We are often asked to consider what we are capable of achieving. And inspirational stories encourage us to look beyond our perceived barriers to reach the “next level.” But do we really have a hidden genius inside of us? Just ask Jason Padgett.
Padgett never finished college. He was much more interested in partying than studying, and he demonstrated no significant abilities in any subject area. Then his life changed after a near death experience.
He was brutally beaten by muggers outside of a bar, a traumatic experience that resulted in a severe brain injury. As Padgett recovered, he suddenly had the ability to see numbers and formulas everywhere, and he was motivated to draw awe-inspiring geometric shapes. He went from partying to tackling complex mathematical formulas.
According to the most recent issue of Mental Floss magazine, scientists have studied Padgett, now 41 years old, for many years. His case suggests that it’s possible, at least in principle, to find our inner genius.
That does not necessarily mean that we are under-performing unless we achieve the status of Rhodes Scholars. What it does imply is that we are most likely better at limiting our potential than developing it.
While we may never sit around the breakfast table working complex mathematical formulas in between bites of oatmeal, we can certainly develop our abilities as dentists, accountants, artists, writers, etc. Not to mention developing ourselves as compassionate human beings.
As the motivational speaker Wayne Dyer once said, “You’ll see it when you believe it.” Fortunately, the distance between where we are in life and where we want to be is not as far as we sometimes think.