What makes a person a super-genius?


Ok, so it’s a big question.
Because there are loads of elements that make a person a super-genius.

But there’s one thing that is guaranteed to stop you from becoming brilliant.

That one thing is the inability to take feedback.

Feedback as in brutal feedback
Feedback as in things you don’t want to hear.
Feedback as in ‘things that make you feel like crap’.

Super-genius is built on such crappy moments
The stars in any field are those that shut up when feedback is being given.
They don’t defend themselves. They just listen. They take notes. They then sit back and do an analysis of what’s being said.

They feel crappy just like you do when you’re being criticised.  🙁

But super-geniuses are super, because they realise that the people giving the feedback aren’t petty.
That the feedback is actually a mechanism to help the genius go up to another level.

So super-geniuses tend take the feedback.
Then they do something that most people don’t.
They correct their actions.
They self-correct.
And they seek more feedback.

But the average-Joe is average because they live in ‘testimonial’ land.
They want people to say nice things about them.
They’re not really interested in feedback.
They’re not really interested in hearing stuff that makes them feel like crap.
And even if they do listen—which they almost never do—they never implement the self-corrective measures.

And so they stay where they are.
Stuck. Unsure. Disheartened. Unwilling to take the brutal feedback.

Brutal feedback is um, brutal.
If you want to become a super-genius, you can’t duck, or weave.
Take the punch. And then self-correct.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }


Hi Sean,

You are right – feedback is useless when you don’t use it.

But there are people who have issues with their self confidence. They’re never sure that they have done something well. Before they are able to take the brutal feedback, they need to know where they stand, what they are good at.

I’m kind of like that.

So a few days ago I asked (inspired by Perry Marshall) several co-workers for what they see as my unique (positive) ability. To help me understand what things I do well.

And even though I asked for positive feedback, it wasn’t an easy thing to do.

When I told my manager, he was surprised about that. But he shouldn’t be – I don’t see (m)any people seriously asking for feedback – whether it be positive, or negative.

So when it is so hard to ask for positive feedback, it is no wonder that people are even more scared about brutal feedback.



I understand that you’re afraid to ask for feedback, be it positive or negative.
But here’s the problem: your self-confidence isn’t going to get better in a month, or a year, or ten years.

In fact, it will progressively get worse.
As you age, you get less confident, not necessarily because your brain gets slower (it does marginally get slower) but mostly because your body gets slower. You recover slowly. And so you may tend to make more mistakes. Of course, your self-confidence takes a massive beating. And continues to go downhill.

If you have issues with self-confidence, it’s best you do something about it right away.
And feedback is never easy to take, so it’s best you start learning how to take it more often, no matter how you feel about things.
The more feedback you take, the more you get used to it, and the more you have control over it.

Brutal feedback is hard on even the world’s best performer.
But they take the feedback, because they’ve stepped right up and decided to take it.
It’s not a magic trick. It isn’t an inborn trait. It’s a learned skill.
And to become learned at anything, you have to start working at that skill, right away.

Super-Genius (IQ 187+ [ceiling])

“But there are people who have issues with their self confidence. They’re never sure that they have done something well. Before they are able to take the brutal feedback, they need to know where they stand, what they are good at.”

Being unable to take feedback is unrelated to prior knowledge of their strengths. What holds people back from maximizing their potential–by means of petitioning for critical evaluation–is *not* the lack of an assured skill, meant to uphold their sense of value should efforts in another pursuit fail under pointed critique. Instead, one’s hesitancy to invite plainspoken analysis comes about when their facility for learning is in question. So long as one can always find a way to understand *why* they failed, and through failure’s passing reimagine their approach to factor experience into the probability for success, inadequacy will always be temporary. Only those unable to apply fundamental modes of logic to problematic situations and, most importantly, identify ownership of that very incapacity, need fear failure as a fatalistic inevitability.

But, even those whom understand well enough their inabilities are in a position to change them, as well! One’s logical competency is largely influenced by their IQ (intelligence quotient), something modern psychometricians prefer to call “fluid intelligence,” or the “g” factor: a poorly-defined theoretical amalgam of informational processing speed (how fast your brain retrieves, compares, and complexes information), short-term memory capacity in terms of depth (the ability to hold information over long-enough periods of time to form highly abstract concepts from simpler, discrete inferential data) and breadth (the ability to synoptically assess multiple bits of information of varying degrees of complexity), and creative impetus (the ability for core processing–its theoretical facilities previously described–to shape/be shaped by emotive impulses). Insinuative as its complex definition suggests, IQ is heavily influenced by hard-wired biological substrate. Nevertheless, every assertion, sentence or, more abstractly, state of existence is inextricably linked to the modes of logic prompting its being. We understand it in terms of the “laws of physics” or “mathematical tautologies;” no matter the title, any situation you can conceive can be translated into a logical phrase, or a set of phrases. Simply put, modes of logic can be LEARNED and stored like heuristic shortcuts, apropos to the types of problems frequent in your lives. Although a higher biological IQ will better facilitate the quick apprehension and correct application of these logical heuristics, so long as you possess a brain of at least marginal functionality you can acquire these tools; it’s hardly any surprise you do it without direct intent each and every day. It’s also no surprise, then, that by identifying its usefulness, the areas in your life where such tools would be pertinent, and the fact you desire acquisition of heuristics for the probability of greater life enjoyment that your progress can be multiplied with continued, *pointed* questing to improve salient logical functionality.

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