Let’s look at the 3 amazing worlds of the superhuman in sport, intellect and emotion. What does it mean to have super-intellectual traits? Is someone profoundly gifted, or do they have uncommon Intelligence? Is it about profuse abstract thinking, analogical thinking, or being effusively adaptable? Here are a few cerebral topics we’ll examine today.
Who are intellectual superhumans?
How can you improve?
Is IQ important in sports?
What is superhuman intellect?
We characterize superhuman intellect as advanced cognition, enhanced Intelligence, erudite, genius, or ‘brainiac.’ When evaluating the abilities of intellectually gifted humans, we traditionally use IQ (Intelligence Quotient) as a gauge. While there is no standard IQ test, the resultant scoring tends to be similar across various test adaptations. A score of 100 is average, and 140 or higher is in the genius territory.
Iterations and revisions of the IQ test have come and gone over the years. A handful of well-known tests are in use today, including the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale, and Peabody Individual Achievement Test. Each is designed to measure a person’s problem-solving and reasoning abilities. Given that IQ tests are relatively modern inventions, there is no way of definitively knowing whose is the highest of all time. Albert Einstein’s IQ is commonly cited as 160, but that’s an approximation. It is unlikely he ever took an IQ test during his lifetime.
There are many different types of Intelligence, including logical-mathematical, visual-spatial, musical, naturalistic, linguistic-verbal, bodily-kinesthetic, and others. IQ tests are indeed interesting, but it’s important to remember that they are not the only measurement of Intelligence. They focus on specific areas of our abilities. An IQ score represents a rank order of where a person falls in a general intelligence sense among a population. While IQ does point to how intelligent a person may be academically, there are many other areas in life where someone may be better than another.
Who are intellectual superhumans?
We all recognize Albert Einstein and Steven Hawking as renowned geniuses. Both have IQ’s estimated to be at least 160. In this second part of our Superhuman series, let’s look at a few other humans considered to possess superior intellects. These examples of extraordinary thinkers include an athlete, a rancher, a writer, and a chess prodigy, among others. We can learn by studying the lives of these superhumans.
Marilyn Vos Savant, born in 1946 in St Louis, is a columnist for Parade Magazine. At ten years old, she recorded the highest intelligence quotient in the Guinness Book of World Records at 228. She’s published several books and still writes a weekly column for the magazine. She is known for her ‘Ask Marilyn’ column and her ‘Numbrix’ puzzles.
Christopher Michael Langan, is an American horse rancher and autodidact whose IQ is estimated to be between 195 and 210. In 1999, he was described as “the smartest man in America.” Langan was born into poverty and abuse. He got a perfect SAT score but never finished college. He drifted as a cowboy, construction worker, firefighter, and a bouncer. Today, he and his wife spend their days on a horse ranch in Mercer, Missouri.
Bobby Fischer, was an American chess grandmaster and World Chess Champion. Fischer learned the game of chess when he was only six. A prodigy by 14, Fischer is credited with having an incredible memory. He became the youngest international grandmaster at 15. Fischer’s IQ is reported to be 187, and he was among the greatest minds the game of chess has ever seen. Even to this day, his games are still studied. Unfortunately, Fischer was a troubled genius with mental health issues. For decades he lived in obscurity, settling in Iceland after renouncing his American citizenship.
Marion Bartoli, is a French-born former women’s Wimbledon tennis champion. Having strong problem-solving skills is essential to being a good tennis player. Bartoli once had her IQ measured at 175, which may be higher than Einstein’s! Bartoli is known for her unorthodox style of play, using two hands on both her forehand and backhand.
Bill Gates, is known as one of the wealthiest individuals globally and has been among the major change initiators in the world. He built a company (Microsoft) that stimulated the technology revolution. Having dropped out of Harvard University, his IQ is rated at 160. Gates reads about 50 books a year and can read 150 pages per hour. This is a staggering speed, given his ability for complete comprehension. Gates admits, “Intelligence takes many different forms. It is not one-dimensional. And not as important as I used to think.”
Steve Jobs, Along with his contemporary Bill Gates, was a pioneer of technology and had a considerable influence on the world. His estimated IQ is the same as Gates’s at 160. As a fourth-grader, Jobs tested at a level equivalent to a high school sophomore. To Jobs, Intelligence was based on making connections. Jobs said, “If you’re going to make connections which are innovative, to connect two experiences together, you have to not have the same bag of experiences as everyone else.”
Jeff Bezos, is an American entrepreneur, media proprietor, investor, computer engineer, and commercial astronaut. He is the founder and executive chairman of Amazon, where he previously served as the president and CEO. Like other celebrity entrepreneurs mentioned here, IQ scores are rarely public for these individuals; however, experts make estimates. Jeff Bezos’s IQ is projected to be 150. Bezos says, “The best indicator of high intelligence is a willingness to change your mind.” While Bezos didn’t invent or discover something, he was smart enough to figure out which business to invest in and which not to, and it worked very well for him.
Elon Musk, is an entrepreneur, investor, and business magnate. No public data proves his IQ, but it is assessed at 150 or higher. Experts base this score on Musk’s potential to comprehend and apply complex technical data and his ability to drive innovation in complex industries. Long before he became the CEO of Tesla, and even before he cofounded PayPal, a young Elon Musk was reading science-fiction novels for up to 10 hours a day.
How can you improve?
Why should we study superhumans? We do so to help increase our rates of improvement. Humans can harness incredible mental strength. Our brains are high-speed processors with nearly unlimited storage space. Most anyone can improve their intellect using techniques and practice.
Many super-intellectuals apply the 5-hour rule. Take inspiration from some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs and try this technique. The 5-hour rule involves spending five hours a week, or one hour each working day focused on deliberate learning. This means setting aside time to give your full attention to learning and development without getting distracted by other work.
The idea of deliberate practice is not just working harder. You’ll never see much development if you’re constantly focused on your current work rather than on long-term self-improvement. Set specific learning goals and give yourself time to achieve them.
Despite technological advances, reading remains an efficient and effective way to learn. Successful entrepreneurs attribute their capabilities to their belief in and dedication to learning. While we may not be able to replicate their lifestyles or bank accounts, we can read and study the books they believe in and recommend to us. Their suggested reading lists are incredible – Google them.
Reflection and experimentation are also essential aspects of the 5-hour rule. The act of reflection is a critical tool for learning. If we don’t know where we’ve been, what we’ve accomplished (or not accomplished), and what we aspire to, we may wander through life. Experiment with new ideas and concepts – no matter how ‘out of the box’ they may feel. Only through our experiences, making and accepting mistakes, can we draw our conclusions to move forward. Experimentation fosters imagination and flexibility of mind.
Is IQ important in sports?
Athletes and people who exercise not only have better bodies — they have better brains, too. Many studies have now firmly established that regular exercise can protect the brain. Exercise can stimulate brain cell growth and cranial nerve connections. Participating in sports can have multiple mental benefits like improving attention span, increasing learning capacity, and decreasing stress.
A sport like tennis can enhance a player’s intrapersonal, interpersonal, logical, and bodily-kinesthetic Intelligence. Intelligence can be a significant element that often defines victory because the sport requires accurate and rapid thinking to anticipate the opponent. In addition to improving gross and fine motor skills, balance, agility, speed, and strength, many sports require mental development of timing and spacing. Studies show that elite athletes have greater visual, perceptual, and cognitive abilities than non-athletes. Sophistication and intellectual rigor contribute to elite athletic performance. Whether it’s equipment, nutrition, training, hydration, or mental stamina, athletes meticulously and intelligently seek their edge.
By contemplating the three categories of super-abilities (sport, intellect, emotion), we widen our lens aperture to help us grow as humans. We’ll complete our superhuman series in the next blog by considering extraordinary examples in the emotional realm. Begin to imagine which of these three would be most important to you. If you could be average in two and superhuman in one, which would you pick? And why?
Last weeks blog: The Amazing Willpower of Super Humans in Sport.
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Be well, my friends,