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If we a take a closer look at the people we call genius, the ones that have achieved greatness throughout their lives, we often find that they grew up in a disadvantaged matter.
Incredible people like Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, Charlie Chapin, Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, J.K. Rowling, and many more had difficult upbringings. Whether it be poverty, a learning disability, family issues, or the way they grew up — there was some sort of disadvantage they had to fight against.
This led to two things: hunger and curiosity.
These two characteristics are what pulled them by a purpose that created their greatness and genius.
If there are two things that we could do, it would be to develop those two traits: curiosity and hunger. But so many of us grew up in a society where we’re just like everyone else.
We have all our basic needs, wants, and desires that are taken care of from a young age. Your parents were probably good to you and you grew up with enough money and all the toys you wanted.
You may have never experienced true hardship or disadvantage.
But yet, when we take a closer look and read books like Mastery, we see that this disadvantage is what created the positive effect in their lives.
So, if there’s one thing that we could truly do, it would be to create constraints to make things more difficult for ourselves (as odd and counterintuitive as this may seem).
To draw the line and say, “these are the resources I’m going to work with” so that things can intentionally be a little bit more difficult.
This disadvantage will drive us to do more and be more and to aspire to be like those that came before us that did reach that level of genius.
Because, after all, a person that’s not being pulled by something bigger than themselves — a person who’s only seeking to achieve for themselves — isn’t going to get very far.
When the going gets tough, when the obstacles show up, you give up.
The difference between the disadvantaged that achieved greatness and everyday people is that their purpose, their hunger, and their curiosity is what drove them to succeed.
Not for themselves only, but their friends and neighbors. And maybe even for the sake of humanity.


  1. Mastery – Mesmerizing. Robert Greene’s Mastery is a masterpiece. A beautifully researched book with illustrative and inspiring stories that will have you clinging to every word. Your eyes and mind will open.
  2. FlowThis is more than a book. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the global leader in positive psychology, delivers his pioneering manifesto based on decades of research to show people how they can get the most fulfillment and enjoyment out of life. Read it.
  3. The Talent Code – People really seem to love this book, it’s very highly rated. I personally didn’t, but I did find it useful.