disruptors. use the tools that geniuses uses to change your thinking. book blast

By Craig Copeland

During the entire writing process and the fourteen years of research for my latest book, Disruptors: The Gateway to Genius Level Thinking, two questions nagged at me… Am I really an authority on genius, and does everyone (as I propose) really have genius within them?

Well, to answer the first question, I had read everything I could get my hands on regarding the topic of genius (over 30 sometimes fascinating, sometimes mind-numbing books), and interviewed, spoke with, and volleyed ideas and philosophies back and forth with experts and educators in the field, and worked out and vetted the concepts like a mad scientist to discover the true essence of genius.

As for the question, do I think that everyone possesses qualities of genius, my answer is a resounding yes! Unfortunately, for many, it’s often buried under a thick layer of self-doubt, limiting beliefs, and the propaganda of a society based upon influential marketing and the obsession to chase money.

The good news is that with a little work and effort we can regain those deeply hidden gifts that we covet and admire when we see someone show proclivity towards gifted talent, whether in sports, arts, entertainment, design, engineering, math, science, music, or medicine. There are still those outliers who show us a different, new, and often better way to live, act, and think.

And it gets even more interesting as I dug deeper in my research. Turns out that the idea we have of genius is not genius at all. This counterintuitive premise through me for a loop, initially. Turns out that IQ is not genius. According to five of the top scorers in Mensa, an organization of individuals with high IQs, that aims to understand intelligence, these five people say that intelligence has nothing to do with genius or exceptional gifts of heightened creativity. What? Did I hear that right? This turned out to be the catalyst that changed my direction and my research.

What’s the objective?

So, let me get this straight. I do not have a high IQ, I don’t qualify for an organization like Mensa International, I was even bad at math and most of my school courses, yet, I could still be considered a genius? Sign me up!

Okay, now my objective was to figure out what genius really was, how it works, and how to access it… at any time. Initially, I felt like those first explorers, navigating the icy waters of the Antarctic. So I donned my warmest fur-lined coat, got some dried beef and salmon jerky, and some good snow shoes, and I began my ascent to discovery of understanding genius.

My breakthrough came when I looked into what IQ was, in the form of an Intelligence Quotient test. The one Lewis Terman of Stanford had devised from the original Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales. This became the key to unlocking my whole paradigm shift.

It turns out that there are two primary styles of thinking. Uh. Imagine that. One is based upon rational thinking, which includes logic, reasoning, analytical analysis, conceptual, practical, or critical thinking. And it doesn’t account or test for creativity.

The other is intuitive thinking. This is where genius is nurtured and thrives. Here the different types of thinking include, creative, imaginative, divergent, philosophical, curiosity, wonderment, experimental, and explorative thinking. It’s the realm where connecting unlikely things is possible.

The Framework

Now I had a wonderful new framework in which to explore and theorize. And since genius is no longer bound to outdated ideas of intelligence, the next piece of the puzzle to solve was to figure out if everyone has access to these intuitive traits. 

Well, according to several notable sources, such as Sir Ken Robbinson, educational and creativity expert, Dr. John Land, and Dr. Beth Jarmen, who designed a seminal test to find the best minds in science and engineering for NASA, they all came to the conclusion that up until the age of eight years old, before our educational systems teach it out of them, children, starting at the age of five years old, scored a ninety-eight percentile for heightened creativity.

What this means is that early in our upbringing, this is a natural, and default style of thinking we all are born with. And furthermore, it is taught out of us by around the age of eight to ten, and here is the most interesting part… those we refer to as gifted, unique, radically different, have somehow been able to maintain their levels of genius thinking, regardless of how much society has tried to weed it out of them. 

I went back through history as far as the earliest known geniuses, Pythagoras, who showed us that the universe is sun-centric and not earth-centric as had been originally surmised, or Copernicus, who challenged the old idea that the earth was flat, these people and many more showed us that thinking different is what changes the world.

And because their ideas and concepts were so radically different than the conventional wisdom of their times, I labeled these unique individuals as Disruptors

In order to really get a concrete concept together, I then had to differentiate another loosely used term, mostly in the business realm, of the use of the term innovation. Many have incorrectly combined the two terms, disruption and innovation together, calling some radical idea a disruptive innovation, when in fact, an innovation is nothing more than an improvement on an existing idea, product, or concept, whereas disruption is creating something from nothing. The best way to differentiate the two is that innovation is typically a funneling down process to weed out and arrive at the best conclusion or concept, whereas disruption is a divergent thinking process which initially draws no sound or fundamental conclusions. It is only after society has adopted the idea of a new direction or standard of thought into its practices, that something becomes a viable disruption.

The third part of the equation was to understand what blocked people from accessing their own disruptive genius, and how to overcome those obstacles. 

I continued to dig and decided to look at people’s beliefs and where they originate from. And the farther back I went, the more absurd some of our beliefs became. 

Dragons and Demons

Way, way back, early on, we used to believe in dragons and demons. We believed in witches, multiple gods who caused the earth to shake, who gave us fire, and created mankind out of sand. Later on, we used to believe in trephining, drilling holes in someone’s skull to release the demons, we thought radium in candy and drinks was good for us, opium was sold over the counter in pharmacies, four out of five doctors recommended Camel cigarettes, and cocaine was acceptable in soft drinks. Women couldn’t smoke in New York and in some states, it was illegal for women to ask for a divorce. We believed in slavery, and some promoted the idea of eugenics.  

These backwards ideas became our beliefs and our belief systems. We weren’t born with it, just as a child isn’t born with prejudice, it is taught and imparted to us by our tribes, society, social groups, political and religious affiliations, and over time we incorporated this limited thinking as our own thinking style.

The good news is that once something is recognized and understood, it can be changed and even irradicated. So, now I had an idea of what keeps people from accessing their most important thinking style. And this is not new information. Einstein said something about this years ago:

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”

And because this concept is not new, then we know it’s possible that others acknowledge the distinction between rational thinking and intuitive thinking as well. Now we have an agreed upon place to begin changing this for the better.

The Final Piece

The final piece of the puzzle in writing my book Disruptors, was that I didn’t just want to point out what genius-level thinking is, I wanted to give the reader the tools and attributes other disruptors have used to change the world for the better. With a little time and effort, I was able to create a template of the eight disruptive attributes that these geniuses have all displayed, allowing them to think differently, connect unlikely dots, and to explore and discover what is out there. And now everyone can have access to these same radically beautiful tools. 

I have enjoyed the discovery process, even though it has taken many years, and now my idea is to inform and teach as many people as will listen and be opened to their own path of possibility. This is now what gives me the most joy and sense of purpose. This is my own disruptive journey.