In college, one of my humanities professors, Prof. Klein, told me that genius is being able to look at the same things everybody else does but see something different. She told me a story to illustrate:

One time she had company at her house—a friend and her kids—and they needed to find a place for three little kids to sleep for the night. There was only one bed, but it was a queen-sized bed, which she thought would only suit up to two people. The friend, however, knew right away that it would work. The friend realized that, because kids are short and small, they could be fit onto the bed, just not in the normal, expected way. The friend put three pillows on one side of the bed, arranged down the long way. Then she adjusted the sheet and blanket so they opened up on the side of the bed where she had put the pillows. Then the three kids slept in that bed, arranged sideways, and had plenty of room.

I always appreciated the simplicity of this story.