Jason’s Ranting & Raving

Those who don’t read have no advantage over those who can’t.

Cool Stuff: What does it take to be a genius?

Posted by jaystile on November 19, 2008

It takes a lot of hard work to be an expert at anything. There are two articles on Scientific American which corroborate this statement (see below). The first is Expert Theory which is pretty simple: given enough time (10 years) and dedication to continually challenging yourself you can become an expert in any subject. The second article describes how to raise your kids to become experts (or geniuses or good students). There exists a genetic predisposition for children to learn (typically rated as their IQ score), but that isn’t as important as the hard work and effort they put in to learning. Kids that are told they are ‘gifted’ tend to look for easy work to reinforce that perception of gifted. When they fail they think it is because they aren’t smart enough. However the child that is taught that excellence is the result of hard work accept failure and setbacks more readily and learn that they need to work harder. This plugs back into expert theory. Keep working hard and you will achieve. I’m hoping to instill this hard work concept into my daughters. Which will in turn pass to their children and people they encounter.

My story: As a child (5th & 6th grade) I was placed into the Gifted and Talented program. I never had to study or work hard until I got to college. This caused me a lot of harm when I first started failing because I never developed good study habits. I thought everyone was smarter than me. It turns out they were just doing their work and I was busy playing Nintendo. I’m interested in hearing other peoples experiences with hard work or being gifted and them becoming a slacker.

Related Links:

The Expert Mind

How to Raise Smart Kids

Talent is Overrated


One Response to “Cool Stuff: What does it take to be a genius?”

  1. […] have been numerous studies concerning experts which I tend to categorize as expert theory. Malcolm Gladwell wrote an entire book on the subject. The summation is that it takes 10000 hours […]

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