Wednesday, October 21, 2009

In search of unknown geniuses

A few months ago, I attempted to read The Atlantis Blueprint, by Colin Wilson and Rand Flem-Ath. I say "attempted" because it took me four weeks to get 2/3 of the way through the book. My failure to complete the book rests squarely on my shoulders: sadly, I usually only have about a half-hour before going to bed each night to devote to reading, and the material covered in The Atlantis Blueprint requires much more attention than I was able - or willing - to give it. In other words, I was looking for a mindless read, and when I didn't get it I gave up and returned the book to the library.

While much of what is covered in the book is speculative science and therefore does not pertain to this blog, one sentence made it into my "Random Ideas" (now my "Observations on Daily Life") file:

"There are probably millions of human beings in the world today whose intelligence is just as great as the famous scientists, artists and intellectuals in our history books, yet they remain unknown because they fail to make any determined attempt to pull themselves out of their daily routine."

I read this particular statement several times, not because it was late and I had once again lost my place on the page, but because it sparked a "wow moment." I can name at least three people I consider geniuses, and I could easily compile a list of people who think they are geniuses in one respect or another. But how many "unknown geniuses" do I know?

And so I issued a challenge to myself, which I am now going to extend to you. I'm sure you - like me - know a good number of people with very well-defined strengths and abilities. People who have a career and a life plan and have more than enough determination to make themselves known to the world. However, I am also sure that you - again, like me - know at least one person who just seems to bounce along on the waves that carry him across life's ocean, hoping his boat doesn't capsize because he didn't bother to buy a life jacket. My challenge to you is to find out what his deal is. If you don't already know, ask him what his interests are. Then ask him why he doesn't pursue those interests. Encourage him to take some classes, or read some books, or even to apply for an unpaid internship in a related field.

Let's try to find some of those unknown geniuses.


  1. It sounds like you have a particular person in mind. I say this only because of the way your use of the pronouns "he" and "him" jump out at me in that post. It's almost as if you are issuing yourself the challenge to go encourage or motivate a particular guy in your life.

    I do know lots of folks with untapped talents, but I also know quite a few who are opening up to their own potential and pursuing their dreams.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Dawn. I did, in fact, have a particular person in mind when I wrote this. While I realize that it is ultimately up to him to choose a path for his life, I'm working on him!