Unlock the Genius Within

Can anyone become a genius? New research reveals the secret.

Comments (14)

(14) Sarah, May 22, 2009 9:44 PM

Effort - Not Talent

This is why parents should praise their children's "efforts" instead of just saying how smart they are. Children who only rely on their "smarts" alone will most likely face frustration one day and possibly give up, but those who have learned to rely on their own efforts will pull through when the need arises.

(13) Anonymous, May 21, 2009 5:31 AM

a little of this and a little of that

A child blessed with a quick mind may be able to pick up pieces of knowledge without much effort, but he does not develop the skills of good study habits. Eventually the "quick study" will attain a level which requires effort on his/her part in order to forge ahead. Without proper study habits this becomes a frustrating experience and the later in life the gifted child meets this challenge the goal may become insurmountable. Accomplishments are achieved through a combination of effort and self-esteem -believing in oneself. That is nature. Above it all is ratzon Hashem. There were incidents when Hashem hid previously known information because that was his wish. When Hashem deems it best for an individual to succeed that individual may experience an unprecedented goal. or, an individual who would be judged supremely capable may fail because that is what Hashem views as best for him/her at that point in their life. Failure can bring forth a strength of character in some that success will never create.

(12) Leila, May 20, 2009 4:43 PM

Thank you for reminding me

Thank you so much Rabbi Yaakov Salomon, for reminding me to work hard and practice, as sometimes we get comfortable in our levels of success because they are effortless. But imagine with a bit more practice what can be done.. Thank you. Ms. Leila K.

(11) Yossi, May 20, 2009 9:49 AM


Every human being possesses infinite potential. Of course in this material plane, G-d issues us with a history, a set of circumstances, strengths and weaknesses, and expects us to use these as springboards to serve him. He also gave us free will (our Yetzer Tov at 13) and expects us to use this as best we can -- we makes mistakes, we repent and learn from them, and he re-writes our story. The true genius of every human that lives and that has ever lived will only come through the teshuvah that precedes the era of Moshiach. Immediately to teshuvah. Immediately to redemption.

(10) Joel Català, May 20, 2009 9:19 AM

Only morality is really in our hands

Wealth or health do not depend on our effort, but on Providence, only in the field of morality we can eventually manage to rise to the level of a tzadik.

(9) Niklas Ekestam, May 20, 2009 4:43 AM

Yes, but...

The same amount of work give different outcomes for different people, depending on personal genetic characteristics or different circumstances. Everyone can be great! Sure, but some have to work more to get there.

(8) Anonymous, May 20, 2009 1:03 AM

God gives the gifts, with His encouragement and direction its up to us to practice the gifts so we become skilled at it and bring them into existence .If there is a person who has a passion to bring a gift into existence eg. wants to play a musical instrument .Then they need a teacher, time to practice ,persistense, faith to believe it will happen, to be skilled in it. MAYBE ITS THE BELIEVE AND PERSISTENCE THAT ARE THE GIFTS .

(7) ruth housman, May 19, 2009 7:04 PM

the human potential movement

I know that all is from God, so for me it's clear we all are here for a reason, and certainly, for us all, at all times, life provides a learning curve. Greatness for me is defined entirely by who we are with each other and how we conduct ourselves in the world, meaning the inner deep feeling of sanctity for all life, and even for that which is inanimate, because surely, it's a total unfolding of amazement, each and every day. We take so much for granted, and yet, look around, it's all part of the miracle. What is genius? I believe there are surely two parts to intelligence, and emotional intelligence is primary. Life's meaning, truly personal meaning, has nothing to do with how much we know but how we apply our knowledge in sharing and furthering the growth of each other. Was Einstein a genius? Certainly. But he was downloading from the Source, as we all are. When John Lennon wrote the truly beautiful song, Imagine, he claimed it came to him whole and Kekule's discovery of the chemical structure of benzene, something that had eluded many chemists, came in the form of a dream vision of a curled snake. I think it's time to Give Divinity a chance. Look to language. We say, we "divine" something, meaning to understand. The word potential itself can be split and we see the word POT. We are all vessels at the divine potter's wheel. Truly, I am saying the keys are in the words, themselves. This story is about LOVE. To realize we are all in the hands of the great potter, is to feel the deepest of humility, and great is not for accolade but Great is for Creation itself and that knowledge.

(6) Anonymous, May 19, 2009 5:01 PM

I think that most people dont reach genius level because of 1. laziness 2. lack of motivation and most important, people waste soooo much precious time. Eating alone? read something. riding on the train? listen to a tape or shiur or music. sitting in a waiting room? always take something to do while you wait. be it a notebook for drawing and a pencil, or a sefer. You would be surprised you can learn tons of new things with those few minutes here and there every day. Want to take a course? do it. You're gonna wait a million years until you "are ready"? Maybe you like those science magazines? get it, or better yet, get that subscription you been telling yourself you would get years ago. or whatever magazine or books you love, be it about medicine, animals, history. take a specific hour twice a week to do something for yourself.Maybe a music class, or a lecture or an art class. You give so much to others, why are you going to wait until your 70 and your kids are married for you to realize you could have done so much more and taken advantage of this wonderful life G-d gave you, ALL OF YOU HAVE THE POTENTIAL to be a genius. Don't throw all that time away.

(5) chaim d, May 19, 2009 9:27 AM


G*d gives wisdom to the smart wealth to the rich and strength to the strong. we can ask why not give wealth to the poor strength to the weak and wisdom to the simple minded. the one who is one of those knows what to do with it.

(4) s, May 19, 2009 3:42 AM


I think we are each given the tools we need to fulfill our mission in life. And if someone is not able to do what someone else does, like be a doctor, then it is not their mission. And, like you said, we all have the potential for personal growth and to achieve our job in life whatever it might be.

(3) Chavi, May 17, 2009 4:46 PM


Intelligence, as well as all other talents, are gifts bestowed by Hashem. Hashem in His infinite wisdom, has bestowed upon each of his creations a unique set of talents and strengths, a set of average skills, and some deficits. No one is perfect in all areas. People are not created equal, no one has been endowed with all gifts.
Our talents and strengths are gifts from Hashem. They don''t entitle us to any special credit *or* recognition, rather, they are a responsibility, an obligation, to use Hashem''s gifts to do His will. As such, there is no credit due the recipient. These gifts are not the result of any accomplishment on the part of the recipient. Some people were endowed with the gift of superior intellect, some are good at math, others are good in history *or* language arts. Some are gifted linguists while others have an innate understanding of people and human nature. Some have amazing memories, some are mechanically gifted, while others are gifted teachers. Some are musically talented, some possess extraordinary grace, and some are hilariously funny. Some are incredibly artistic, others are athletic. Some are born orators, and some are natural ba''alei chessed.
However, these gifts also have another name-- potential. These gifts carry the responsibility to make every effort to actualize the potential inherent in every talent and ability that''s been granted.
One may be justifiably proud of one''s efforts (with *or* without accomplishment) in that direction. A person who constantly strives to actualize his G-d-given potential in every situation is certainly deserving of respect by all.

Reb Zisha used to say, "When I come up to shomayim, I won''t be asked ''Why weren''t you like Moshe Rabbainu?'' I wasn''t given his set of strengths and talents. But they will ask me "Zisha, why weren''t you Zisha? Why didn''t you use all of the strengths with which you were endowed, to be the very best Zisha that you could be?" And that''s what it''s all about.

(2) SusanE, May 17, 2009 12:51 PM

This Quote is an Old One but Always True.

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not, nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not, unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not, the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent." Calvin Coolidge What is bothersome about determination and persistance, is they can be used for evil as well as for good.

(1) ross, May 17, 2009 8:24 AM

Help from Heaven

When it comes to being a Torah scholar or doing mitzvas, we are only given a certain amout of potential to begin with. However, if we strain ourselves and work really hard, G-d will give us extra help (siyata d'shmaya) which increases that potential. (We need to pray for it, too.) For anything else, like music etc, we only have that original portential, unless what we're doing is for the sake of Heaven.


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