the determination in facing difficulties.
A value that leverages self-esteem and that we need to move forward in a society that is often unpredictable, contradictory and used to not appreciating true talent. It's not easy, you don't get it overnight and that's why we need to train that extraordinary muscle which is courage, honest commitment to ourselves.