“Curse of the High IQ” sounds like a first-world problem. How can high intelligence be a curse? Anyone with an IQ higher than 2 standard deviations above the mean knows exactly how. This Curse of the High IQ review goes into deeper detail about this often unapproachable topic.
The average IQ is 100, with a Standard deviation of 15. 68% of people in society that fall between 85-115 and 95% that fall between 70-130. It makes sense that society is designed to serve the largest group, but those 3 standard deviations below the mean are given special care as well.
This leaves a portion of the population that, despite having amazing gifts, feels ostracized and isolated. Aaron Clarey addresses the particular struggles of this group in his book, Curse of the High IQ.
Clarey sums up the issue in one sentence: “The World is Not Meant For You.” But, in true Aaron Clarey fashion, he reminds you that it’s the only world you’ve got. It’s better to learn how to cope with the problems you encounter rather than complain about them.
Clarey states that even though someone may not have a truly high IQ, they can still be close enough to experience the effects of being an outlier in a society built to cater to the masses. When he tells stories of his high school experience, it’s similar to what any outstanding person experiences. The world may adore greatness, may envy it, but it is not designed to foster it.
This book is not an explicit “how to” guide for the high IQ person looking to navigate an education, a career, dating, or the government. Rather, what Clarey does is highlight exactly why the high IQ individual is unhappy in and with these institutions. As he details the reasoning behind why a person with higher intelligence is unlikely to be content, he drops nuggets of wisdom. Clarey shows the reader how he himself managed to cope with these difficulties through his life.
Clarey states his IQ is 138. If you follow Clarey, you know that he uses his high IQ to create a fulfilling life. A high IQ is not a guarantee of greatness or success. It simply makes these things more likely. But, if having a high IQ is generally a great perk and all one has to endure is feeling like an outsider and being misunderstood (hardly tragic or unexpected), what’s the point in writing a book about it? Why is it a curse?
Clarey addresses this in the final chapter, titled “Limiting Greatness.” The greatest contributions made to society are going to come from people that are outstanding. Trying to fit in is always uncomfortable for any person on the fringe of the population. I have personal experience with this point.
It involves the three key areas in my life—math, boxing, and writing. Various circumstances stifled my talents in these areas. First, my environment growing up stifled math skills. Second, my lack of natural ability stifled my boxing. Lastly, my writing was stifled because my ideas didn’t in. I overcame those mental blocks. Now I have confidence in these areas. But I lost so much time. Not everyone makes it through.
The best part of Curse of the High IQ is that it lets you know that you aren’t alone. Exceptional people aren’t born in clusters. The relative rarity of a high IQ ensures that these exceptional people are isolated. The world’s natural response is to play the world’s smallest violin when these exceptional people suffer hardship.
If you’re part of the High IQ club, then you should grab the book. You’ll no longer feel alone or crazy. This also applies if you are part of the exceptional talent club. Even if you aren’t and desire to be, or you simply want to develop empathy for a misunderstood segment of the population, pick up a copy of Curse of the High IQ.
Check out Clarey’s other’s books as well.