A wise quote with a lot of significance and meaning, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein. It not only indicates the great mind of the genius himself, but also serves as a word of caution to the prevailing shortsightedness of our race in relation to our mindless squandering of the great potential that lies within each of us.
In diversity lies the difficulty to understand the complex nature of each and every individual. Suppose children appear bright in their childhood, it does not necessarily determine their future capacity. Some individuals have a better memory than others, while others tend to be more creative.
Therefore, we should be careful not to superficially classify ourselves according to what we believe to be our level of intelligence. What’s most important is to always strive to tap more deeply our inherent potential and creativity. There are many examples of people who have showed their brilliance in such way.
When Albert Einstein (1879-1955) was a child, he began talking later than most children. Many thought young Albert was a slow learner, and upon entering school, he seemed dull-witted and shy. Later, however, he became very serious about his studies and went on to become perhaps the world’s greatest and wisest scientist. Even after achieving his reputation as a great scholar he seems to have been absent-minded at times.
Young Samuel Clemens (1835-1910), who under the name of Mark Twain authored many famous novels did not attend school until he was 12. When he finally did attend, he didn’t much like it. At the age of 14, however, he came across a copy of the story of Joan of Arc, which aroused in him an interest in history and fired his passion for study. Through steady effort, he came to be respected as a man of great intellect.
Some people are born with more talent in certain areas than others. There have been those who excelled in areas like art, music or mathematics from a very young age. Such specially talented people will, with similar effort, progress much faster in some areas than the average person.
Pavlov, the great experimental psychologist once said, “Ability is the product of effort.” By repeatedly making efforts in a way that naturally accords with our personality and ability, we can foster and develop that ability even to the point where other consider it genius. We might compare using the aptitude or talent we are born with to digging a small hole in the ground – something that can be done with relatively little effort. Digging a deep hole, however, requires far more effort. With continued wholehearted effort, we can tap and cultivate magnificent power and capability. We need not worry then about our apparent level of intelligence or capability at the present. If we instead resolve to apply ourselves seriously, our ability will definitely blossom, and we will be able to accomplish great things.
A well-known pianist once said: “Out of the 10,000 students I have taught, only one could be truly talented. He did not like to practice, however, and therefore did not develop. Among the world’s great pianists are only one or two real geniuses. The rest became famous only through the net result of repeated effort.”
We should therefore know that in striving and learning to take efforts, gradually and slowly we can develop our capacity and identify our true potential, which can surpass even our own expectations and help us reach our goals and conquer our dreams.