How to be a genius

Picture of Leigh Turner
Leigh Turner

How to be a genius: helpful advice and quotations from Deep Purple, P G Wodehouse and Lawrence Durrell.

Can we learn how to be a genius? Or how to be happy? The two are connected.

One of the keys to happiness is not to take yourself too seriously.  You can take life seriously, and your family, and your work.  You can, and should, take pride in yourself and your achievements.

But the minute you start thinking that you are a rather amazing person, and better than other people, you are in danger of taking yourself too seriously and should stop it at once. Clever people, or geniuses, who take themselves seriously risk suffering from hubris. Hubris is a concept from Greek tragedy – when someone is excessively proud, the gods punish them.

Don’t risk it.

How to be a genius - like PG Wodehouse

“Thank you, Jeeves” is an absolute corker

How to be a genius: some tips

I was reminded of this wisdom by one of this week’s three quotations, which are below.

You will, I suspect, be able to guess which one.  The other two are by the inimitable PG Wodehouse.

3 quotations

For some moments after they had gone the peace of the summer evening was broken only by the dull, bumping sound of a husband carrying suitcases upstairs.

P G Wodehouse, Ring for Jeeves

Like all young men I set out to be a genius, but mercifully laughter intervened.

Lawrence Durrell, The Alexandria Quartet

He eyed me musingly.  ‘There was a time, when I was younger, when I would have broken your neck,’ he said.

I didn’t like the trend the conversation was taking.

P G Wodehouse, Thank You, Jeeves


It follows, that if you want to be a genius, you should not take yourself too seriously; should enjoy life (“laughter intervened”) and should be modest about your genius achievements.

How to be a genius: Deep Purple’s life lessons

I have been fortunate enough to meet the loudest band of all time, Deep Purple, twice. They have some interesting thoughts on how to be a genius – in particular, why you should not take yourself too seriously.

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4 Responses

  1. Ich beziehe mich auf Deien blog , dass man sich selbst zu wichtig nimmt. Das beste Mittel dagegen ist selbstironie – man tritt einen Schritt zurück und betrachtet sich von “aussen”.

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