Are People Born Brilliant?

Too often we fall into the trap of pigeon-holing people. We look at someone’s university degrees and label them brilliant. We applaud people based on their diplomas, degrees and PhDs. But the greatest education is one that life gives us.

You can have more degrees than a thermometer, but be distant and aloof when it comes to important things like relationships, love, commitment, understanding… I have come to understand that people don’t care how much I know, they care how much I care about them. They care about what is really important, like helping them achieve their goals. They don’t want to hear me bragging about my education or achievements.

Brilliance isn’t found in a diploma or an award, it’s found in your heart and your actions.  The word brilliance means ‘great brightness; radiance; sparkle’. The word brilliant in French means ‘to shine’. Why don’t you decide today to go out and shine some light in someone’s life.

The Truth Is Out There.

The truth is, if you deliver outstanding value to someone you will be rewarded well. But, you must deliver with honesty and sincerity otherwise people will see right through you.

Now, education is a wonderful thing, and I am not saying that it is not. Obviously there are many professions that require a high level of education to be successful in them.

We are forever indebted to the brilliant minds that devout their lives to, medicine, science and associated research.

But like sport, not everyone has the aptitude to be successful in those endeavors, not everyone is born brilliant. That said, there have been some incredible people who have achieved fantastic things in life despite not having a formal education.

A Quick Look At History.

Take a look back in history, Einstein was never brilliant at school and Edison was not much better. Many brilliant people were not considered brilliant academically. We all know the story of Thomas Edison and his development of the practical and inexpensive lightbulb. It is reported that Edison and his team went though between 3000 to 10,000 attempts to invent a practical and inexpensive light bulb.

One of my favorite books is titled, The Surgeon of Crowthorne by Simon Winchester. It tells the story of the making of the Oxford English Dictionary and the work done by James Murray the editor, his team and the thousands of volunteers that helped compile it. It has also since been made into a movie called The Professor and the Madman staring Mel Gibson and Sean Penn. James Murry was in fact an autodidact. He was self-taught and was awarded honorary doctoral degrees from nine universities. It’s a fascinating book and great movie.

It’s About Results

There is also a fabulous story told about a newly hired salesman who emailed his first sales report to the company office. It read: ‘I seen this outfit which ain’t never boet nothin from us and I sold them a lots of goods. Now I’m goin to Chicarwgo.’

The sales manager was amazed at the poor spelling and grammar in the email and wanted to sack him straight away. Before the sales manager could fire him a second email arrived in his inbox.  ‘I come here to Chicarwgo and sole them ova a mileyon.’ The sales manager then scratched his head and decided that the decision was above his pay scale so he spoke with the National sales manager and dumped the decision on her.

The following morning the sales department was amazed to see an email from the boss of the company with the two emails from the salesman attached.  The email said: ‘We bene spendtin to much time tryun to spel and not enuf tryun to cel. Lets watch them sails. I want everabody should read these too letters from Jim who is on the rode doin a grate job fore us, and you showd go out and do like he dun.’

What Brilliance Isn’t

Brilliance is not about diplomas on walls. It is about get-up-and-go, implementation,  enthusiasm, initiative, a ‘let’s get this done’ attitude, and an ability to see things that can be done, without complaining about what can’t be done. Don’t be too concerned about the brilliance you may or may not have as far as an formal education is concerned. If you have , drive, energy and are motivated, if you have a thirst to learn, then you are going to be brilliant. You can’t help it if you have all these qualities. One of my favorite quotes is from the great Jim Rohn,

“Formal education will make you a living, self-education will make you a fortune”

Jim Rohn



Think about the things in your life that are your strengths. Write them down. What are the characteristics of your life that make you brilliant and unique? It is easy to find the negatives, but I want you to make a conscious effort to find the positives and list them. Then ask the question, “Are people born brilliant”  

Until next time.

Live life