I was just thinking that today may be a good day for quiet reflection but then I got the calling to write this.
It is unfortunate that the most intelligent among us may not always lead successful lives. In fact to me the more intelligent you are the more difficult it is to do that. The road to success is not easy and it is very very easy to get lost. And it seems to me that the more intelligent you are the better you are at losing your way. That is why so few make it, despite their intelligence (or maybe because of their intelligence).
When I talk to our National Junior players I marvel at their inventiveness at finding excuses. My son included. So many compelling "reasons" not to do the work but wanting the prize at the same time. In the first place it is not easy to reason with highly intelligent people as they can find so many inventive ways to run away, so many "intelligent" excuses.
In chess we find some of the most intelligent people in our country. But there is more. When I started attending chess tournaments I noticed that the pressure to win is akin to the highest level of pressurised negotiations I have ever been involved with in my business life. But in chess it starts at such a young age. So I've been observing. Are they equipped to handle this level of pressure without the right guidance & preparation? I don't know many adults who can.
Of course I am not talking about hobbyists. I am talking about those that are going for the titles, the medals. I think the combined forces of high intelligence added to unresolved imagined fears is a potent mix for damage.
So are we managing our most gifted minds properly? What are the results telling us? I call this the intelligence trap. And I wrote about it here.