When I was a young boy, I use to wish I were a genius, thinking life would be so much easier if I was truly brilliant. However, lately, I have changed my mind and here is why.
I have a childhood friend that we’ll call Leroy who was very smart, actually a genius! Much like the fictional character Encyclopedia Brown, Leroy would read the dictionary and memorize the spelling and meaning of each word and definition there-in.
As a kid growing up, it always amazed me that he knew so much! He was always correcting my word usage, and was in many ways like having my own Mr. Spock when we hung out occasionally.
But, being a genius like my neighborhood friend sometimes comes at a steep, costly price!
You see, my friend graduated with a doctorate in chemistry. He worked hard for that degree and I’m sure he did an amazing job all the way through college!
But my childhood friend also lacks people skills and sometimes doesn’t see the obvious answers to things.
I heard from other friends in my old neighborhood that after graduating, Leroy told them that he wasn’t going to send out resumes, and that he expected companies to come and find him, instead of Leroy going out and trying to get hired. Once, I heard of the way he treated his job search, I realized that college was a big waste of time and money for him.
I also heard that he was working in my old neighborhood at a supermarket as a stock boy. Even though the source was highly reputable, I still wasn’t sure if I believed that story! Until I saw it with my own eyes!!! While driving home from visiting my parents, my son asked for a certain type of candy from the grocery store. It was 10:00pm, but I stopped anyway! I ran in to purchase it and lo and behold, there was Leroy stocking cans on the shelves.
And while there is nothing wrong with being a stock boy, seeing a stock boy with a doctorate in chemistry, stock shelves, was still pretty shocking! Being financially oriented, the first think that popped in my mind was cost of obtaining his doctorate and what a waste of money that was!
That’s when he saw me! He wasn’t ashamed (as I would have been), in fact he came over shook my hand and updates me with what was going on in the neighborhood and his life. Apparently, he was waiting for a big company to sweep him off of his feet (like Cinderella), but in the mean time, he stocked shelves and lived at home with his parents, in the basement (oh, he’s in his 30s, by the way).
So the moral of this particular sad story is… “If you are smart, make sure you also have the necessary people skills in life, and if you don’t… then develop them”! Perhaps if such geniuses as my friend were to read the book “How To Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie, it could help. After all, this book is recommended by Warren Buffett!
Do you know of any friends that are off of the IQ charts with a brilliant intellect, but largely unsuccessful? What do you think is holding them back?
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