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24 Qualities That Geniuses Have In Common



I first saw this in 1980.  It was first printed in The National Enquirer. Ron Hubbard asked for – and received – permission to reprint it and distribute it. It was always one of my favorite pieces.   I have published it before.  I really like it and wanted to share it with you.


The worlds greatest geniuses have all had 24 personality characteristics in common and you can develop the same traits yourself, says an expert.

“Most people have the mistaken idea that geniuses are born, not made”, declared clinical psychologist Dr. Alfred Barrious, founder and director of the Self-Programmed Control Center of Los Angeles and author of the book, Towards Greater Freedom and Happiness.

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“But if you look at the lives of the worlds greatest geniuses like Edison, Socrates, DaVinci, Shakespeare, Einstein, you will discover they all had 24 personality characteristics in common.

“These are traits that anyone can develop. It makes no difference how old you are, how much education you have, or what you have accomplished to date. Adopting these personality characteristics enables you to operate on a genius level.”

Here are the Characteristics Dr. Barrios lists, which enable geniuses to come up with and develop new and fruitful ideas:

  1. DRIVE. Geniuses have a strong desire to work hard and long. They’re willing to give all they’ve got to a project. Develop your drive by focusing on your future success, and keep going.
  2. COURAGE. It takes courage to do things others consider impossible. Stop worrying about what people will think if you’re different.
  3. DEVOTION TO GOALS. Geniuses know what they want and go after it. Get control of your life and schedule. Have something specific to accomplish each day.
  4. KNOWLEDGE. Geniuses continually accumulate information. Never go to sleep at night without having learned at least one new thing each day. Read. And question people who know.
  5. HONESTY. Geniuses are frank, forthright and honest. Take the responsibility for thins that go wrong. Be willing to admit, ‘I goofed’ and learned from my mistakes.
  6. OPTIMISM. Geniuses never doubt they will succeed. Deliberately focus your mind on something good coming up.
  7. ABILITY TO JUDGE. Try to understand the facts of a situation before you judge. Evaluate things on an opened minded, unprejudiced basis and be willing to change your mind.
  8. ENTHUSIASM. Geniuses are so excited about what they are doing, it encourages others to cooperate with them. Really believe that things will out well. Don’t hold back.
  9. WILLINGNESS TO TAKE CHANCES. Overcome your fear of failure. You won’t be afraid to take chances once you realize you can learn from your mistakes.
  10. DYNAMIC ENERGY. Don’t sit on your butt waiting for something good to happen. Be determined to make it happen.
  11. ENTERPRISE. Geniuses are opportunity seekers. Be willing to take on jobs others won’t touch. Never be afraid to try the unknown.
  12. PERSUASION. Geniuses know how to motivate people to help them get ahead. You’ll find it easy to be persuasive if you believe in what you’re doing.
  13. OUTGOINGNESS. I’ve found geniuses able to make friends easily and be easy on their friends. Be a ‘booster’ not somebody who puts others down. That attitude will win you many valuable friends.
  14. ABILITY TO COMMUNICATE. Geniuses are generally able to get their ideas across to others. Take every opportunity to explain your ideas to others.
  15. PATIENCE. Be patient with others most of the time, but always be impatient with your self. Expect far more of yourself than others.
  16. PERCEPTION. Geniuses have their mental radar working full time. Think more of others’ needs and wants than you do your own.
  17. PERFECTIONISM. Geniuses cannot tolerate mediocrity, particularly in themselves. Never be easily satisfied with your self. Always strive to do better.
  18. SENSE OF HUMOR. Be willing to laugh at your own expense. Don’t take offense when the joke is on you.
  19. VERSATILITY. The more things you learn to accomplish, the more confidence you will develop. Don’t shy away from new endeavors.
  20. ADAPTABILITY. Being flexible enables you to adapt to changing circumstances readily. Resist doing things the same old way. Be willing to consider new options.
  21. CURIOSITY. An inquisitive, curious mind will help you seek out new information. Don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know it all. Always ask questions about things you don’t understand.
  22. INDIVIDUALISM. Do things the way you think they should be done, without fearing somebody’s disapproval.
  23. IDEALISM. Keep your feet on the ground — but have your head in the clouds. Strive to achieve great things, not just for yourself but for the better of mankind.
  24. IMAGINATION. Geniuses know how to think in new combinations, see things from a different perspective, than anyone else. Unclutter your mental environment to develop this type of imagination. Give yourself time each day to daydream, to fantasize, to drift into a dreamy inner life the way you did as a child.

©1980 National Enquirer/Transworld Features

Written By

Russell has been an Associate Broker with John Hall & Associates since 1978 and ranks in the top 1% of all agents in the U.S. Most recently The Wall Street Journal recognized the Top 200 Agents in America, awarding Russell # 25 for number of units sold. Russell has been featured in many books such as, "The Billion Dollar Agent" by Steve Kantor and "The Millionaire Real Estate Agent" by Gary Keller and has often been a featured speaker for national conventions and routinely speaks at various state and local association conventions. Visit him also at and



  1. Mariana

    January 13, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    I love how “perfection” and “sense of humor” are listed right next to each other. Some people do not understand that you need a degree of BOTH to be successful.

    Awesome list!!

  2. Matthew Hardy

    January 13, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Thank you Russell. It was kind of you to list my personality traits. I am humbled, truly humbled.


  3. John Kalinowski

    January 13, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Thanks, Russell, for posting these again. I printed a copy and hung it next to my monitor so I can try harder to be a genius this year. Have a great day! – John

  4. Robert Luna

    January 13, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    This is great and it goes along with a quote I like “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit”

  5. Paula Henry

    January 13, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    Love this, Russell! So much good stuff – I do believe though, we should learn to be easy on ourselves, sometimes!

  6. Jim Gatos

    January 13, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    “INDIVIDUALISM. Do things the way you think they should be done, without fearing somebody’s disapproval. ”

    I LOVE THIS ONE! Damn the torpedos! Full Speed Ahead!

    Thanks Russell!

  7. Patric

    January 13, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    I had never heard any of this up until now and I love it. These are my new goals for 2009!

  8. Gretchen - LifeStyle Denver

    January 13, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    Hi Russell,

    Have you read “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell? It’s a fascinating study of success and what makes up successful people. Worth the weekend!

  9. Steve Simon

    January 14, 2009 at 4:30 am

    Those positives are all good to be sure! By way of discussion, what I’ve found that might be the worst neg. trait is, “fear of loss”. Even if you have a degreeof the positive qualities that one neg. trait can leave you frozen in your tracks, or unhappy when you shouldn’t be. “Desire to win” or “potential gains” are much less dominant than “fear of loss” to many people. Just thought I would go off on that somewhat related tangent:)

  10. Teresa Boardman

    January 14, 2009 at 8:57 am

    I like this list. I am going to send it to my daughter. I think she will find it as inspiring as I do.

  11. Mark Eckenrode

    January 14, 2009 at 9:22 am

    this is worth printing out and posting next to the desk. thanks, russell.

  12. Elio

    September 2, 2010 at 9:50 am

    I’ve got 20!

  13. Dr Amedu Monday Amedu

    January 31, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    This is astonishing! Very very well researched and lovely coined together… nice nice nicely!!!

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