My mother is a genius. Literally, I am not making that up. As a biochemist at a top research university, she has supplanted her place in history.

I am not a genius. Far from it actually. My IQ is quite average, not that I have ever measured it. I am just making assumptions. Why am I not a genius? According to popular myths, intelligence is supposed to be one of those traits we get from our parents.

This thought sparked my curiosity and I have been voraciously researching the science of learning. My conclusion is this: She worked a lot harder than I was willing too. Ironic it took me 24 years to figure that one out right?

Peak by Anders Ericsson really cemented my opinion on the subject. Everyone, I’ll type that again, Everyone has the ability to be world class. Ericsson talks in depth about DELIBERATE practice. This is not the “read a textbook simply to gain knowledge”. It is the in-depth analysis of text to cement UNDERSTANDING of a subject. The same applies to sports, music, and life.

My mom was willing to get academically uncomfortable when I was not. She worked to that threshold of discomfort and over the course of a few decades became extremely smart.

Some of us are innately curious and want to acquire as many skills as we can. This is where I realized my “intelligence” was. I am not a science-minded individual. Do I know how a muscle contraction works? Yes. Do I understand the dynamics of a molecule? Absolutely not. My curiosity is what drives me these days. The more curious I am, the more uncomfortable I am willing to get. I have climbed mountains, fallen out of the sky a few times, lifted double my body weight, finished multiple marathons and learned two languages. All because I was curious.


The quality of our life is determined by the standards we set for ourselves. Talent and potential are words people who are afraid to get uncomfortable use to make themselves feel better about their situation.

Get after it!


Like what you read? Give Joshua Kerwood a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.