The Hidden Habits of Genius

The Hidden Habits of Genius

Craig Wright

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336 pages | Paperback

Examining the 14 key traits of genius, from curiosity to creative maladjustment to obsession, Professor Craig Wright, creator of Yale University's popular “Genius Course,” explores what we can learn from brilliant minds that have changed the world.

What is genius? The word evokes iconic figures like Einstein, Beethoven, Picasso, and Steve Jobs, whose cultural contributions have irreversibly shaped society. Yet Beethoven could not multiply. Picasso couldn’t pass a fourth grade math test. And Jobs left high school with a 2.65 GPA.

The Hidden Habits of Genius explores the meaning of this contested term, and the unexpected motivations of those we have dubbed “genius” throughout history, from Charles Darwin and Marie Curie to Leonardo Da Vinci and Andy Warhol to Toni Morrison and Elon Musk. What personal characteristics drove these people to greatness? Wright argues that genius is about more than intellect and work ethic—it is far more complex. And the habits of mind that produce great thinking and discovery can be actively learned and cultivated.

This book won't make you a genius, but it will make you more strategic, creative, and successful, and, ultimately, it will make you happier, by embracing the 14 hidden habits of genius:

  1. Work ethic
  2. Resilience
  3. Originality
  4. Childlike imagination
  5. Insatiable curiosity
  6. Passion
  7. Creative maladjustment
  8. Rebelliousness
  9. Cross-border thinking
  10. Contrarian action
  11. Preparation
  12. Obsession
  13. Relaxation
  14. Concentration