Are There Geniuses Or Not? By Aki Yoshi
Do you believe in the existence of geniuses? I did until I heard this quote, “A genius is limited, the effort is infinite”.
When I was a college student, one of my seniors, a marathon runner, said to me, “Some people call me a genius runner, but I think genius is something you can’t measure. Instead I am never a genius, I am only a genius at making an effort.” I was so surprised because I truly believed that he was a real genius runner.
His name is Toshihiko Seko.
It reminded me of Einstein’s quote, as well. “Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.” Whenever we meet a person who accomplished great things, we are apt to say that he or she must be a genius. However, I think that it is not correct. It is just an excuse to convince ourselves of their greatness. All the people who are called geniuses have an ability to make an effort. They might not actually have talent.
Recently, I read a book named GRIT, which was written by Angela Duckworth, an American psychologist and popular science author.
G.R.I.T. is defined as perseverance and passion for long-term goals. It stands for: Guts, Resilience, Initiative, and Tenacity.
Here are excerpts from professional reviews of the book (Amazon):
Why do some people succeed and others fail? Angela Duckworth explains why talent is hardly a guarantor of success. Rather, other factors can be even more crucial, such as identifying our passions and following through on our commitments. Duckworth describes her winding path through teaching, business consulting, and neuroscience, which led to the hypothesis that what really drives success is not genius but a special blend of passion and long-term perseverance. She created her own "character lab" and set out to test her theory. Finally, she shares what she's learned from interviewing dozens of high achievers. Winningly personal, insightful, and even life changing, Grit is a book about what goes through your head when you fall down and how that —not talent or luck—makes all the difference.
This book inspired me. She described that talent and success are usually either unrelated or even inversely related. The key to success is setting a goal and pacing ourselves. It isn’t based on social intelligence, good looks, physical health, or IQ. She said GRIT is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Now I am studying English. Some people may say to themselves, “I am too old to study English”, but I don’t think so. It is not necessary to be a genius to accomplish great things. In other words, everybody has a chance to achieve our dreams regardless of age, gender and so on. “Don’t give up. Just keep practicing.”