February 16, 2021
As humans, we tend to be fascinated with certain groups of human outliers, like Olympians, the extremely wealthy, and, definitely, geniuses. Genius cannot be predicted by standardized tests, IQ, or prodigy. But there are some common denominators, or “enablers,” of genius. We talk about what they are, and what we can learn from them and adapt to our own lives, habits, and behaviors. Bonus: Tips for those who live or work with a genius!
I may have shared before on this show that I am a total library nerd, and have an RSS feed where I can see new books that my library has ordered. And there was a title that caught my eye several months ago, called The Hidden Habits of Genius: Beyond Talent, IQ, and Grit – unlocking the Secrets of Greatness. I immediately ordered the book, and thoroughly enjoyed every moment of reading it. It is written by a musician, and takes a look at many musical geniuses, and geniuses who were musical, including Mozart, Einstein, Galileo, Igor Stravinsky, and Sir Paul McCartney.
I have the author with me today. Dr. Craig Wright has published seven books on music and cultural history, the most recent being The Hidden Habits of Genius; it was published in October 2020 and was an Amazon Top-20 Book Selection for 2020. Craig has multiple degrees from Harvard, including a Ph.D. in musicology. He has taught at Yale for more than forty-five years; during that time he developed a popular course called “Exploring the Nature of Genius.”
- Wright mentions an academic joke in his book: “The A students get hired to teach in the universities, and the B’s get relatively good jobs working for the C’s.”
- We discuss common denominators, or markers, of genius; which ones we can and should emulate; and which ones we should NOT adapt!
- Craig Wright website
- The Hidden Habits of Genius: Beyond Talent, IQ, and Grit―Unlocking the Secrets of Greatness
- Other books by Dr. Craig Wright
- Wright’s free course on Coursera: Intro To Classical Music
Dr. Wright discusses his relationship to Dvorak’s Symphony 9, and the memories it brings to him, and how “music is an invitation.” He plays a piano reduction of the opening of the Symphony’s 2nd (Adagio) movement.
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