You are all geniuses.
“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid” (Einstein, a real genius).
You are all geniuses. But the thing is that if everyone is a genius then no one is really one. Because there is no superiority anymore. Well that’s what I want to talk about.
We live in a world based on hierarchy: hierarchy of power, of intelligence, of beauty… And in order for this hierarchic system to work we have to fit in some particular boxes. We have to have the same brain and kind of intelligence in order to compare and evaluate its superiority or inferiority with others. But what if it wasn´t about comparison but about difference?
A fish is different from a monkey. I think you will all be with me on that. The fish will never climb the tree and the monkey will never live under water. But in no way can we say that one is superior to the other.
The problem is that our educational system is made for monkeys only. If you can climb a tree: great for you. But if you can´t but can swim, fly, run really fast or anything else no one really cares.
We face the same phenomenon in our society. People are trying to fit in the boxes we give them to make the system work. We have a small choice in these “monkey boxes”, and sometimes we might even think that it is enough. But no monkey box will ever be good enough for a fish.
Let me tell you about Max. When Max was a teenager he was diagnosed as another kind of animal: a zebra. A zebra is a genius, a real one, a gifted mind, like Einstein. The problem is that he was living in a monkey world. He didn´t fit in any of these boxes and was a sad little boy and teenager because of it. He felt stupid and some teachers even said he was a troubled monkey. If only they had known he just wasn´t a monkey. Today, now that he knows what he is, Max is working to change the world and I believe that he will. And believe me, zebras already have: Einstein was a zebra, Elon Musk is one, Bill Gates, Picasso, Da Vinci…
“Be the change you wish to see in the world”- Gandhi, another genius.
Personally, I think that I am a bird. I was never really good at climbing trees like everyone else. There are not enough boxes for me but I know that right now I want to fly and try many things in my life. And maybe I am a bird now and will be a giraffe in 5 years. Or maybe I am a bird and a cat. I think that we are all a bunch of animals and no boxes will ever be enough. And that’s another thing: who we are cannot be defined by a moment in time or a particular box.
So what is talent in this alternative system? I personally believe that having talent is following your inner animal. Talent is wanting to do something and dreaming about it. The rest of it is work, a lot of work.
Don’t be afraid. Don’t think that you have enough in your box. Don´t think that you know enough, that you’ve seen enough. Succeeding in life should be about more than checking the boxes.
Find your inner animals, don’t stay a monkey. Don’t fit in, don’t sit still, and don’t ever try to be less than what you are.