Being a student myself, I know that the pressure of achieving optimum grades can become so overwhelming, that your only wish is to have a brain transplant with geniuses, such as the likes of Da Vinci or Einstein.
As inconceivable as it may seem, apart from their background and nurture, there wasn’t anything particularly unique that made these figures reach the heights they did. In fact, there were many factors that could have thwarted their success, as in the case of Einstein’s dyslexia.
I’m not going to undergo a scientific analysis of their personalities or attempt to fathom the secrets to their accomplishments, but there is one aspect of these intellectuals that I’d like you to think deeply about. This could be of special help to those who are in the delightful period of exams =D
Amongst his many impressive titles, Leonardo Da Vinci is referred to as a polymath; that is, he was knowledgeable in various fields including: the natural sciences, mathematics, the creative arts and the list goes on.
But what I find most fascinating about his wide range of knowledge is, he lacked something that we students of the 21st century have in abundance, and often take for granted: teachers.
Da Vinci wasn’t particularly schooled in the conventional sense. Instead, what made him so knowledgeable and certainly capable of passing any modern exam, is not the fact that he had better genes or a bigger brain, but that he did something that is a typical secondary-school-buzz word that has been uttered by, at least, every one of our teachers of every one of our subjects but is seldom applied.
That buzzword (or buzz phrase) is: INDEPENDENT LEARNING.
Da Vinci was an autodidact. This is to say, he taught himself the things he learnt.
Although you might not choose to venture into the world of questioning everything about everything and be knowledgeable about everything like he did, there is no doubt that even a dose of hard self-learning would do you some good.
I know from experience that the best way to learn a particularly ‘hard’ concept (even though I don’t think such a thing exists) is by understanding it in a way that suits your way of understanding, and not that of someone else (unless, of course, they understand your way of thinking, which is sadly a rarity nowadays).
So, my advice to you who are currently braving exams or, you who simply want to do some learning are, the following: pick up those books, make a comprehensive reading calendar and, apply your learning in a way that suits YOU and ensure that the knowledge sticks.
With that in mind, I guess anyone can be a genius, but let’s ponder the thought some more after we’re finished with the exams.