Intelligence isn’t something everyone is simply born with. It takes hard work, perseverance, and a whole lot of learning. There are rare occurrences where you hear stories about an eight year old who can speak 10 different languages, or a high schooler with a photographic memory. Outliers like this give people wrong ideas.
These misconceptions start to make us think that intelligence is a result of nature, when in fact it is that of nurture. Truth is, we are all born as blank slates; ultimately, our futures depend on our work ethic.
Do we have the drive and passion to learn everything there is to know about space because it fascinates us or do we just watch others learn and eventually make that trip to Mars.
There are plenty of brilliant people in the world who never reach their full potential solely because they lack the drive and determination to refine their talents and intelligence.
While on the other side of the spectrum, there are plenty of people who have the world rooting against them and come out on top, going on to do brilliant things.
People had to learn how to work with what they were dealt, and as a result they acquired hard work and determination. They weren’t born smart—they made themselves smart.
Smart People Read
For most people, reading is dreadful. However, this could quite possibly be because they don't do it enough. Make reading a habit.
Yeah, it can be intimidating when you meet someone who can read something and remember every single word. But do you know how most of them got there? Practice. Reading is like any other skill. The more you do it, the better you will get at it and the easier it will become.
Smart People Spend Time With Other Smart People
People tend to hang around those they identify with. Spend time with people who value intelligence and hard work.
If you want to become smarter, spend time with those smarter than yourself. When you spend time with people smarter than you their drive, knowledge, and awareness rubs off on you—whether you notice it or not. A great quote says, “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.”
Strive to always be looking to spend your time with people who are more knowledgeable than you.
Smart People Love to Make Mistakes
In the mind of an intelligent person “mistakes” don’t really exist. Missteps bring opportunities to the forefront to learn a lesson, improve products, and move forward with projects.
That being said, becoming “smart” means shifting your mentality away from the fear of making a mistake, and instead, embracing the mistakes as they come. Take the mistake, analyze it, figure out what happened, and learn from it. In the words of Phil Knight, founder of Nike,
“The trouble in America is not that we are making too many mistakes, but that we are making too few.”
Smart People See the Value In All Types of Knowledge
You never hear smart people say, “that isn’t relevant to me, I don’t need to know about that.” Knowledge is subjective. It’s relative to your goals and ambitions.
Embrace random moments of learning and see them as opportunities to expand your awareness.
Smart People Work Hard, and Work A Lot
Truth is, it’s hard work to dig deep into your talent and really learn everything there is to know about it. To combat this, make learning and improving your talents an enjoyable experience.
Don’t shy away from discipline. In fact, create a life and schedule that encourages it. Force yourself to get things done and stay in a perpetual state of growth.