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Publisher's Summary

“An unusually engaging book on the forces that fuel originality across fields.” (Adam Grant)

Looking at the 14 key traits of genius, from curiosity to creative maladjustment to obsession, Professor Craig Wright, creator of Yale University's popular “Genius Course,” explores what we can learn from brilliant minds that have changed the world. Einstein. Beethoven. Picasso. Jobs. The word genius evokes these iconic figures, whose cultural contributions have irreversibly shaped society.

Yet Beethoven could not multiply. Picasso couldn’t pass a fourth grade math test. And Jobs left high school with a 2.65 GPA. What does this say about our metrics for measuring success and achievement today? Why do we teach children to behave and play by the rules, when the transformative geniuses of Western culture have done just the opposite? And what is genius, really?

Professor Craig Wright, creator of Yale University’s popular “Genius Course,” has devoted more than two decades to exploring these questions and probing the nature of this term, which is deeply embedded in our culture. In The Hidden Habits of Genius, he reveals what we can learn from the lives of those we have dubbed “geniuses,” past and present.

Examining the lives of transformative individuals ranging from Charles Darwin and Marie Curie to Leonardo Da Vinci and Andy Warhol to Toni Morrison and Elon Musk, Wright identifies more than a dozen drivers of genius - characteristics and patterns of behavior common to great minds throughout history. He argues that genius is about more than intellect and work ethic - it is far more complex - and that the famed “eureka” moment is a Hollywood fiction. Brilliant insights that change the world are never sudden, but rather, they are the result of unique modes of thinking and lengthy gestation. Most importantly, the habits of mind that produce great thinking and discovery can be actively learned and cultivated, and Wright shows us how.

This book won't make you a genius. But embracing the hidden habits of these transformative individuals will make you more strategic, creative, and successful, and, ultimately, happier.

Supplemental enhancement PDF accompanies the audiobook. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2020 Craig Wright (P)2020 HarperAudio

What listeners say about The Hidden Habits of Genius

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Click-bait title, minimal substance inside

This book is full of typical, anecdotal statements about "genius" habits that are only ever written about because they're what shallow-minded people, or at least people who don't care much for rigorous evidence, must love reading. Even though the author says on numerous occasions how "studies have shown" this or that point he's trying to make, his use of the statement is embarrassingly misleading and lacking any sort of intelligent backing.

There are a handful of good points made by the author, but mainly in his analysis of what other authors have missed in their analyses of the subject. I don't think he has contributed any original or useful ideas of his own.

We will have to continue waiting and hoping someone who knows how to present rigorous evidence to the masses writes a book in this genre.

24 people found this helpful

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If you ever doubt yourself...

If you ever doubt yourself, if you ever have moments or days where it’s just really hard. Download this book, go on a walk and listen. It will pick you up and send you flying towards your goals. I hope you have some already, but no worries if you don’t. Your dreams will become your goals by the end of this.

4 people found this helpful

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Great book

I don't agree with some of the author's choices of geniuses, as he very well anticipated in the beginning of the book. Other than that, this is a fantastic material.

Very inspiring, practically important, useful and eye opening material.

Greatly appreciated and highly recommended.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

GREAT SEMBLANCE FROM GENIUSES

I just love the narrative it keeps you "awake" and learning. I will recommend this book to anyone trying to understand the genius behavoir or to whom likes to gather data and use it to "break the ice", with uncommon, do you know...?

3 people found this helpful

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eye opening

I picked this book because I was looking for something different ..a different genre,, and a different idea... it absolutely did not disappoint!!!-- I loved listening to every last word and learned so much it was such a delightful surprise and a book that is definitely off my beaten path. this is a book that will definitely stay with me and kept me interested in an unusual way. I will NEVER look at a genius in the same way again....

2 people found this helpful

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pure sustenance for the thinking mind.

I was extremely sceptical of listening to this book.
listening to Wisconsin NPR on the radio, Craig Wright as the guest that morning. I listened to him explain the jest of his book.

it not only caught my attention, but intrigued my ever moving mind. when the question was asked "do you believe you are a genius?" my response to myself was, "I do not know, but i hope not".

Craig Wright intelligently and in layman's terms explained what it was to be a genius or to have a stroke of genius.

my answer after reading this book? no I am not a genius, and if I can help it I never will be.

thank you for your book Craig Wright.

2 people found this helpful

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fascinating info and perspectives

really interesting. I know a few reviewers didn't like the repeated introduction of steve jobs and facebook guy types and so on paired alongside mozart and einstein and tesla. and while I agree to an extent, I still found this book an excellent read (or listen as you will).
didn’t like: comparing what’s-his-name-facebook guy to the likes of einstein or mozart. wish there was more time spent on the habits of genius, like dumbing it down for the little people (like me). while it did cover some of it, just wish there was more it.
liked: inspiring. so many interesting tidbits and facts and studies that I didn’t know and had never heard about. appreciated time spent on female geniuses whose work was mostly credited to men. impressed that he spent time on some of the genius’s negative traits and abusive behaviors. too often we spend only the time on the “greatness” and not on the reality of it still being a human being, some more faulty and abusive than others, doing all these great things. a genius can be still be a genius and a not so great person, or not so great in all other aspects of their lives.

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent book!

The narrator is excellent in this book. The writer does a very good job with the examples and the ways to make you a better genius. The only drawback is the author did not discuss the Wright brothers at all. Or Charles Kettering, the inventor of the self-starter. By the authors own definition these three people should’ve been included. But overall an excellent book

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Weak sauce, preachy material

If you've listened to other books in this genre, this is going to offer nothing new. Some of the examples of genius mentioned are very questionable and also politically motivated virtue signals. I gave up on this book when Oprah Winfrey was discussed as one such example. Not every famous person is a genius lol

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  • Samir
  • 05-09-21

Eye opening

One of the best book on geniuses.
A must listen book for all who are interested why genius is a genius.

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  • Gregg
  • 01-08-21

Clean work

It was fun listening to the audio. It felt like a game where you collect gems to the end. It has a classical music related line the whole way because of the composer's. Not boring science with facts. Has a smooth style, with loads of interesting facts.

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  • Georgios Karyotis
  • 11-13-20

Not much to learn

I bought that book because I participated in a very good coursera course by the author. I thought that I will learn some great habits of the geniuses to improve my performance, instead almost each chapter was giving examples from important persons lives which proved some habits that the author thought are important for geniuses. I really dislike the chapter 12 where author described many cruel habits of important people to show that geniuses have destructive creativity, not very persuasive argument.

Not a bad book but not a good one as well.