Nikola Tesla’s Intelligence Was Not a Fluke

Nikola Tesla in December 1899 sitting in his laboratory

When people think of highly intelligent individuals in history such as Albert Einstein, or the infamous Nikola Tesla. It is widely accepted as fact that these people were simply born with a gift that allowed them to accomplish superhuman levels of intelligence. However in reality this assumption couldn’t be further from the truth.

Through reading various journal entries and biographies of Nikola Tesla, he makes it very clear that his intelligence was acquired rather than being inherited at birth. From a young age, his father Milutin put the young Nikola Tesla and his siblings through rigorous mental training. Which consisted of solving complex mathematical equations without pen and paper, and memorizing long passages. These skills eventually developed a level of mastery which allowed Tesla and his siblings to memorize entire books word for word.

Photo: Courtesy Library of Congress/Getty Images

This skill set allowed Tesla to pass math tests without showing any work, leading his teachers to accuse him of cheating. The young Tesla honed these visualization skills to a level which allowed him to develop new devices and perform experiments within a reality confined to his own head. Claiming that he was unable to distinguish the reality inside his head from the reality he physically existed in.

However only when combined with an obsession for innovation did the recipe for success arise. Nikola Tesla spent only two hours a day sleeping. With the remainder of his time exclusively spent developing and experimenting with new ideas. Which allowed him to acquire a deep understanding of electricity and its capabilities during his lifetime.

It is quite obvious that Nikola Tesla was not regarded by many as a genius simply because he was predisposed to the title. In fact he quite literally shaped his entire life to fit this credential. Perhaps Tesla is considered to be one of the smartest inventors of all time because he spent over 80 years developing his knowledge and skill set.

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