When I first watched the movies The Social Network and Good Will Hunting, I began to wonder, “what makes someone brilliant?” Is brilliance inherent? Worked for? Stumbled upon? I initially concluded that brilliance is natural for the few who show brilliance- that one’s ability or capacity is mostly determined by genetic makeup or some predestined blessing.
I eventually moved past such idiotic thinking, and came to realize that anyone can actually be brilliant! In fact, anyone can be brilliant if only enough time and effort are invested.
In the latter of the aforementioned movies, fictional protagonist Will Hunting (portrayed by Matt Damon) has a natural gift. He is a true genius. Brilliance, in this instance, is natural. However, the talent would most definitely have been wasted if not for Sean Maguire’s (Robin Williams) guidance, which led to Hunting’s application of that natural gift.
True Brilliance is Earned, Not Given
Mark Zuckerberg is no genius. What genius, after all, would drop out of Harvard? Stupid move. Yes, he knew how to code, and yes, he pulled a few strings- but he was not extraordinary by any means. He is only brilliant now, however, because he applied a simple idea (part of which may have been stolen) that revolutionized the way individuals interact online. He is now thought of as a genius.
Zuckerberg stuck to his plan, and through applying acquired skill, perseverance and emotional intelligence, he created something truly amazing!
People have revolutionarily innovative ideas every day. The reason they do not pursue these world-changing ideas is because the fear of failure trumps their desire for accomplishing this objective! This is a terrible phenomenon.
A great idea, when applied with avarice and relentless ambition and flexibility, can yield brilliant results. One should hone skills- especially ones that come naturally. But true success is born of perseverance.
Think 5% creativity and 95% ambition, hard work, networking, adaptability and grit. While there is no set formula, here are some ways you can significantly increase your chances of success beyond your wildest dreams:
Steps to True Brilliance
- Set aside time each day to brainstorm. Clear your mind and look to help people and make the world a better place, rather than to make a fortune.
- Seek inspiration– watch a Ted Talk, listen to a symphony, or watch either or both movies mentioned above.
- Surround yourself with encouraging realists. Befriend individuals you can trust who are not afraid to tell you you’re wrong. You will know when to pursue an idea when these people approve collectively.
- Network: Meet as many people, both inside and outside of your field, as you can. Learn from them, add value to their lives, and they will help you when you need it most. You will find leverage through your rolodex.
- Always have hope. Giving up has a 0% success rate. You will succeed if you do not abandon hope!
Go now, and do something truly brilliant.
Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich
Teacher-preneur’s take on Hill’s theory
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