Category: High Ability

>Also see the High Ability site and High Ability – gifted/talented articles

High Ability, High Sensitivity, High Anxiety

High Ability, High Sensitivity, High Anxiety

“All forms of self-expression that tap into curiosities, talents or deeply held interests, when pursued to excellence, are deeply nourishing.” That quote by Kenneth W. Christian, PhD is from his book Your Own Worst Enemy: Breaking the Habit of Adult Underachievement. There are many deeply rewarding aspects of being gifted and talented, creative, with exceptional […]

Gifted Teens: Two Davidson Fellows

Gifted Teens: Two Davidson Fellows

These are two of the many highly talented teens honored by fellowships from the Davidson Institute for Talent Development. John Michael Colón, Age: 17 – His portfolio, Art as Empathy: A Study of the Syncretic Potential of Literature, demonstrates the utility of literature and art in society. He writes that although human beings want to […]

Gifted, Talented, Creative, Anxious

Gifted, Talented, Creative, Anxious

Michele Kane, Ed.D., gave a presentation on Stress and Anxiety: Helping Gifted Kids Cope – which also has helpful perspectives for us adults. She points out that stress is universal and experienced by everyone, and that “Being bright, talented, creative, motivated, smart, ambitious, and even good looking can add to the stress in your life.” […]

Developing multiple talents is an adventure - but not a sure thing

Developing multiple talents is an adventure – but not a sure thing

In this American Express commercial, Liz Lemon of the tv comedy series “30 Rock” (played by Tina Fey, who is also the creator and a writer of the show) is called on for a series of executive and creative decisions, as well as being a mom. As a multitalented, multitasking marvel, Lemon handles the demands […]

Gifted relationships: On Being "Too Much" to the Right of the Curve

Gifted relationships: On Being “Too Much” to the Right of the Curve

Posted by Cat Robson For most of my life, finding friends and work that honored my intensity and intelligence wasn’t an issue for me. I thought I was just weird and damaged and that my loneliness was deserved. “Calm down,” “You take things too seriously,” “You’re so intense.” Most people seem calm and unphased by […]

Adult Underachievement

Adult Underachievement

The ‘gifted’ label & the pressure to deliver – In his book “Your Own Worst Enemy..” psychologist Kenneth W. Christian, PhD delineates some of the most prominent patterns of thinking and behavior he has found that may lead to undermining and underachievement as adults. He notes, “Without explicit demands and support, being labeled ‘bright’ or […]

Elaine Aron: Is high sensitivity the same as giftedness?

Elaine Aron: Is high sensitivity the same as giftedness?

In one of her newsletter articles, Elaine Aron addressed the differences between giftedness and sensitivity, in both children and adults. She wrote about being the invited speaker at a conference on developing gifted children, and comments: As I discussed my talk with the organizer, Linda Silverman, I realized that in her opinion high sensitivity was […]

Does Perfectionism Help You Be More Creative?

Does Perfectionism Help You Be More Creative?

Perfectionism can be experienced as an intense drive toward excellence – or as a pathological obsession that impedes spontaneous imagination and creative play. In her post Blogging My Way Through Perfectionism, Lisa Rivero comments about Mary-Elaine Jacobsen, author of The Gifted Adult: “Jacobsen differentiates between pathologically perfectionistic obsessions or compulsions, on the one hand, and […]

 Challenging stereotypes of giftedness: What Makes You Gifted?

Challenging stereotypes of giftedness: What Makes You Gifted?

I used to think I couldn’t be gifted because I didn’t fit my image of gifted people: geniuses, successful, ambitious, confident, comfortable with themselves and basking in adulation. I figured because my personality often elicited criticism from others it meant I was hopelessly inadequate and flawed. Surely not gifted. But what really makes us gifted? […]

Harry Potter characters – Who’s the gifted one: Harry, Ron or Hermione?

Harry Potter characters – Who’s the gifted one: Harry, Ron or Hermione?

By Cat Robson Comparing myself to high achievers in the news makes me want to give up and eat chocolate. But gifted adults, and young people, aren’t just the ones who win awards and get interviewed in the media. In her article Who’s the gifted one: Harry, Ron or Hermione?, excerpted here, Lisa Natcharian examines our […]

The Gifted Ex-Child

The Gifted Ex-Child

Qualities of giftedness show up early in life and continue as an adult – characteristics such as being perfectionistic; persevering with interests; being an avid reader; having a vivid imagination and persistent curiosity; being highly sensitive and other traits. [See Self-tests : giftedness / high ability.] [Also see page on site of Deborah Ruf, PhD: […]

Higher IQ but still with challenges

Higher IQ but still with challenges

Victoria Cowie, 11, scored 162 on the adult admission tests for Mensa, above the IQ scores thought to have been achieved by Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates. Her father cites one example showing how uncommon she is: “When she was just three years old we were sitting in a cafe and she turned […]

Carol Dweck on developing creative talent

Carol Dweck on developing creative talent

Carol S. Dweck, PhD is a Professor of Psychology at Stanford University. She writes in an issue of the Duke Gifted Letter about attitudes toward giftedness and developing creative talent: *  Some people are born gifted, and others are not. * You can tell who will be gifted from early on. * Gifted children should […]

Woman interrupted: misdiagnosis and medication of sensitivity and giftedness

Woman interrupted: misdiagnosis and medication of sensitivity and giftedness

By Cat Robson. What makes creative and highly sensitive people accept, and even welcome, a diagnosis of bipolar disorder or other mental illness? Are psychiatrists equipped to recognize and support creativity, high sensitivity and giftedness? Who determines where creative intensity ends and mental illness begins? Do medications put our creativity and sensitivity at risk? Over […]

Nerds. Is it OK to have a beautiful mind?

Nerds. Is it OK to have a beautiful mind?

A review by The Week magazine of the book “Nerds” notes the term was used by Dr. Seuss in one of his books in 1950. “Its actual definition has had shifting boundaries, says book author child psychologist David Anderegg. “Today it connotes ’some combination of school success, interest in precision, un-self-consciousness, closeness to adults, and […]

Some saw me as a person with rare insight, others thought I was crazy.

Some saw me as a person with rare insight, others thought I was crazy.

Those kinds of mixed reactions [in the title] are not so unusual for exceptional, gifted and talented children and adults. “I got that whole precocious thing [as a child]. I had no reason to doubt my own abilities or not share my opinion. The adults were offended, and the kids were resentful. I was persona […]

Daniel Tammet on Labels and Intelligence

Daniel Tammet on Labels and Intelligence

An author with autistic savant syndrome, Daniel Tammet thinks the astounding abilities he has, such as being able to recite 22,514 digits of pi from memory, are not due to some cerebral or genetic fluke, but based on an associative form of thinking and imagination. He thinks differences between savant and non-savant minds have been […]

Isaac Asimov: What is intelligence, anyway?

Isaac Asimov: What is intelligence, anyway?

Quotes by Isaac Asimov from his article What Is Intelligence, Anyway? All my life I’ve been registering IQ scores like that [160], so that I have the complacent feeling that I’m highly intelligent… Actually, though, don’t such scores simply mean that I am very good at answering the type of academic questions that are considered […]

We do not fear being called meticulous

We do not fear being called meticulous

“We do not fear being called meticulous, inclining as we do to the view that only the exhaustive can be truly interesting.” — Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain Photo: FBI Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) in Twin Peaks (1990-1991 TV series), recording a memo about his investigations. Concept and photo from Slaughterhouse 90210 > Related […]

Admit your gifts: Willem Kuipers on unrecognized giftedness and identity

Admit your gifts: Willem Kuipers on unrecognized giftedness and identity

Embracing our identity as gifted and talented is not easy for many of us to do. Why is this so tough? What beliefs about giftedness get in our way? What leads to unrecognized giftedness for so many people? In his article “How to Charm Gifted Adults into Admitting Giftedness: Their Own and Somebody Else’s,” excerpted below, […]

Kids and creativity in the classroom

Kids and creativity in the classroom

By Cat Robson When I was a kid I was constantly criticized for daydreaming by my teachers and parents. Once, in kindergarten, I ‘came-to’ and found the entire playground empty – except for me, still singing and swinging, oblivious to the loud end-of-recess bell. My imagination has always been my greatest asset…and my bête noire. […]

Surprised to be gifted: the inner world of unrecognized giftedness

Surprised to be gifted: the inner world of unrecognized giftedness

In her post “to my surprise…” on her site Temporary Reality, “neighbor” wrotes about the experience of growing up gifted that many of us can relate to. [The site is apparently offline or removed.] Here is an excerpt – published here by permission: When I was little I was labelled Gifted.  God, it sounds so […]

Developing Multiple Talents - The Pleasures of Creative Polymathy

Developing Multiple Talents – The Pleasures of Creative Polymathy

Many, if not most, creative people are multitalented and explore a variety of interests in different forms of creative expression. Among the purposes of the Talent Development Resources series of sites is celebrating multitalented creative people, and exploring how they realize those many talents. In his post “That’s DR. Winnie to you: A New Child […]

Tony Hsieh: Be smart and talented, not egotistical

Tony Hsieh: Be smart and talented, not egotistical

“What the world needs is more geniuses with humility; there are so few of us left.” Pianist Oscar Levant [1906-1972] The photo is Tony Hsieh – CEO of Zappos.com, an online shoe and clothing store. Hsieh (pronounced ‘shay’) comments: “There are a lot of smart, talented people out there who are also egotistical. We won’t […]

Michael Jackson and Dabrowski Excitabilities

Michael Jackson and Dabrowski Excitabilities

Psychomotor Overexcitability is a “surplus of energy, pressure for action, restlessness, impulsive actions, competitiveness, sleeplessness.” Stephanie Tolan notes the original Polish word can be translated more literally as “superstimulatabilities” and “involves not just psychological factors but central nervous system sensitivity.” Michael Jackson exemplified a number of these qualities as a singer and dancer. See video and more […]

The gifted adult personality - too much for others?

The gifted adult personality – too much for others?

In her post Giftedness in the workplace (on the Talent Psychology site), Dr. Mary E. Jacobsen writes about some of the social challenges of being exceptional and intense, and gifted adults not understanding their own minds and unique characteristics. “No matter how brilliant they may be, gifted adults who have received inaccurate or scant information […]

Creative and rejected: Stephen King and others

Creative and rejected: Stephen King and others

You can hoard creative work, keeping it hidden from others, and some people do just that – writing a novel, for example, that remains for years in a closet. But most creators need to risk criticism and rejection to get their project seen or realized. A screenplay doesn’t become a movie by staying secret. Stephen […]

Multi-Talented but Under-Challenged?

Multi-Talented but Under-Challenged?

By Marie-Josée Salvas, Positive Psychology News Daily A good friend of mine could be the next Martha Stewart. In fact, let’s call her Martha. Martha loves to cook and does it beautifully. Guests that she entertains for dinner wow at the presentation, rejoice throughout the meal, and are somewhat embarrassed when it’s their turn to […]

Pop Culture Stereotypes of Gifted People

Pop Culture Stereotypes of Gifted People

By Sarah Williams. Pop culture as a medium always strives to focus on the extraordinary. As an escape and release from everyday tedium, it is only natural that it would gravitate towards extremes, the ends of the everyday spectrum that tend toward the fantastic, unbelievable, and unforgettable. Hence, many highly gifted characters have graced television […]

Multipotentiality: multiple talents, multiple challenges

Multipotentiality: multiple talents, multiple challenges

One of the myths of high ability, multitalented people is they can choose whatever personal and career paths they want, and realize their abilities without hindrance. It doesn’t always work out that way. In her Unwrapping the Gifted post “Multipotentiality,” K-12 gifted education specialist Tamara Fisher quotes Bryant (a pseudonym), a graduating senior who lists […]

Gifted adults are different from an early age

Gifted adults are different from an early age

One of the personal qualities that seems to be shared by most gifted children is being different and divergent – in terms of thinking, interests, values and behavior. Many gifted adults feel “wrong” or anxious about “not fitting in” even though being different can be a strength – a positive attribute. In the movie “Nancy […]

Amber Tamblyn on her gifted character on TV series “House”

Amber Tamblyn on her gifted character on TV series “House”

Amber Tamblyn comments about her character Martha: “I think you’re going to see someone who has been so much in the world of academia and knowledge that she really never progressed or matured in a social sense.” In the TV series “House,” Amber Tamblyn portrays Martha M. Masters – a “genius third-year med student who, […]

Underutilized Talents, Too Many Aptitudes

Underutilized Talents, Too Many Aptitudes

“The difficulty for me is that I’m interested in so many different things. I could never really imagine myself doing one thing” Emma Watson Arianna Huffington was described by her friend and author Sugar Rautbord [in a Vanity Fair article] as “probably one of the most intellectually seductive human beings on the face of the […]

Driven by giftedness to know more and express more

Driven by giftedness to know more and express more

Others have sometimes labeled my insatiable curiosity as obsession, and my energy and drive to create as mania. Being misunderstood, by ourselves and others, seems to come with the territory of giftedness. Linda Kreger Silverman of the Gifted Development Center explains: Giftedness creates a different organization of the Self. Impossible dreams are realized, unrealistic goals […]

Intensity of the imagination: Precious and Phoebe in Wonderland

Intensity of the imagination: Precious and Phoebe in Wonderland

The movies Precious, and Phoebe in Wonderland both have characters that make use of their imaginational intensity or overexcitability as part of their personality and a valuable way to deal with challenges in their lives. What is intensity / overexcitability? Stephanie Tolan, a writer and advocate for extremely bright children, notes the original Polish word […]

Multiple Talents, Multiple Passions, Burnout

Multiple Talents, Multiple Passions, Burnout

“I must have been crazy to have donned so many hats.” Jennifer Westfeldt Many multitalented people feel inspired and energized to pursue multiple creative projects, often at the same time. One potential downside is physical and emotional burnout. Jennifer Westfeldt wrote, produced and acted in “Kissing Jessica Stein” and “Ira & Abby.” For her new […]

Renaissance People Don't Want to Choose Only One Career

Renaissance People Don’t Want to Choose Only One Career

Many multitalented people are accomplished and active – even exceptional – in more than one area of creative expression. We read about some of them as celebrated writers, entrepreneurs, scientists, movie directors, actors, painters and other creators. But many more multitalented people are not well-known, or even able, for many reasons, to express their talents. One […]

Gifted adults in the workplace: Nerds or heroes or misfits

Gifted adults in the workplace: Nerds or heroes or misfits

By Cat Robson I’ve always been embarrassed by my history on the job. So many failed idealistic attempts to change things. So many years working at jobs where I didn’t fit and wasn’t using my talents. If I’d understood a bit more about giftedness, I might have sought out more appropriate situations. The research of […]