Mozart On The Nature of Genius
Everyone knows Mozart is a genius. He was already writing music at the age of five, and is now enshrined as one of the West’s greatest composers in history.
Here’s what he has to say about genius:
“Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.”
— Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Genius is not about intelligence. The ability to remember and process information is only that, and it can be misguided. It takes intelligence to put rockets into space, but love to know that they should carry scientific equipment instead of nukes.
Imagination is the same, just another type of intelligence. Imagination draws knowledge from possibilities. But it too can be misguided. It takes imagination to compose music, but it takes love to compose music that is passionate.
Love shows up faithfully, day in, day out, and takes care of the thing which is loved. It waters it, gives it shelter, gives it life. Work done in love is easy, self-motivated, self-fulfilling, and therefore constant and sustainable even when things get hard.
Most people don’t focus on one thing long enough to even finish it, let alone become a genius at it. If you want to tap into your inner genius, think about what you love, what you’d love working on, what you’d love working for.
Then, pour your heart into it.