Laszlo Polgar on How Geniuses are Made

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2024-02-27 - 02:50

Psychologist Laszlo Polgar ran the most bizarre experiment on his kids. After studying 1000s of geniuses, He was sure that geniuses are made, not born. His attempt succeeded, and all 3 daughters ended up as chess grandmasters. Here are his 6 tips for raising a genius:

  1. Start it early Polgar suggested to start child training as early as 3 years. If you look at it, most geniuses start practicing in their field very early. Djokovic started playing tennis at 4. Magnus Carlsen played chess at 5. Michael Phelps began swimming at 7.
  2. Routine of the child Polgar believed traditional education was absolute trash. And if there were any Polgar genius school, it would do the opposite of traditional education. It would mostly focus on specializations. Here's the routine he advises:
    Laszlo Polgar How Geniuses are Made.png
  3. Don't make them feel subordinate, A positive relationship with the field is vital. Tutors must never make the kids feel they're subordinate. This means sometimes intentionally losing to boost their confidence. Children should feel their knowledge is equal to adults.
  4. The youngest sibling has an advantage, Judith was the crown jewel of Polgar's experiment. She was the world's number 1 ranked player for 26 years. It's not a coincidence that Serena Williams had Venus and Mozart had Maria Anna. Elder siblings play as much a role as parents.
  5. Rest time vs play time Geniuses normally clock in 2500 hours of practice by age 10. But not all of it is an active practice. The child needs to learn to enjoy the game and sometimes play it foolishly for active recovery. Don't make the activity competitive every time.
  6. Too hard on the kids? Polgar believed in the power of self-education. Once a child unlocks mastery in 1 field, doing it in other fields becomes easier. A skill that will serve them throughout their lives. So pushing them early in life would eventually help them.
The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones”.Β  Confucius

So even though you might have missed out on becoming a genius in your childhood, don't let that stop you from following this advice. Even an hour of specialty training in any field can help you increase your performance.

We already know that Deliberate Practice is necessary for growth, so that is something that must be kept in mind. The next thing is in the puzzle is volume, which is why adding even an hour of training a day can make wonders in a year.