In Dean Keith Simonton's book, "Origins of Genius: Darwinian Perspectives on Creativity" he points out that a genius sees things no one else does. The genius notices patterns or discrepancies that are not obvious to average minded people. Geniuses are much more aware of their surroundings in the field of their genius. The do not accept or take for granted things that other people do. They question why things are the way they are.
Exceptional or original problem solving is an indication of genius. In Andrew Steptoe's work "Genius and the Mind: Studies of Creativity and Temperament" he notes that a genius comes up with ways to do things that no one has thought of before. Geniuses develop theories and hypotheses that never occur to average minded people.
A genius is extremely focused on problem solving. In Dean Keith Simonton's "Greatness: Who Makes History and Why" he writes that some personality traits predispose certain people to greatness. Among them, the tendency to become obsessed with solving a problem at the expense of other things in their life. It is often not acceptable to the genius mind to let a problem go and stop thinking about it.
Big Picture Genius
A genius connects things in original and unique ways. Geniuses can bring together seemingly unassociated elements and make them work in unexpected ways. They can see the entire situation and not just the part that is right in front of them.
Multi Tasking Genius
A genius sees a problem from multiple points of view simultaneously and develops multiple solutions. Geniuses have the ability to think through how their theories might work before actually trying them. This complex higher level thinking is indicative of genius.
Geniuses often have the ability to make complex concepts simple. They can see through situations that seem Byzantine to average minded people and pull out clarity.
Geniuses are often intolerant of those who don't share their intellectual prowess. They can be frustrated that average minded people do not understand or appreciate them. This can lead to anti social behavior. In the book "Manic Depression and Creativity" author D. Jablow Hershman points out that geniuses often battle manic depression. Geniuses tend not to follow others. Instead they stubbornly stick to their own beliefs. Many geniuses throughout history were misunderstood in their own time.
Most people considered geniuses specialize in a particular area of study. These areas include subjects like mathematics, art, music, writing, science or planning. Their incredible intellect in their area of genius often leaves the other parts of their minds behind. People who are merely good at a variety of subjects are not true geniuses. To be considered a genius you must demonstrate truly innovative thoughts.