How to Be a Genius
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom. Ecclesiastes 9:10
Do you ever wonder why you don’t get more done than you do? Perhaps there is a reason for it. Dr. Catherine Morris Cox, the American psychologist known for her work on intelligence and genius, suggested that geniuses are not produced by great intelligence alone, but by some factors that can be developed by the average person. Concentration is one of those factors. Dr. Cox’s study revealed that some of the world's greatest geniuses were not necessarily intellectual giants, but those who had the power of concentration, even though they were greatly distracted.
Another factor, said Dr. Cox is the ability to see what others do not. On one occasion, Michelangelo visited an old stone quarry. He was looking for a particular piece of marble out of which he was to produce a sculpted work of art. Finally, in the back of the quarry was a piece of marble that had just been taken from the earth‑‑it was covered with mud and filth. The quarry workers said, "Surely, that is not the one that you want!" But he insisted that it was. It was cleaned and taken to the studio. Tradition tells us that it was of this piece of marble that Michelangelo produced his immortal sculpture of Moses. He had the ability to see what most men missed.
Do you use the vision you have in sizing up the world around you? Chances are you could improve. What did your husband or wife wear when he or she left the house this morning? We get into ruts‑‑we do the same thing day after day and eventually become blind to the world around us.
Sometimes people who are blind see more than those who have healthy eyes. My dad tells the story of the time his parents invited a blind friend to see their new home. Yes, to see their new home. The man walked into the house and commented on the carpet. Simply by the feel of it underfoot he could tell what quality it was. Gently, he ran his fingers over the walls and ceiling and remarked about the texture of the plaster, comparing and it with other homes he had “seen.” It was a powerful lesson in using the vision that we have.
"The third quality of genius," said Dr. Cox, "is the power of credibility‑‑that is the ability to accept what you see." Credibility is something like faith—it’s the willingness to accept things at face value. A little child has this power. He looks at the world with fresh and wondering vision of enthusiasm. Later, we look through the tired and blind eyes of an adult.
Jesus once sat a little child in His midst and said, "Except a man become as a little child, he cannot see the kingdom of heaven." What He meant was that unless a person has the simple faith‑‑the credibility of a child‑‑he cannot have the assurance of eternal life.
Concentration. Vision. Credibility. The Apostle Paul had the idea when he wrote, "Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. What is the one thing God has for you to do today? Ask Him to give you the vision to see that thing and the faith to believe that He will give you all that you need today, to concentrate on and complete the task at hand. That’s genius.
Resource reading: Philippians 3:12-14