Being smart is often related to being successful. It is a general perception that having a higher level of IQ ensures that you can do well in life but does IQ and success really have any relation between them?
This concept was first time introduced by Lewis Terman who set out to achieve that good IQ level is of utmost importance to achieve success. Terman in the 20th century, assembled a group of 856 boys and 672 girls on their teacher’s selection to notice that all of them had an average IQ of 151. Now according to science, an IQ level above 140 is considered genius so when he checked out his own group 35 years later, known as “termites”, the response was great as the majority was making their mark in the world. Together they had written 2000 scientific papers, 60 books and hundreds of patents.
While this stands true in the case of many extraordinary geniuses like Stephen Hawking and Elbert Einstein with their rare IQ level of 160, but there have been individuals who have achieved so much more in the world without having the required level of IQ. I mean how in the world Mohammad Ali and Ronald Reagan became the greatest? In fact in the previous example of the termites, William Shockley the guy was not selected due to poor performance in the initial IQ test, later turned out to be a Nobel prize winner.
The answer might sound clear that all of them had one thing in common and that was showing off their skills and hard work whenever the right opportunity had hit them. But there is one big case in the world of smartest human, which further reveals the truth.
Meet Christopher Micheal Langan who is claimed to have an IQ level twice of an ordinary man, which sums down to 200. Born in San Francisco, Langan had to live a difficult life as he didn’t have much on his hand to serve himself and lived with his step parents. When he finished school before his age, he got the chance to study advanced levels of various subjects. Once he went to Montana State University, he was dropped out for being a problem child in class as he could even teach teachers instead of learning from them.
Considering this, many thought Christopher would go on to live a great life and change the world but that was not the truth. At the age of 40, he had done various small jobs including construction worker, cowboy, forced armed officer and even a bouncer. In response to this, Christopher told that he was living a dual life. The sort of life in which he used to do part-time jobs in the morning and work on his mathematics formulas at night. Together he was also developing a theory called “Cognitive-Theoretic Model of Universe” which takes into account how the mind perceives the important topics like The Big Bang Theory etc.
He currently lives on a 130-acre farm in Missouri with his wife and thinks this is the kind of peaceful life he has always wanted instead of being rich or famous.
When compared with Robert Oppenheimer, the world known physicist who invented atomic bomb in world war 2 and had the same IQ level as that of Micheal Langan, both demonstrate extraordinary minds but were only applied in different ways. On one hand, when Robert worked hard to achieve his goals, Micheal was fine with what he already had.
The difference here lies is the kind of community you grow up in. As in from Micheal’s case we could see that he didn’t have similar opportunities which Robert got to excel. Therefore lack of vision resulted in less hard work and far away from the heights of success.
To spice up the recipe of success, there is one factor that we often forget and this our luck. Real pioneers like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were really lucky because both of them started at a point when computers were becoming a thing.
So looking at the lives of these people one can say that success is a fine cocktail of hard work, IQ and right circumstances. But the most important is hard work because without it even if you have a higher IQ it would be of no use.
In the real world, it’s all about what you bring forward in your circumstances and push yourself further from hard work. Sure, your IQ level can help you solve puzzles but in the end, it would be always your own creativity and vision that can help you achieve whatever you wish for in life.