Not many people have heard about Chris Langan – Christopher Michael Langan. But Chris had a higher IQ than Albert Einstein, acknowledged as one of the world’s brightest and the best. Einstein developed the theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics; and also renowned for its influence on the philosophy of science. Einstein was so popular that his brain was preserved after he died in 1955.
This article is a continuation of our Late Bloomers Series! A late blooming adult is a person who does not discover their talents and abilities until later than normally expected. In certain cases, it happens well into retirement.
Smartest man in the world?
Albert Einstein had an IQ of 150; but Chris Langan’s IQ was so high that it could not be measured. His IQ was reportedly believed to be “between 190 and 210.” As a result of his score, he has been described as “the smartest man in America” as well as “the smartest man in the world” by some journalists.
Poverty slowed Langan down! While Einstein, raised by a rich German family, attended good schools, Langan had a tough time surviving debilitating poverty and a dysfunctional home.
Growing up, food was a luxury for Langan who owned only the clothes on his back; and his stepfather beat him for eight years. Langan took a string of labour-intensive jobs for some time, and by his mid-40s had been a construction worker, cowboy, forest service ranger, farmhand, and, for over twenty years, a bouncer.
Mary Langan-Hansen was the daughter of a wealthy shipping executive but was cut off from her family. His biological father, Melvin Letman, died or disappeared before he was born. Owing to a mixture of severed family ties and an absent father figure for her children, Mary was often pressured to adopt an economically itinerant lifestyle on behalf of her four children. This meant frequently living on violent Indian reservations in conditions of extreme poverty.
Langan later developed the Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe (CTMU) but he remains relatively unknown in many parts of the world. He said CTMU “explains the connection between mind and reality, therefore the presence of cognition and universe in the same phrase”.
According to him anything sufficiently real to influence reality must be within reality, and that mind and reality are ultimately inseparable to the extent that they share common rules of structure and processing.
Poverty may have delayed Langan’s success or its magnitude. Swadchet Sankey, UNICEF Education Specialist, said last week that the kind of environment a child grows in or is nurtured in would to a large extent affect the quality of his/her brain irrespective of the intellectual capacity of the parents.
She explained that a child’s brain develops in response to both genes and the environment, describing the process of early brain development as constantly modified by environmental influences.
The specialist further emphasised that the environment of a child’s earliest years could have a lifetime effect on him/her.
“Though biology and environment are key to brain development, the latter is more critical because no matter the quality of parental gene, if the environment is unhealthy, it will impact negatively on their brain.
Other natural reasons for delayed success or breakthrough; why some people become late bloomers, are early setback and the individual himself. Everyone has their in-born gifts to be developed but poor habits, laziness and lack of focus have killed many dreams.
The God factor requires a lot of caution to discuss because of the futility of trying to understand God. His ways are not our ways. So T.D Jakes warns people against asking God questions.
“How can you understand God with your small brain compared to who He is?” He asks.
A friend who heard the small, still voice talk back at him agrees. He had worked hard, prayed and fasted over an expectation he called God’s promise. One night as he prayed, he asked God why he had been made to wait that long. The small voice responded instantly: “You have been doing your waiting in the comfort of your home; where did Joseph do his waiting.”
“In the prison,” my friend answered aloud. Then it all went quiet! He remembered Joseph left prison straight for the palace to be a Prime Minister in God’s time – the said time or due season. When he resumed praying his focus was for God’s will to be done.
His purpose and promise
Proponents of the God factor believe that He has a purpose for every person He created; and when He makes a promise it does not fail. They explain that when success is unduly delayed in the perception of the individual, it may be because God had not prepared or modelled them enough for the new position or that they may have side-stepped God’s path for their progress.
According to one of them, when you buy a product guaranteed to last a certain period of time but find it dysfunctional you either read the manual again to ensure that you are doing the right thing or go back to the manufacturer or supplier to find out what is wrong with it.
Drawing from that analogy, he advises that people return to God when they fall out of His favour or His plan. He recalls the example of Abraham to who God didn’t talk for 13 years because he took Lot along on the way to the land God was to show him. Soon after he parted ways with Lot, God spoke to him again, making life-changing promises.
For those who are still waiting for their promises from God, T.D. Jakes warns that, “When God opens the door for you, be careful about who you take along with you.”
In many cases, when things do not work as planned or desired, it may be because one has deviated from God purpose for their life, or that He is calling their attention to retrace their steps to follow his plan. In these cases, all what is required is to stay in obedience to God.
There is so much to learn from the experience of the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Dunlop Plc, Jabez Dayo Lawuyi. He says: “One of my greatest mistakes was when I forgot about God. Of course, I paid the price. I thought that having achieved a particular thing in life I had arrived. I began to feel big and forgot where I was coming from. But of course, God called me back. At that point, I realised that I shouldn’t have done that. You cannot run from God. Pray He calls you back early.
“Given what I know now, I wish I had started living it much earlier than I did. There is no substitute for knowing God; I am not talking of knowing about God. What the younger ones can learn from that is, please, please, please move closer to your Creator in your youth. Some of you can relate this statement to a passage in the Bible.”
Jakes’ “small brain”
T.D. Jakes did not try to understand God or ask questions with his “small brain”, when he lost his job, his car, and other things at 26. Left with no money to pay their bills or even feed the family, he said he was pounding the streets in desperation one day, when God spoke to him promising, “I will not suffer your feet to be moved.”
He believed God and that stabilised him but there were no immediate miracles or job offers. “I still had to plough it through,” he recalled.
Today, he is a Bishop of a mega church with world-wide popularity. He hit the limelight through a miracle: The owners of Trinity Broadcasting Network, an international Christian-based broadcast television network, heard him preach, fell in love with it and made him a regular feature on their programmes.
Reports say when T.D. Jakes first stepped into the pulpit, he trembled with nervousness and anxiety. Speaking in front of crowds was initially quite difficult for him due to a pronounced speech impediment.
Today, Jakes rightly attributes his success to his spiritual gifts and well-honed abilities, saying, “When a person flows into God’s purpose and timing for his or her life, God can take a person with less ability and use him/her his/her to extreme capacity, just because they are willing to be available.”
The only problem with the God factor is that He does things His own way and in His own timing. That is why in our microwave mentality we complain about God’s “lateness.” Sometimes, He even works on people unnoticed, He saves their lives several times, when He has a special purpose for them.
In the example of Colonel Sanders and Kentucky Fried Chicken cited last week, God’s hand was obviously on him, keeping the poor, yet hardworking man from death for a purpose.
Pastor E.A. Adeboye
There is an example nearer home. Enoch Adeboye, General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, admits his surprise over God’s call, some people call that an “arrest” – a case where the individual is left with no choice than to follow God.
There were several instances when God spared his life for no obvious reason to him. But it is clear now that God wanted to use the boy born into poverty some 75 years ago. Today the church he leads has spread from Nigeria to 198 countries.
Among the instances God spared his life is the one in which he shared a pit with a poisonous snake. His account: “There is one incident I recall very well. Each time I remember it, I shake. Even when I wake up in the night and somehow I remember it, I shudder before I say, “God, I thank you”.
“I was very young then. In those days in our village, only two lorries ever came, so you could hear the sound of their entry far away before they arrived.
“White men were ruling us then, and there were some people digging gold in the surrounding area of my village. So the white men would come once in a while in a jeep to collect the gold that had been dug.
“In those days, if a white man killed your child or knocked down your child and he died, you picked him up and ran, saying “Thank you, thank you”, because you didn’t want to be arrested for being careless.
“They would say you were not careful with your child and could lock you up for that. We called them Alapadupe, i.e. after a white man has killed your child, you say thank you.
“One fateful day, my eldest sister of blessed memory and I were coming from the village farm on the only road leading into the village, having fun by singing on our way. All of a sudden, we heard the sound of a vehicle. Before we knew what was happening, a white man had turned the corner in his jeep and was heading straight for us.
“My sister grabbed me and we jumped off the road. We landed in an abandoned pit where they had been digging for gold. Our hearts were beating fast, thumping, because we had narrowly escaped death from the Alapadupe. Hmm, just as the beatings of our hearts were beginning to subside, we heard a sound, the hissing of a snake. A black, poisonous snake was in the pit into which we had jumped. It was very angry that we had come to disturb it.
“I froze! My heart stopped beating and I was sure my sister’s too had stopped beating. It seemed like hours, but it was only probably a minute when the snake, still hissing, crawled out of the pit and went away. See! I am still standing before you today by the Grace of God. Is there anybody who has ever had a close encounter with death?”
The late bloomers
Among the late bloomers in life are people who have their success delayed because of early setbacks and the unfavourable environment they grow up in; those who have had earlier successes blown up and have to try again; and those who have to pass through series of adversity as part of God’s plan to prepare them for higher, bigger calling. Sometimes, the delay appears longer because of the need to prepare where He is taking them.
Every individual is born with a gift or wired to achieve a special purpose in life. Success rate is not IQ-dependant. Many of the world’s famous footballers were not particularly brilliant at school; and many great innovators were indeed school dropouts.
Life’s success is all about discovering one’s gift and developing it through learning and practice with perseverance and obedience to God. That may be the only guarantee a happy ending.