Yale professor Craig Wright on genius cultivation: "When you're an antagonistic thinker, you're on the road to genius." #article

I want you to think of a genius today. Get a person who really deserves the title in your mind — historical or contemporary — someone. Have someone?

All right. OK. OK. What makes a genius out of this person? Are they clever? Being talented? Were they born like that? Have they worked hard? Through this week's episode, keep this person in your mind, and at the end of the show we'll come back to it.

The guest for today is Dr. Craig Wright. At Yale, he teaches a rather famous course on genius. Craig spent decades investigating the phenomenon. And a new book, The Hidden Habits of Genius: Beyond Talent, IQ and Grit-Unlocking the Secrets of Greatness, has just been published.

Craig questions what we have come to believe about genuinely remarkable individuals. With IQ assessments, he takes issue and he will make you reconsider your intelligence definition. He will teach us a great deal about what genius really is, and how to develop it — in ourselves and in others. To learn about it, you can download the show, or listen to it below. Then please share your own thoughts and tag # HelloMonday so that I can hop into the conversation.

Craig's genius equation: It can be reduced to a simple cool mathematical equation in an unusual way: Genius equals importance times number of individuals affected times length.

On genius: "The very concept of genius is focused on privilege, that certain individuals have the potential to have a greater effect on society than others."

On fostering genius: unless we confront everyone on an equal basis, we will not be able to leverage the potential of genius to transform society for the better. And that means giving everyone equal opportunity.

"The genius equation of Craig:" Strangely, it can be reduced to a simple cool mathematical equation: Genius equals importance times number of individuals affected times length.

On genius: "The very idea of genius is focused on privilege, that certain individuals have the potential to have a greater effect on society than others."

On developing genius: "We will not be able to optimize genius, the potential to transform society for the better, unless we fairly handle everybody. And that means giving everybody equal opportunities to be what they can in terms of schooling, motivation, and materials at their disposal."

"On prodigies:" If they do not develop, they don't become geniuses. They can not transform into the imaginative life zone.

"Contrarians are good when challenging the status quo. We need contrarians. If you're an opposing thinker, then you're on the road to genius."

"On what it means to be smart:" I think IQ is overrated because you take a standardized exam. It's so small a part of the human experience that it's not especially relevant. In terms of what Howard Gardner called multiple intelligence, I prefer to think of this. What the heck does it mean to be smart? In this world, there are all sorts of smart people and people like Martin Luther King or Ma King

Office Hours: Taking the inquiries

Now, at the beginning of the show, we get to the question I 'm asking: who did you think was a genius? Once you've heard from Craig, would you reconsider the decision? We'll debate our options this week at Office Hours. Note that Craig claims that the term can be boiled down to a statistical equation: Genius equals the number of people affected by the length of time.

Office Hours is our weekly joint coffee break for those of you who have yet to participate, a time to get together for a little fellowship with listeners. Every Wednesday at 3 pm EST, producer Sarah Storm and I go live to chat about the episode of the week, get ideas for potential episodes, and generally catch up. Below, you can RSVP or email us for a connection at