Meet Yaron Mirelman, a part-time consultant, beach enthusiast and amateur martial arts fighter who is thought to be the smartest Israeli in the world.
With a reported genius level IQ of 183, a full 20 points higher than Albert Einstein is believed to have had, Mirelman is among the 33 most intelligent people in the world.
In an interview with Channel 2 on Friday, Mirelman discussed the challenges he faces as a result of his intellectual prowess, and recounted that as a child he shied away from his gift in an effort to ward off bullying and unwanted attention from his peers.
“During my childhood I began to downplay my ‘otherness’ and gifts because I hated the reactions it aroused,” he said. “I wasn’t always accepted or understood,” Mirelman added, recalling being frustratingly bored for the majority of his school years.
As a result, Mirelman said he retreated and slowly stopped interacting with his peers and teachers, which ultimately damaged his self confidence.
“The more my self confidence went down, the harder it was for me to interact in social settings,” he said.
Mirelman’s gift was also a source of frustration for his parents. His mother attempted to push him intellectually, and enrolled him in all kinds of extra curricular activities including music lessons and literature clubs, which interested him little.
His father, who traveled extensively for his work during Mirelman’s childhood, was less impressed by his IQ score, and was often angry and disappointed by his low grades in school.
“I did really well in the few subjects that interested me. In subjects that didn’t interest me, I received horrible, terrible grades,” Mirelman said. “I don’t think he knew how to cope with it,” he said. “He couldn’t understand why I couldn’t achieve passing grades and just do my homework.”
“I think he called me ‘a nothing’ at one point,” Mirelman recalled.
Mirelman now works as a business consultant, and claims dozens of clients from a wide variety of spheres.
“At the end of the day, all of these companies manage people, money and procedures. And that is something I’m good at doing,” he said.
Mirelman explained he is often times recruited to problem-solve for his clients, and he works to streamline production or operational procedures.
Owning his own consulting company allows Mirelman to work a short workday of between 2-3 hours, giving him ample time to pursue his hobbies, he says. In his free time, Mirelman hangs out at the beach or at a martial arts studio where he trains in Thai boxing.
Having a high IQ does not solve all of life’s problems, Mirelman said. Going through a divorce three years ago forced him to accept the limitations of his gift, he said.
“At that time I felt like I had exhausted all of my own advice,” he said. “Relationships are not a matter of intellect, it’s a dynamic.”
When asked if he felt that his high IQ came at the expense of his emotional intelligence, Mirelman dismissed the question saying, “No, not at all. At the end of the day I’m human, and I function like a human being and not a brain in a jar.”
Towards the end of the interview, Mirelman was asked why he chose not to utilize his gift for the good of humanity, such as trying to make life-saving advances in the field of medical research.
Mirelman said he is unable to concentrate or function in any long-term initiatives, and dedicating his life to scientific research wasn’t for him.
“I do feel like I am doing something good for humanity, because companies who earn more, provide greater stability for their employees,” he countered.
“Maybe this is a type of curse — because there’s this expectation that I will solve humanity’s problems, I feel this kind of guilt,” he said. “But I can only be good in the things that interest me and that I like.”