Most of my life has been a failure. Often I’ve felt like the dumbest guy in the room, the most inept, the least accomplished/knowledgeable/ important. And yet, there are times, fleeting perhaps, where I experience a glimmer of genius.
Not Albert Einstein kind of genius. Nor Stephen King, or Abraham Lincoln. Some people just rise above the rest of us. No, not that level of genius.
But genius in its own right. Pulling a factoid out of the one neuron in my head that has been storing the information for decades waiting for this very moment. Early in my life it was knowing that Jefferson Davis was president of the Confederacy in the Civil War, answering the trivia question that perhaps was the last time I impressed my older brother. That sort of genius.
But also another kind of genius. Knowing how to get back up on my feet after a fall. Failing, yet rising. Getting lost, yet finding myself. Breaking up, yet getting together anew. The kind of genius that keeps you moving forward despite setbacks.
There are times when pure genius – that brilliant idea that changes the world – pops into my head. Okay, maybe not changes the entire world, but changes my world significantly.
Sometimes genius is just that glimmer…and sometimes, just maybe, the genius is much, much bigger than I ever thought imaginable.
David J. Kent is a science traveler and the author of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, in Barnes and Noble stores now. His previous books include Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity (2013) and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (2016) and two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate.