Quotes about Genius and Extraordinary Ability

Most popular genius quotes

Hunger is the handmaid of genius.
Genius is sorrow's child.
Genius is eternal patience.
Genius: the superhuman in man.
Passion is the genesis of genius.


Taste is the common sense of genius.


Talent is a flame. Genius is a fire.


You can't have genius without patience.


Every true genius is bound to be naive.


Common sense is the genius of humanity.

common sense

Genius is talent exercised with courage.

talent talent & genius

To see things in the seed, that is genius.


A genius is a promontory into the infinite.
Patience is a necessary ingredient of genius.
The man of genius does not steal, he conquers.
Genius always finds itself a century too early.
Genius is only a greater aptitude for patience.


Talent is a tenant in the house owned by genius.

talent talent & genius

The essence of genius is to know what to overlook.

small stuff

Genius is no more than childhood recalled at will.
Talent does what it can; genius does what it must.

talent talent & genius

In the republic of mediocrity, genius is dangerous.


Genius, like truth, has a shabby and neglected mien.
Genius without Education is like Silver in the Mine.


Genius ain't anything more than elegant common sense.

common sense

Common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes.

common sense

There is no great genius without a mixture of madness.
A man of genius has been seldom ruined but by himself.
Genius does what it must, and Talent does what it can.

talent talent & genius

There is no great genius without some touch of madness.
There was never a genius without a tincture of madness.


Blessed the geniuses who know
that egomania is not a duty.
What is called genius is the abundance of life and health.


You can do something with talent, but nothing with genius.

talent talent & genius

Genius can only breathe freely in an atmosphere of freedom.

freedom individuality

First and last, what is demanded of genius is love of truth.


Genius is the ability to put into effect what is on your mind.


What is genius—but the power of expressing a new individuality?
No great genius has ever existed without some touch of madness.


Ridicule is the tribute paid to the genius by the mediocrities.
When nature has work to be done, she creates a genius to do it.
Every production of genius must be the production of enthusiasm.


Genius is more often found in a cracked pot than in a whole one.
Genius is formed in quiet, character in the stream of human life.
I put all my genius into my life; I put only my talent into my works.

talent talent & genius

Men of lofty genius when they are doing the least work are most active.
Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.

hard work inspiration inspirational

The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius.

the public

For 37 years I've practiced 14 hours a day, and now they call me a genius.

hard work playing music practice

Passion holds up the bottom of the universe and genius paints up its roof.


Success is more a function of consistent common sense than it is of genius.

common sense success

The man of genius inspires us with a boundless confidence in our own powers.
Genius makes its observations in shorthand; talent writes them out at length.

talent talent & genius

Towering genius disdains a beaten path. It seeks regions hitherto unexplored.


It may be said that every man of genius is considerably helped by being dead.
To do what others cannot do is talent. To do what talent cannot do is genius.


Genius at first is little more than a great capacity for receiving discipline.
Conversation enriches the understanding, but solitude is the school of genius.

conversation solitude understanding

Intelligence recognizes what has happened. Genius recognizes what will happen.
A genius is (typically) someone about whom whatever you might say will be true.
Genius is the gold in the mine; talent is the miner who works and brings it out.

talent talent & genius

Talent is that which is in a man's power; genius is that in whose power a man is.

talent talent & genius

Genius ... means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an unhabitual way.
Genius, that power which dazzles mortal eyes,
Is oft but perseverance in disguise.


Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.

talent talent & genius

A book is never a masterpiece; it becomes one.  Genius is the talent of a dead man.


Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself; but talent instantly recognizes genius.

mediocrity talent talent & genius

We know that the nature of genius is to provide idiots with ideas twenty years later.
One of the strongest characteristics of genius is—the power of lighting its own fire.
There has been no man of pure genius; as there has been none wholly destitute of genius.
Genius, in truth, means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an unhabitual way.
Genius is another word for magic, and the whole point of magic is that it is inexplicable.
The principal mark of genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new frontiers.

originality perfection

A man of genius makes no mistakes.  His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.

discovery error mistakes

Everyone is a genius at least once a year; a real genius has his original ideas closer together.
A genius is a man who takes the lemons that Fate hands him and starts a lemonade stand with them.
No one can arrive from being talented alone. God gives talent; work transforms talent into genius.

hard work talent

Every positive value has its price in negative terms ... the genius of Einstein leads to Hiroshima.
Genius, like a torch, shines less in the broad daylight of the present than in the night of the past.
One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.


Genius is expansive, irresistible, and irresistibly expansive. If it is in you, no cords can confine it.
True genius resides in the capacity for evaluation of uncertain, hazardous, and conflicting information.
Geniuses are the luckiest of mortals because what they must do is the same as what they most want to do.
It takes a lot of time to be a genius, you have to sit around so much doing nothing, really doing nothing.
Moderation is the inseparable companion of wisdom, but with it genius has not even a nodding acquaintance.

moderation wisdom

Everyone is a genius at least once a year. The real geniuses simply have their bright ideas closer together.
Men of genius do not excel in any profession because they labor in it, but they labor in it because they excel.
The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm.


Aptitude is found in the understanding and is often inherited. Genius coming from reason and imagination, rarely.


The man who does not know other languages, unless he is a man of genius, necessarily has deficiencies in his ideas.


Men of genius are often dull and inert in society, as the blazing meteor when it descends to earth, is only a stone.
To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your heart is true for all men - that is genius.


The meaning of genius is that it doesn't have to work to attain what people without it must labor for—and not attain.
In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts: they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.

art thoughts

When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.
When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign; that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.
To do easily what is difficult for others is the mark of talent.  To do what is impossible for talent is the mark of genius.

talent talent & genius

The true genius shudders at incompleteness—and usually prefers silence to saying something which is not everything it should be.
Man as an individual is a genius. But men in the mass form the headless monster, a great, brutish idiot that goes where prodded.
Common sense is only a modification of talent. Genius is an exaltation of it. The difference is, therefore, in degree, not nature.

common sense talent

If there is a such a thing as genius, which is just know- What the fuck it is?- I am one, you know. And if there isn't, I don't care.
The discovery of truth by slow, progressive meditation is talent.  Intuition of the truth, not preceded by perceptible meditation, is genius.

talent talent & genius

I have known no man of genius who had not to pay, in some affliction or defect either physical or spiritual, for what the gods had given him.
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.


These are the prerogatives of genius: To know without having learned; to draw just conclusions from unknown premises; to discern the soul of things.
Talent is like the marksman who hits a target which others cannot reach; genius is like the marksman who hits a target . . . which others cannot even see.

talent talent & genius

A man who fears ridicule will never go far, for good or ill: he remains on this side of his talents, and even if he has genius, he is doomed to mediocrity.

fear mediocrity talent talent & genius

Better beware of notions like genius and inspiration; they are a sort of magic wand and should be used sparingly by anybody who wants to see things clearly.


Who in the same given time can produce more than others has vigor; who can produce more and better, has talents; who can produce what none else can, has genius.

talent talent & genius

The principle mark of genius is not perfection, but originality, the opening of new frontiers; once this is done, the conquered territory becomes common property.
I don't think necessity is the mother of invention. Invention, in my opinion, arises directly from idleness, possibly also from laziness - to save oneself trouble.
Sometimes, indeed, there is such a discrepancy between the genius and his human qualities that one has to ask oneself whether a little less talent might not have been better.

empathy talent

There is more beauty in the works of a great genius who is ignorant of all the rules of art, than in the works of a little genius, who not only knows but scrupulously observes them.
The Artist is he who detects and applies the law from observation of the works of Genius, whether of man or Nature. The Artisan is he who merely applies the rules which others have detected.


Genius goes around the world in its youth incessantly apologizing for having large feet. What wonder that later in life it should be inclined to raise those feet too swiftly to fools and bores.
Genius must have talent as its complement and implement, just as in like manner imagination must have fancy.  In short, the higher intellectual powers can only act through a corresponding energy of the lower.

talent talent & genius

What allows genius to flower is not neurosis but its opposite, "ego strength," meaning (among other things) ordinary, Sunday-school virtues such as tenacity and above all the ability to survive disappointment.
God and Nature first made us what we are, and then out of our own created genius we make ourselves what we want to be. Follow always that great law. Let the sky and God be our limit and Eternity our measurement.
A harmless hilarity and a buoyant cheerfulness are not infrequent concomitants of genius; and we are never more deceived than when we mistake gravity for greatness, solemnity for science, and pomposity for erudition.
There is a sacred horror about everything grand. It is easy to admire mediocrity and hills; but whatever is too lofty, a genius as well as a mountain, an assembly as well as a masterpiece, seen too near, is appalling.


Eccentricity has always abounded when and where strength of character had abounded; and the amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and courage which it contained.


What might be taken for a precocious genius is the genius of childhood. When the child grows up, it disappears without a trace. It may happen that this boy will become a real painter some day, or even a great painter. But then he will have to begin everything again, from zero.


Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated failures. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

determination education talent

One of the marks of true genius is a quality of abundance. A rich, rollicking abundance, enough to give indigestion to ordinary people. Great artists turn it out in rolls, in swatches. They cover whole ceilings with paintings, they chip out a mountainside in stone, they write not one novel but a shelf full.
There are one-story intellects, two-story intellects, and three-story intellects with skylights. All fact collectors with no aim beyond their facts are one-story men. Two-story men compare reason and generalize, using labors of the fact collectors as well as their own. Three-story men idealize, imagine, and predict. Their best illuminations come from above through the skylight.
The world is always ready to receive talent with open arms. Very often it does not know what to do with genius.  Talent is a docile creature.  It bows its head meekly while the world slips the collar over it.  It backs into the shafts like a lamb. It draws its load cheerfully, and is patient of the bit and of the whip.  But genius is always impatient of its harness; its wild blood makes it hard to train.

talent talent & genius