When Mozart was 14, he transcribed a coral setting of Psalm 50 composed in the early 1600s. A feat worth mentioning not only for his youth, but because this piece in particular was previously never written down.
It was forbidden to transcribe, and it was allowed to be performed only at particular services; meaning, after listening to it, the young Mozart went home and transcribed every note, completely from memory.
Mozart was born to perform.
By the age of 4, Tolkien could read and write fluently, soon afterwards. By the time Tolkien was a teenager, he'd been exposed to two languages invented by his cousins, and invented a new and more complex language called Naffarin, by himself. Yes, you read that right. Tolkein created his own written language.
Tolkein was born to tell stories.
The girl in this video below is Maddie Ziegler. While Sia's incomprehensible range and catchy lyrics both spearhead the success of the song sonically, it is Maddie who translated the emotions of the song flawlessly.
She began dancing at the age of 2, and even more impressive, joined her first dance company at the age of 5. Her movement in "Chandelier" was not only captivating, but I think it's also safe to say she contributed a good bit of the viewership to the video of a well-established musical superstar at the tender age of 11.
Maddie was born to dance.
What Maddie, Mozart and Tolkien share is something that lies in all of us: genius. Have you ever witnessed a spark of genius, a flash of talent so poignant it made the air standstill, or a certain flicker in someone’s eye that gave you goosebumps?
Have you ever seen an individual do something so well that it stirred something inside of you, something so special that upon watching it, you knew without a doubt in your mind that he or she was put on this earth to do that very thing?
Some call it poetry in motion, that indescribably natural gift being performed in action. Much like Maddie's performance, it’s an occurrence so flawless that a deliverance from a divine source would be the only suitable way to describe it.
You most likely have seen something like this, and you most likely paid to see it, too. What you don’t know is that you witness it every day, from the people you call best friends to the stranger across the street, for free.
We All Have Genius
There lies in us a code -- almost like a genetic cheat -- that is just waiting to be cultivated. This “code,” or “purpose” or “gift," is a possession that comes with tremendous responsibility.
We often look at Mozart and Tolkien as untouchables, and while their achievements go far beyond their respective fields, and their work considered masterpieces, the access to such talents don't.
The difference between an Einstein or a Jordan or the crazy talented vocalist that always gets the solo in your choir, is that the talents they possess have been treated, watered and well-feed from a young age, and the product you see is the reward from rigorous work ethic towards that gift.
We all have this stroke of genius; it's just a matter of paying attention to your passions and simply going with them, no matter what they are.
It’s really cool to hear stories about yourself as a kid. Your dad may have told you stories of how you always gravitated toward the Lego set as an infant. Or maybe you were the little girl whose mother used to chase you out of her jewelry; every time she put on makeup, even though you were too young to know what was going on, you would stare in awe.
The same goes for the kid who has always seen the world as his canvas. From the Crayola-inspired piece you so beautifully put together on your mom’s dining room wall at the tender age of 2, to getting sent to the office for the sketches you couldn't seem to stop drawing in science class, they were all indicators of the graphic designer you were born to be.
You do not have to be famous to unlock your genius. You also don't have to create a language or compose some of the most advanced orchestra pieces of all time. Your genius can be educating the next generation.
Your genius can be a master barista and coffee enthusiast. Your genius is what we were put on this earth to exercise, and we are constantly at a disservice to ourselves and this world when we skip a workout.
Often I hear people say they don’t know what they love or that they love too many things. To these people, a self-exploration should be in order to truly finds what moves them.
It really doesn't matter how odd or out of the ordinary it is because that "different" passion is inside you for a reason, and it may be exactly what this world needs.
It could be that we are too caught up thinking that the only talent are the Tolkiens and Mozarts when there are geniuses like Maddie who are just as great.
You were placed in your mother’s womb to hone and curate the passion that lives inside of you. Don't shy away from it or cover it up. It can be something that changes the world, or somebody else's world and most, importantly, something that makes you happy.
Photo Courtesy: Relativity Media/Limitless