Daydreaming Superpower

Whitney Johnson gave me a shout out in a recent article on Mashable, “How to figure out what you’re good at (not just what you’re passionate about)”,

What made you stand out as a child?

As children we do what we love to do — even if it makes us an oddity. When you look back on your childhood pastimes, you are likely to discover an innate talent. In elementary school, Candice Brown Elliott’s classmates teasingly called her “Encyclopedia Brown” after the character in the children’s books. She recounts, “All the kids thought I was the smartest kid in school, but most of my teachers were deeply frustrated because I got only average grades. I was labeled an underachiever.” Instead, she says, “I daydreamed of having animated conversations with famous people like Madame Curie. I daydreamed of building the first true Artificial Intelligence (AI) that would reside in my bedroom closet. I daydreamed about how to build floating cities, great inventions, and new forms of art.”

Four decades later, Elliott holds 90 U.S.-issued patents. Her most famous invention, PenTile, color flat-panel display architecture, is shipping in hundreds of millions of smartphones, tablets, notebook PCs, and high-resolution televisions. She founded a venture-backed company to develop this technology, and later sold it to Samsung. As a child, Elliott’s daydreaming was considered odd by her classmates and tremendously frustrating by her teachers. As an adult, her daydreaming, autodidactic approach is her superpower.

Is there something that made you peculiar when you were young? Could it actually be your superpower?

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