Wednesday, August 28, 2013


You know deep down that you have what it takes to succeed in the workplace, at school, at home and in your community. You know it's true even if nobody else seems to know or care. For too long, educators and psychologists have hailed the value of the intelligence quotient (IQ). Did you know that it was Alfred Binet, a French psychologist, who created the first IQ test in 1916? This means that the greatest minds, before the 20th century, were never formally assessed. Yet a group of psychologists and educators created a test to measure things like attention, memory and problem-solving skills to identify greatness or at least genius. Of course, the beauty of this test was NOT in the questions or tasks, but in the fact that it was given to millions of individuals and the results used to create a normal pattern.

The IQ is in reality a test that measures how any single individual performs in comparison to a larger sample size (representative of the total population). This doesn't mean that it was universally accepted. From the beginning and over the years, criticism has focused on the lack of true diversity of the sample used to create "norms." Then there is the claim that IQ tests claim are a reliable predictor of future performance or academic success. Today, a form of testing is even used by employers to predict how well potential employees will perform.

If the IQ score were easily determined and fixed over a lifetime, it would be an acceptable indicator worthy of being measured. Not everyone agrees. Much research has shown that IQ tends to change and fluctuate as a response to learning and multiple environmental factors. Sometimes the score can fluctuate by as much as 15 points. These fluctuations can be enough to suggest mild-retardation or genius. In my experience, there is one human quality more worthy of consideration as an indicator of potential academic and occupational success - curiosity.

I remember learning about the formula CQ+PQ > IQ from Thomas Friedman. In brief, the formula states that the sum of the Curiosity Quotient and Passion Quotient are greater than the value of the Intelligence Quotient. Let me state it more plainly, Curiosity and Passion are more a predictor of success than Intelligence! This idea has not been researched or formally debated in the hallowed halls of academia. However, some of the greatest minds of all time have remarked about the importance of curiosity and passion over intellect.

Christopher Columbus, Galileo Galilei, Isaac Newton, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Rene Descartes, Louis Pasteur, Abraham Lincoln, Voltair, Walt Disney, Eleanor Roosevelt, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Daniel Boone and Ai Weiwei are among the many who changed the world with their curiosity and passion. Most of these great thinkers even commented that their successes could be directly attributed to their curiosity.

So, when you start questioning whether or not you have "the right stuff" … just remember that inside you resides the qualities that make men and women great. Remember that curiosity and passion can be inspired, nurtured and cultivated. Ask questions. Seek answers. Aspire for something bigger than anything you have ever known. Awaken your genius within.



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