Rick and I were discussing the death of Stephen Hawking and marveling over his famous scientific brilliance…despite having a severe handicap. It got us thinking about what causes some people to achieve well beyond the norm. Rick thinks it’s because there is something in the mind that “redirects” all its energies into a specific area.

A common example of this is a blind man becomes very in tune with his other senses…as in the case of Ray Charles. There are many such examples of this in history, Beethoven was deaf. Kyle Maynard was born with no limbs and has climbed Kilimanjaro. Charles Schultz was an educational failure and social outcast. Esref Armagan is a painter who was born without eyes…and the list goes on. The venture capitalist almost didn’t work with Jobs and Wozniak because of their uncleanliness and foul odors.

Think of where technology, music and art would be today without these people in our lives. This made me think of the oft used and desirable term describing children as “well balanced”. Perhaps we have been wrong all along. Could, well balanced, simply mean mediocre? Fits well in society but really just an average bloke. If one is able to look beyond normal we might find a bit of genius. Maybe that odd duck might just be the creator of something innovative or the next greatest discovery.

What do you think?