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Is Real Genius IQ or Creative Thinking?

Have you ever wondered what it means to be a genius, and how to cultivate this state? A definition of genius: "Extraordinary intellectual power especially as manifested in creative activity." Other definitions refer to a high IQ as well, but that doesn't seem to be an important component once IQ is average or a bit higher. Intellectual power and creativity can exist without a high level of intelligence, as I will explain in a moment.

To be a real genius, whether in the sciences, arts, or business, is about finding new, creative and effective ways to accomplish or understand things. Scores on some test of intelligence is not very relevant to that. Productivity in new and useful ideas is the most defining factor of genius.

Genius - The Software

Consider the brain and mind as a computer, and you can see that the physical part, made up of neurons and such, is the hardware, the computer as it is before we install the operating system and various programs that make it work. More potential power is great, but it isn't enough by itself. To realize that power, to use it, we need the programs. How much would the computer on your desk be worth without any software in it? It would be almost worthless, and the same is true of our brains.

Our software, then, consists of our ways of thinking about things, and these are developed starting in childhood, but can be changed at any time. Adding new "programs" is possible (and recommended) throughout life. The right ones can dramatically increase one's creativity, and therefore one's potential for genius. That explains why a less intelligent man can be an expert at something creative, while a man with a much higher IQ may add little in the way of new ideas, thinking or products to the planet - it's all about the software of our minds.

What are these "programs?" Where do you get them and how do you install them in your head? Unfortunately they do not install as easily as programs do on your desktop computer, and you do have to work with them for at least several weeks to make using them a habit. But there is good news too. Once they do become a habit, they work for you almost effortlessly.

Here's an example of a simple "program" you can put to use: "the exploration of creative alternatives by looking at purposes." Anyone can do this, but few do it systematically enough to make it a habitual way of thinking. Do this enough consciously, though, and it becomes a regular part of your thinking process.

Let's look at this more closely. Perusing a textbook from a school, for example, you ask "What are the purposes, and what does that suggest for alternatives to what exists?" A textbook is supposed to impart knowledge to the student, so questions that naturally arise include, "Does it do that effectively?" and "What else might suit this purpose instead?"

Questioning the effectiveness makes you imagine ten different textbooks on the same subject being used to teach students, and then a test of the students to see which book worked better. This leads you to the idea for a textbook testing service (textbooks are often chosen according to the preferences of educators, and not by effectiveness testing). The question "what else" gets you thinking about making educational material into video games or some other alternatives.

Creative ideas will start to come to mind as you look at the matter, at least if you program your brain with "software" like this. The example above is just one of many techniques for creative thinking which you can "install." While a higher IQ can be helpful - and raising yours may be possible - it's not nearly as important to developing your creative genius powers as changing your thinking processes.

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Real Genius