It’s not always easy to know when we’re in the presence of “genius.” In part, that’s because we barely agree on what it means. In Roman times, genius was not something you achieved but rather an animating spirit that adhered itself to people and places. In the 18th century, Romantics gave genius its modern meaning: Someone with special, almost divine abilities. Today, we’re quick to anoint a “marketing genius” or a “political genius,” oblivious to the fact that true genius requires no such modification. In truth, real geniuses transcend the confines of their particular domains. They inspire and awe. Which is precisely why we should use the word sparingly, lest it lose some of its magic. That’s not the only misconception.
Read the rest of Eric Weiner’s article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/five-myths-about-genius/2016/10/21/ffecc73c-96e0-11e6-9b7c-57290af48a49_story.html?utm_term=.5369ada4f0b1