Have you ever wondered what it takes to be incredibly smart? Or what people who are smart do to get there?
The interesting fact of the matter is that there is no single underlying value that can characterize someone as intelligent or not intelligent and your intelligence should be characterized by YOU and nothing else.
We often try to label people with high IQs as smart, but the problem with this is that while they might be able to take a test well or they might be able to ace the IQ test this doesn’t define whole intelligence at all.
I’ve been around many people with high IQs and a lot of them cannot effectively talk to a wall or think on their feet.
They often have no emotional intelligence and don't understand people on a fundamental level. Which are and should be major characteristics of intelligence and the ability to think critically.
So what’s makes someone smart and how do you become smart in a world where everyone wants to tell you how to be smart?
The fact of the matter is that to be smart and to become smart you need to understand what your strengths, who you are at a fundamental level are and go all in on leveraging them. Essentially becoming incredibly self-aware.
Too many people are worried about building up their weaknesses to somehow build smarts in a realm they’re not good at. Thereby always chasing that rainbow they'll never achieve because it's not them.
But if you focus on on your strengths you’ll find that you shine in every situation and by focusing on you it gives you the chance to learn who you are and where you can work best and allows you to become a strong and confident person in your everyday interactions.
Rather than trying to be like someone else.
And when it comes down to it smarts should be labeled for where you shine and whether or not you can leverage that to a high level.
Maybe you’re good at tests. Great.
Maybe you’re good at speaking. Great.
Maybe you’re good at thinking on your feet. Great.
The point is that we need to stop defining intelligence solely based on book smarts, what a talking head says or by the ability to take a test and start defining smarts based on what a person can do well and whether they can leverage that.
Not everyone reads books and that’s okay. Some people listen, some people watch and some people learn from pictures.
It’s the fact that you’re consuming information in some way, shape or form that contributes to your smarts and helps you learn in the best way for you.
The construct that you need to read 10 leather bound books a week is far-fetched and doesn’t make sense for the different ways people learn and consume information.
So go out there and figure out where you shine and then pursue that relentlessly! Become your best version of you!