Could you do genius quality work?
I know the word genius gets thrown around pretty casually these days, I certainly throw it around pretty casually. But honestly, I don't think it's very hard to do genius-quality work, if you decide to try. Most people don't try. But if you did try, I think you could do some.
What's genius quality work? Hard to define. Let's try, though. "Something that makes a large, permanent impact on an important field." That's not quite right, but it's close enough for now.
Here's the interesting point, here's why I wrote this post: I reject the notion of a person who is a "genius" - you're either doing genius quality work or you aren't. Regular, normal people (you, me) who keep trying to make large, permanent impacts on important fields are likely to do so at some point, and that's genius-quality work. Yes, most people won't try. But if they did try, they'd probably get around to doing some genius quality work sooner or later.
Now, there's a whole other level - timeless quality work. That, I'm not so sure we can just do that. That's the kind of work made by da Vinci and Socrates and Tsai Lun and Confucius. That's Special Relativity and the Parthenon and things like that. Timeless work, I don't know if anyone can do timeless work.
But genius quality work? Large, permanent impact on important fields? I think we're in the easiest era of history to do that. There's so much low hanging fruit to do - just cross-reference two important disciplines that haven't talked to each other enough yet, BAM, genius quality work. Not so hard. And I mean, you've got the whole internet at your command if you're having a hard time. You've got summaries of almost everything online and why they're important, can get quick access to almost any book through history, and you can get into contact with almost anyone for free.
Timeless work? I don't know if anyone could do that. Maybe not. Genius work? Oh yeah, certainly, if you try. What are you working on these days?