Great Geniuses

Do we have a hidden, possibly dormant capacity to express great genius?
Can we access this most inspiring, prodigious and gifted talent?
Can studying the lives or at least the traits of other great geniuses help us awaken this dormant genius inside?

The answer to all of these questions is yes.

“Some aspects of genius lie dormant in all of us.” Darold A. Treffert/Gregory L. Wallace

Giorgio Vasari, when writing about Leonardo Da Vinci wrote:

“Heaven sometimes sends us beings who represent not humanity alone but divinity itself, so that taking them as our models and imitating them, our minds and the best of our intelligence may approach the highest celestial spheres. Experience shows that those who are led to study and follow the traces of these marvelous geniuses, even if nature gives them little or no help, may at least approach the supernatural works that participate in his divinity.”

Some of the discernible character or behavioral traits and dispositions that make up great geniuses include:

Great geniuses are boldly unique. They demonstrate originality, versatility, dominance in a field, universality of vision, strength and energy. They have an insatiable curiosity and an unrelenting quest for continued learning; a desire to grow in wisdom throughout their lives. They test their knowledge through practical experience as they search for truth. They are willing to learn from both positively supportive and negatively challenging experiences and see them all as feedback. They don’t limit their thinking to the authorities of their times. They are forever unleashing their own individually trusted creativity. They continually refine their senses as a means to enliven and enrich their experiences. They are willing to endure, and love to embrace, life’s paradoxes, ambiguities and uncertainties, for they feel at home within the challenging and confusing world of the unknown.


Great geniuses are whole-brain thinkers with balanced minds that encompass the inner and finer principles of the arts, sciences, religions and/or philosophies. They undergo reflection and self-assessment though questioning, which inspires them to apply their all-encompassing principles. They seek to understand how to integrate their highest aspirations into their daily lives, so as to fulfill their inspiring dreams, goals and most meaningful objectives. They show signs of functioning integrally from their highest and most intrinsic values. They apprehend in deep contemplation the pure eye of their inner being. They recognize and appreciate the interconnectedness or inseparableness of all things. They are at home in any culture and act as universal citizens. They have transcended partialities and have embraced the whole, both global and beyond. They are ever aware of their inner wisdom and penetrative light and endeavor to put it forth in a unique and illuminating form. They see can their answers before even asking their questions.

Great geniuses do not falter when the world neglects them, but they go on, no matter what befalls them, so long as there is yet a particle of their will and strength left. They are open to their experiences and flexible and tolerant of ambiguity and change. They demonstrate superfluity and blind variation. They desire to understand nature as it is, not as the world intends it. They are intrinsically inspired and self-initiated with deep interest, endurance and commitment in their field(s). They have an almost obsessive urgency to master or practice their chosen field(s). They devote time and work hard (at last 10,000 hours) for their mastery and continually grow their confidence and competence. They work regardless of distractions with or without assistance from others.

“Genius is protracted patience.” Buffon

“Genius is nothing but continued attention.” Helvetius

“Genius is the power of applying an attention. Attention, steady and undissipated to a single object, is the sure mark of a superior genius.” Chesterfield

Great geniuses maintain their emotional self-governance. They take advantage of the talents of their two hemispheres. They have enormous desires to create something original and therefore produce works that are innovative and exemplary. They are identified by their exceptional, admirable and emulative achievement(s). They are willing to go beyond traditions or conventions. They are receptively tolerant of and thrive on complexity. They are extraordinary experts or leaders in their fields, domains or skills. They desire to contribute to or change the world with or without fame and fortune. They feel autonomous, free and in charge of their destinies, and pursue the most meaningful tasks they love and that energize them. They stay true to their highest values and beliefs and are more morally flexible than most.


Great geniuses solve advanced problems for the purpose of pure individual curiosity and for the sake of social humanity. They are remarkable or prodigious performers and at time accomplish vast intellectual or other feats. They are outstanding in their levels of creativity and productivity. They demonstrate exceptional intelligence and often, but not always, have high IQ scores (120-190).

  • Mega Society 1/1,000,000
  • Prometheus Society 1/11,000
  • Vertex Society 1/11,000
  • One in a Thousand Society 1/1,000
  • Int’l Society for Philosophical Enquiry 1/1,000
  • Triple Nine Society 1/1,000
  • Cerebrals 1/300
  • Poetic genius 1/200
  • Intertel 1/100
  • Mensa 1/50

Great geniuses generally specialize in one discipline at least initially until they have mastered it and then go on to pursue their broad, versatile, polymathic interests. They tend to focus on their initial area of mastery for at least 10 years. They require both nature (born genetically) and nurture (taught environmentally) to fulfill their ends. They generally require some social interactions along their way. They achieve great eminence and leave a lasting legacy through time.

“The function of life is to bring about … the creation of genius, the development and elevation of superior personalities.” Friedrich Nietzsche

“Talent hits a target no one else can hit. Genius hits a target no one else can see.” Arthur Schopenhauer

All true thoughts are like flowers, which carry with themselves the seeds of further riches of the mind. But unless a human being can link their written thoughts with the everlasting wants of others, so that they shall draw from them as from clear and sparkling wells of living water, this is no more immortality to the thoughts and feelings of the soul and mind than mere bones and muscles. Elevated thought gives luster to virtue and dignity to truth and therefore holds communion with the gods. The awakened mind is like a bottomless well; one may well draw continuously from it, and the more one takes, the more clear and fruitful will that well become. The higher the realm from which flows the inspiration, the more profound it will be and the more it will quicken and refresh the human being whose mind is parched for wisdom.

  • May you read the writings of great geniuses.
  • May you view the paintings of great geniuses.
  • May you listen to the music of great geniuses.
  • May you feel the sculptures of great geniuses.
  • May you sit before the footsteps of great geniuses.
  • May you stand upon the shoulders of great geniuses.
  • May you awaken your own genius and become one of the great geniuses.


About The Author

Dr. John Demartini, one of the world's leading authorities and educators on human behavior and leadership development, is the founder of the Demartini Institute, which offers an extensive curriculum of more than 76 courses on self-development, life mastery and leadership. Demartini's knowledge is the culmination of 46-plus years of cross-disciplinary research, and he travels internationally full time, addressing audiences in media, seminars and consultations. He is the author of more than 40 self-development books, including the bestseller The Breakthrough Experience, and he has produced numerous audio CDs, DVDs and online programs discussing financial and business mastery, relationship development, health and healing, the art of communication and inspiring education and leadership. Demartini has been featured in film documentaries such as “The Secret,” “The Opus,” and “Oh My God” alongside Ringo Starr, Seal and Hugh Jackman. He has also shared the stage with influential educators Stephen Covey, Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Steve Wosniak, Tony Fernandez and Donald Trump. He has appeared on “Larry King Live,” “The Early Show” and “Wall Street,” as well as in the publications Shape, Leadership, Success, Prestige, Entrepreneur and O. For editorial consideration, please contact editor@jetsetmag(dot)com.

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