Non-achievement or low achievement of the gifted adult.
Whether we’re talking about the child with the high IQ who plays around in class, or the adult with the brilliant strategic insight who can’t stand another meaningless meeting, gifted people frequently and ceaselessly underachieve. They can be the despair of their friends and colleagues. Over and again they are told: “I don’t understand it! You could be running the place if you’d only get your act together.”
“Getting their act together,” however, is not something gifted people are likely to do as long as it means conforming to someone else’s half-baked notion of the way things should be. It’s not that they don’t understand what’s going on, (though if they’re into self-blaming they may hide the truth from themselves) it’s that they understand too well.
When you can see that your teachers, your bosses and your colleagues all lack the vision, intelligence and courage to do what’s needed, you give up. You know you’re not going to be able to move the organization the way it needs to go so what’s the point?
There is a point, which is to honor yourself by doing what you can rather than demanding of yourself that you achieve the impossible. But that has to do with the next sign of gifted ‘neurosis’: perfectionism.
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