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What does it take to become ultra successful?

An ongoing study suggests that drive and persistence can only take you so far. That’s what a team of scientists at Vanderbilt found after a 45-year-long study.

In fact, some of the most influential leaders of our age had what it takes at birth: super intelligence. That means scoring in the top 3% on the SAT by age 13.

Kids who achieved this impressive feat had two main abilities in common: they could solve math problems they’d never been taught and they had exceptional spatial awareness – meaning they could remember spatial relationships between objects exceptionally well.

“When you look at the issues facing society now — whether it’s health care, climate change, terrorism, energy — these are the kids who have the most potential to solve these problems.” said, David Lubinski, co-director of SMPY, Vanderbilt University.

This article originally appeared in Business Insider.

Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

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