Intelligence by itself means nothing. But creating something of value is everything. That’s Practical intelligence.
It is a common understanding that being intelligent is one of the biggest factors for success, that only intelligent people can create valuable things. That is simply not true. Focus and enthusiasm combined are way more important than intelligence alone.
Practical intelligence is not about finding excuses
When it comes to creating something of value, people will usually try to find some sort of excuse why they can’t do it. They might believe that they are not smart enough, or they might overestimate the intelligence of their competitors. It is easy to say “The other fellow is way smarter than me” than to accept that we need to focus more or work harder. Because of this, many people sell themselves short, and in time become bitter and resentful.
At the end of the day is not how much intelligence somebody has that matters, but how they use what they have.
With a positive and optimistic attitude, a person with a relatively low IQ will earn more money, more respect, and build better and more valuable things than a negative and pessimistic individual that have a relatively high IQ.
Intelligence is not about memorizing
There is a story in which Einstein was once asked “How many feet are in a mile?”. To this, Einstein’s reply was “I don’t know. Why should I fill my brain with facts I can find in two minutes in any standard reference book?”. This is especially true today when access to information is at our fingertips.
There is another story about Henry Ford saying that when he was involved in a lawsuit with the Chicago Tribune, he was called ignorant. The tribune asked Ford some simple questions and Ford could not answer. They kept teasing him with questions, until one point when he became exasperated and said “I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I can find a man in five minutes that can answer”. Ford knew that the ability to know how to get information is way more important than using the mind as a storage device.
When it comes to intelligence, there are some things that we should never ignore or forget. If we don’t apply our knowledge to create something, it is simply useless. We should never underestimate our intelligence and we should never overestimate the intelligence of others. It is better to focus deeply on the task at hand than to concern ourselves over a number that measures intelligence or to compare it with another’s.
Somebody’s mindset is way more important than their intelligence. An “I can do it” attitude is always better than an “I am unable” attitude.
Our ability to memorize facts has almost no importance today when we have instant access to information from any device. What really matters is how we put this information into practice, on how we create something of value with it.
Now it’s YOUR turn
- Do you compare your IQ with others?
- Do you think intelligence is more important than the ability to get things done?
Through this article series, we are helping you build a solid mindset. We are strong believers that once we can understand a subject, we can engage with the idea or refuse it altogether. Both ways are helping us grow and develop our own way of seeing the world.
In the end, everything starts with us, with our mind, our self, and even our stories. Choose to act now on Studylia.